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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Death of Ted Mahle

Theodore (Ted) Clyde Mahle
b. January 14, 1940
d. December 9, 2017 (10:00 A.M.)

Raised on a dairy farm in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Ted sketched the countryside around him. At age 16 he studied art for a year with Conrad Roland, a well known artist from Kempton. He graduated from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Art Education. Then he worked for 7 years as a graphic designer in New York City, while attending evening classes in drawing, illustration and design at the School of Visual Arts.

After taking the Foundation Year in Anthroposophical Studies at Emerson College, England, Ted studied German and speech-formation at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, for 2 years. He completed a 3-year painting training, according to Rudolf Steiner's methods, with Beppe Assenza at the Goetheanum Painting School in 1976 (ERES MFA Equivalent), and was a teaching assistant in the school from 1975 to 1978. For 3 years he was employed as a painting therapist at Sonnhalde Schulheim Curative Home, Gempen, Switzerland, working with all ages from early childhood to adults.

Returning to the US, Ted directed the Arts Program: “Renewing the Art of Painting,” a year-long morning course at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California, from 1982 to 2003, as well as teaching many other art classes. From 2003 to 2005 he taught art at Davis Waldorf School. Travels to see the great visual art works of the world, in their original environment, formed the basis for art history studies

Friday, April 28, 2017

Christopher Ritson: 2017 Honolulu Biennial Artist by Van James

Many people look at the Honolulu Waldorf School and think it's a kind of art school because so much art is offered. But the truth is that HWS has just as much focus on the math and sciences, languages and humanities as other schools (if not more), but it matches those subjects with many different artistic disciplines, providing a balance or counter weight to the academic school day. In fact, many of the HWS graduates go into fields completely unrelated to art; they just take a creative, can-do artistry to their choice of direction and career.

So it is a great pleasure when one of our alumni chooses a career in the highly competitive and unusually challenging world of Post-modern Art. Christopher Ritson (Class of 2004) is one of the 22 invited artists showing at the first Honolulu Biennial, between March 8 and May 8, 2017. This is quite a prestigious honor for this young artist.

However, Chris was something of an unlikely candidate for the art world when he was finishing high school. Although gifted at drawing and painting it was looking like he was going to be on a science track. His senior project was a large self-sustaining, eco-friendly aquarium, built from the ground up. But he decided to go to the San Francisco Art Institute and he became known for his unique blend of science and art. His artwork is actually more like freeform scientific research than an art project. And his present exhibit at the Biennial involves living organisms, or what he calls bio-generative artwork.

The Corallinales, Chris’ exhibit, can be described as living paintings growing in two aquarium tanks under artificial light. Coralline algae have been scraped from ocean trash collected from the Honolulu Harbor, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and from the surf break where Ala Wai Canal, an artificial and controversial waterway, flows into the Pacific Ocean. The algae are placed in a supportive environment for the corallines to thrive on glass and plastic debris, allowing them to produce a range of red, pink, grey and mauve abstract images. Over the two months of the exhibition these coralline algae paintings will literally grow into pictures.

The senior class of HWS was fortunate enough to have a guided tour of The Hub, one of the Biennial’s several venues around town. Chris Ritson came in especially to talk to the Class of 2017 about his work. Every 9th grade studies the history of art up to the 17th century but it is in 12th grade that Modern and Post-modern Art are studied. So the Biennial visit fit right into the 12th grade’s curriculum and they got to see one Waldorf graduate’s path of uniting his interest in both the sciences and the arts.

It is interesting that Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, made the following prediction over a hundred years ago, right at the beginning of Modern Art, well before the advent of Post-modern, Conceptual Art: “I believe that the significant factor in … attempting to understand the concept of art, is that an art of the conceptual will come about in which the work and activity of ideation will be fulfilled with images, with reality, and that what now appears as dry science will in the future come closer to art.” The work of Chris Ritson certainly bears out this prediction.

