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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Workshop with Van James in Honolulu

The Role of Art in Education:
Practical Examples and Current Research
A half-day drawing workshop with Van James

Saturday, January 18, 2014  
9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Niu Campus Hall
Honolulu Waldorf School, 350 Ulua Street, Niu Valley

This hands-on workshop is for parents, educators and those interested in how the child learns by means of his/her creative faculties. At a time when technology increasingly pervades education it is important to be aware of what capacities children need to develop. In this workshop we will do children’s drawing exercises that lay the groundwork for skills and faculties such as visual thinking, cognitive feeling (emotional intelligence), and moral imagination. We will focus on basic artistic principles that enhance the learning experience in grades 1 through 3 and the transition stage that occurs for the 9-10 year old. No drawing experience is necessary.

Van James is a Hawai’i based artist, author and educator; a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Emerson College in England, and the Goetheanum School of Painting in Switzerland.  He teaches art at the Honolulu Waldorf High School and is a regular guest instructor at Taruna College in New Zealand, Rudolf Steiner College in California, and numerous schools in Asia. He is editor of Pacifica Journal, and chairman of the Anthroposophical Society in Hawai’i, as well as the author of several books on art and culture including Drawing with Hand, Head and Heart: Learning the Natural Way to Draw. He is known locally for his award winning series of Ancient Sites guidebooks.

This workshop is sponsored by Jeff White Associates—
A suggested donation of $30 will benefit the Annual General Fund of the Honolulu Waldorf School.
Space is limited. RSVP-- please call 377-5471 to reserve your place.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Art Dispersal: January 17, 2014

Art - accessible to 100% of people

ART DISPERSAL January 17, 2014     5-8pm
Cedarwood Waldorf School 3030 SW 2nd Ave  Portland, OR 97201
 Can you imagine going to visit someone and finding their home full of artwork? Can you imagine needing to stop and ask directions on your way there and finding that person’s home full of artwork? Can you imagine appearing in court to pay your parking ticket and finding the courtroom walls covered with paintings  that were  somehow consistent with your being in a courtroom? Can you imagine a society where many, many people are working artistically and everywhere is something that has been created by someone? Can you imagine a society where these people also have time and materials and enough to eat?

Free Columbia is an investigation of art in relation to the spiritual aspects of the human being and the world. As a new experiment in our ongoing attempts to de-commodify art, Free Columbia is planning an art dispersal event in Portland.
 On Friday January 17 we will open the event with a reception and presentation on Free Culture by Laura Summer, the co founder of Free Columbia.

As a society we have placed original visual art outside of the financial means of the majority of people. At the same time we have impoverished most of our artists. We need to turn this situation around.

At the art dispersal event, which will occur on January 17- at the Cedarwood Waldorf School we will present two different, and not necessarily connected, actions.

  1. We will make approximately 30 pieces of visual art by New York artist Laura Summer available for dispersal to people who would like to live with them for an unspecified amount of time. This means that the recipients will take the work home and will not need to return it. If the time comes when they no longer want to keep the artwork they can give it to someone else who does want it or they can contact the artist to return it.
  2. We will accept donations to support the work of both the Cedarwood Waldorf School and Free Columbia.

How are these actions connected? Only in terms of visibility, time and space. That is, the event will make people aware of the availability of the artwork and of the possibility of contributing to support the freeing of culture. Those who take paintings will be encouraged to make a financial contribution but it will be clear that this is not connected to a value assigned to the art work, rather it is an opportunity to support creative activity which the person obviously values since they are taking the work home. Also people are free to contribute to Cedarwood and Free Columbia and need not take any artwork home.  We don’t know what will happen but we will know more after we try it.

Perhaps you have wanted to live with an original painting, perhaps you have wanted to contribute to free culture but how to do this was unclear, perhaps you are simply curious about what will happen…    for whatever reason, please participate in the art dispersal event.

Let us see what happens when we ask people to support the conditions for creativity instead of purchasing artwork.

6 minute video

Comments from previous art dispersals in New York:
Thanks a million. I love looking at the piece every day.

Beginning – not knowing what was happening, middle – it’s working!!! End – a totally satisfying experience, new, social, surprising…making people so happy.

This is amazing! We love being able to own original art. Thank you!

It sort of felt like adopting a baby. A beautiful quiet well behaved baby. It was as if everyone had a painting that was meant for them in the room and they had to find theirs.

Looking at your work makes me think that this kind of activity makes a more lasting impression by being in the house than not because it does form part of our daily life. It weaves itself into our daily imagination and emotions without being prompted by external considerations. It forms part of our daily eyes.

Workshop with Laura Summer: January 2014

Devotional Painting in the 21st Century Drawing from the Face of God             
to draw: to move continuously toward or after a force applied in advance; to extract the essence from...     Webster’s Dictionary

Jan 22/Jan 23

Eugene OR: Wednesday eve 7-9pm and Thursday 9-4

Eugene Waldorf School, Art Building

with Laura Summer

What is devotion? What happens when we devote ourselves to something through painting and drawing? What do we learn about the “object” and what do we learn about ourselves? Can I present an experience for my viewer without pictorial images? How can sacred art be contemporary, an expression of an experience in the present?
As we enter the 21st century, can we find ways to work devotionally in painting? Using a variety of media––watercolor, pastel, collage, ink, crayon, and poetry––we will explore this question. No previous experience is necessary. The techniques we will use are very forgiving and exercises can be worked with at many levels. Both beginners and advanced painters are welcome!

We often start with a contemplation of a cup and a related drawing exercise, then we go on to nature and then to a poem or prayer. No specific religious orientation is used, just the question of how can we devote ourselves to something greater?

Suggested Donation $60-120  All of the work at Free Columbia is based on an understanding of the importance of creating a free cultural space, therefore there are no set tuitions. Rather we offer suggested donation amounts based on what it costs to run courses. If you prefer it is possible to make a monthly pledge to support Free Columbia rather than making a one time donation.
Laura Summer is co-founder of the Free Columbia Art Course, a year-long program based on the fundamentals of painting as they come to life through spiritual science. Her approach to color is influenced by Beppe Assenza and Rudolf Steiner, also by Goethe’s color theory. She has been working with questions of contemporary religious art for 16 years. Her work, to be found in private collections in the US and Europe, has been exhibited at the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York City and at the Sekem Community in Egypt. She is a founding member of The Experimental Art Collective and Raising Matter-this is not a gallery.
Registration:  or 541 484-5234

Jennifer Thomson Painting Art Retreats Summer 2014: August 8 thru 12 and August 22 thru 26

Monday, July 22, 2013

Art Convergence 2013 in Philmont, New York

Art Convergence 2013
For the past three years Free Columbia, in collaboration with the Arts Section of the School for Spiritual Science, has run a summer conference exploring the relation of current art to spiritual science. This year we have chosen a different format in which to work. In order to deepen the work, a small group of artists has been working during the year investigating descriptions of artistic process. This group will work together in late July and early August on various projects. There will be both individual work and collaborations. During the week of work we will share with each other the dynamics of our artistic process. In the evenings we will offer performances for the public and on Saturday August 3rd we will have a day, open to the public, in which we will invite conversation, presentation and interaction. 

The public day will be on Saturday, August 3 at 84 Main Street in Philmont. We will begin at 10 am but the form of the day will be developed during the convergence week. In some way it will include an exhibit of visual art, conversations and perhaps interactive performances. If you are interested in attending the public day please feel very warmly invited to do so. Donations will be gratefully accepted but there is not a charge for the public events. For more information you may call Laura Summer 518 672 7302.
84 Main Street Philmont NY 7:30 pm
Schedule of evening performances:
Wednesday July 31, David Adams from Sacramento CA will present: The Artwork and Creative Process of Philp Guston and Robert Motherwell in the Context of the New York School (or Abstract Expressionism)
Thursday August 1, I Manual by Finnish performance artist Sampsa Pirtola
Friday August 2, Work with color, light, sound and movement, presented by Nathaniel Williams, Michael Howard and Katie Schwerin and others.
Saturday August 3, To be developed during the convergence.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Book by Van James: Drawing with Hand, Head and Heart

LInk to the cover of the book

Drawing with Hand, Head, and Heart is a comprehensive and practical guide to the art of drawing
and to the process of visual thinking that is part of our full human intelligence. More than 500 illustrated
exercises and examples, collected and developed over many years of Waldorf classroom experience, show
teachers, parents, and students how to learn to draw simply and naturally, as a child would learn to draw.
The introduction examines contemporary research on brain development and its relationship to learning,
showing how the process of picture-making contributes to the development of visual thinking. An overview
follows of how children learn to draw, and how their visual intelligence can be engaged through age-appropriate
drawing exercises. Many useful examples of form drawing, portraiture, and geometric and perspective
drawing illustrate the art and science of drawing for students of all ages and ability levels. Van James also
provides samples of inspiring blackboard drawings and main lesson book pages for teachers and students, and
includes an informative appendix on therapeutic drawing, a bibliography of resources, and an index.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Expanded Essay by Van James

Painting Problems: Making Aesthetic Sense of Colour

    by Van James

 Fig. 1. In kindergarten and pre-school children paint for the sheer enjoyment, without the need of a
structured painting “lesson.”

Have you ever heard the complaint, "Why do all the children's paintings look
the same?" If you've asked yourself this question after having viewed the work of
students in the lower grades of a Steiner-Waldorf school (the question rarely
arises with regard to the work of the upper grades) you're not alone. Why is it that
particularly in grades one through four the artistic work done in painting classes
often appears so similar, so uniform? And, is this a problem?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Art Retreat with Jennifer Thomson and Philip Incao

2013 August 9 thru 13 Art Retreat

Transforming Living Creative forces into Color & Form

Blooming, blossoming, growing, flourishing, wilting..decaying… Point, periphery …creativity and imagination through the art of painting
Our focus will be to develop form and motif ‘out of the color’, an approach inspired by Goethe and Steiner that perceives colors as the visible outer garments of invisible forces and beings.

Mornings, 9am, we begin our color work, practicing the veil technique with watercolor and a given color study that will develop into a painting.  Practice motif with various artistic techniques.

Afternoons till 4:30, One afternoon sketching in Colorado’s magnificent nature.  On the other days taking inspiration from flowers, we’ll explore Cy Twombly’s plant techniques, develop outdoor sketches and practice various color combinations.  Material used in the workshop:  watercolor, gouache, ink, colored pencils and charcoal.

Evening Presentations:
Jennifer Thomson:  Cy Twombly & Abstract Expressionism
Philip Incao:  ‘Our Health’ conversation

Tuition:  $335 includes supplies, 5 dynamic organic veggie lunches & snacks
Deposit:  $75, nonrefundable
Accommodations:  B&B, Hotel, camping yurts(see on back)
Meals:  nearby cafes, organic food stores
Location:  Sun Studio in Crestone, Colorado

Sign up & info:  Jennifer Thomson, POBox 894, Crestone, Colorado 81131
Space limited….adult beginners & advanced

Join us in Crestone, Colorado, August 9 thru 13
Spend 5 rejuvenation days with color and painting.  There will be opportunities for soaks or swims in nearby hot springs or hikes in National Forest or the Sand Dunes National Park, or visit Crestone’s spiritual centers.  See wildlife. Renew yourself and your life’s path in contemplation and color in the beauty of Crestone’s 8000 foot Alpine Valley