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Development in the Visual Arts by David Adams

Although I am now (2016) 67 years old, it is only in the
last few years that, in addition to being an art historian
and art theorist, I have begun to think of myself as a visual
artist – primarily in ”newer” mediums like performance art,
installation, and visual music (“light art”). However, a request
for me to write my “artistic biography” leads me to realize that
I have been involved with related “artistic activities” off and
on for decades. There have been many diverse aspects to my
life, and it is sometimes difficult (also for me) to find a clear
continuity through it all, but here I will undertake a selective
review from the point of view of "myself-as-a-creative-artist."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Alkion Center Course Weeks for Summer 2017 - Enroll Now

Go to for details and registration forms, 
or contact us at 518-672-8008 or   

Week I – June 18 to 23
                History through Music w/ Eric G. Muller
                Early Childhood: Voice and Lyre Music w/ Channa Seidenberg
                Early Childhood: Festivals for Young Children w/ Andree Ward
                Eurythmy | Veil Painting | Sculpting the Human Head in Clay

Week II – June 25 to 30
                Bringing Mathematics to Life in the Classroom w/ Marisha Plotnik
                Introduction to Early Childhood Ed. with Felting Crafts w/ Andree Ward
                Color Environments & Lazure Wall Painting w/ Robert Logsdon and Sara Parrilli  
                Meditation and Color | Wood or Stone Carving | Lazure Project

Week III – July 9 to 14
                Leading with Spirit: The Art of Administration and Leadership in Waldorf Schools  w/ Mara White, Lisa Maher, & Staff

Monday, May 23, 2016

Alkion Center at Hawthorne Valley, NY
2016 Summer Intensives
Tuition reduction for early enrollment by June 1.    

Week I, June 19 - 24

A five day morning block:
Evolution of Human Consciousness through Art 
    w/ Patrick Stolfo

Electives for the remainder of the day:
Modeling the Human Head in Clay w/ Patrick Stolfo
Veil Painting with Martina Muller

Week II, June 26 - July 1
Bringing History to Life and Its Role in the Waldorf Curriculum
w/ Karl Schurman
Elective open workshops from 10:30 am - 5 pm:
Metalworking L. Damian / Painting M. Muller / Sculpture P. Stolfo

Visit for more info. and registration

Monday, May 16, 2016

Landscape Painting Retreat
August 26 -29
Experience Nature through Art with Jennifer Thomson

The landscape Retreat is about change; experiencing another way of working.  It isn’t a ‘how to” retreat.  It is a time to explore new color exercises, ideas and playfulness.  Sometimes one has to walk through ugliness to see anew.  Sometimes we have to stretch further in art to find a new approach to our way of working.

 Mornings for example, explore a fall exercise:  Tint paper orange in areas creating a color mood.  Bring colors: reds, yellows, and blues to wakefulness in veil painting technique.  Balance colors compositionally.  Find an inward glow of light.  Use greys and black to enhance the glow.  White in gesture for trees …what next?

Afternoons, inspired by John Marin’s (1870-1953) & Emil Nolde’s(1867-1956) art, exercises of their techniques & composition will be practiced and applied to our own artwork.

Work space:  Sun Studio & outdoors into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to experience Nature through direct observation.

Daily class:  9 am to 4:30 pm
Tuition:  $275 includes 4 organic veggie lunches, snacks & supplies
Deposit:  $75 nonrefundable, to reserve a space
Camping:  5 minutes driving from Sun Studio

Info:  Jennifer Thomson, PO Box 894, Crestone, Colorado 81131

Come join us in Colorado 2016!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

2nd Annual Visual Arts Intensive—
Painting and Drawing for Teachers,
Educators, and Parents
with Van James

Sunday, June 12 to Friday, June 17, 2016
Honolulu, Hawai’i

This six-day drawing and painting retreat for teachers, artists, therapists and parents will take place from Sunday morning, June 12 to Friday afternoon, June 17, 2015. The course will look at how children first learn to draw and paint and how to best promote these arts with techniques and lessons appropriate to the developmental stages of the child. A Waldorf approach, appropriate to any educational setting, will be utilized with special attention to Rudolf Steiner’s ideas and the latest research on child development in connection with the arts.

Due to the special nature of Hawai’i and its spirit of place, these intensive classes will be held mornings only so that participants can have their afternoons free. All artistic sessions will be held at the Honolulu Waldorf School, Makai Campus, 5257 Kalaniana’ole Highway, 96821, in an ocean-side art studio. The school is located on a bus route and a selection of restaurants is located directly across the street.      

Registration Form





Payment:                                                                                                                                                Date:

The fee of $350 includes two sessions per day for six days, all materials, and refreshments at break times. An Early Bird fee of $300 is good until April 15. A full refund is provided until May 1, 50% until May 15, no refunds thereafter. Checks payable to: Van James.

All housing and meal arrangements are the responsibility of individuals and are not included or arranged by the Arts Intensive. (Package deals from the internet, including air, hotel, and car, will likely be the most reasonable option.)

For any further questions please contact Bonnie at or 808-395-1268. Honolulu Waldorf School, Att: Bonnie, 5257 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Honolulu, HI  96821  USA