Here is October, the month of pumpkins! At last, mornings are chilly, nights are frosty but the autumn sun still warms nicely during the day. This is one of the most beautiful times of year, so I am presenting you with one of the most cheerful calendars I’ve ever created. The different shades of yellow will cheer you even if you are sitting in a neon-lit office on a rainy day. All you need to do is download it.
Edith Holden gives some background information again, although the superstitions of the month seem a little less witty than usual (not Edith’s fault I’m sure). Still, I’m sharing them!
By the Slavs this month is called “yellow month” from the fading of the leaf. To the Anglo Saxons it was known as “Winter fylleth”, because at this full moon (Fylleth) winter was supposed to begin.
By the 1st of March the crows begin to search
By the 1st of April they are sitting still
By the 1st of May they are flown away
Creeping greedy back again
With October wind and rain.
As good October and a good blast
To blow the hog, acorn and mast.
I am currently sitting in front of my laptop typing out this blogpost about the benefits of handwriting at such speed that my keyboard is nearly on fire. Not that I’m the only one… According the alarming results of some research, handwriting is on the way to extinction and some states in the US have completely stopped teaching cursive writing at school. On that side of the globe handwriting is becoming so attached to the past that it’s starting to become trendy again as something ‘vintage’. Bizarre, eh?
Or perhaps not so much… The same way as the value of handmade products grow fast in a completely automated world, we start to recognise again the benefits of handwriting.
Are you meditating while writing the shopping list?
Meditation is, in essence, focusing your attention fully and completely on something. While we take the pen in our hand, smell the ink and feel the texture of the paper we slow down and write ‘bread, milk, cheese’ in a lot more mindful way than if we tapped these words on the smartphone. Drawing the letters stimulates the mind the same way as doodling – it’s only our culture that attaches meaning to these forms.
Even the most hardworking chaps need a little motivation from time to time, but sometimes even those make “new year vows” in September who don’t always produce top marks in all subjects (that’s the way, keep to your promises!)
However, it is not only those who start school who might need motivation, so I have put together a set of 6 inspirational posters to download (PDF, JPG), so you can start afresh this “new year”. For the backgrounds I used my own paintings from the repeat pattern challenge. You can print the posters in A4 or use them as book covers or stickers.
I hope you are full of energy and enthusiasm, and start this period with great elan. After all, “September is the new January” :)
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People claiming that they can draw are in a minority, so there are really only a few people who grab their pencils every day. Of course this does not mean that the average person does not want to draw. Some have told me about bad art teachers, so they quit drawing during their teenage years, others have been discouraged by their lack of so-called talent. The good news is that it’s not late. You can learn to draw at any age.
When you are looking for excuses, you are, in fact, afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of people making fun of you for drawing something rubbish, or simply for trying at all, even though you visibly have no talent for the thing. However, the truth is a lot more simple: drawing – just like studying a language – is a learnable skill, which does require hard work, but not necessarily talent.
According to my memories, the phrase ‘summer adventure’ came up during the first week of school at least once: during art class. On these occasions I usually took the inevitable colour pencil in my hand with a deep sigh and – after 45 mins of hard work – I was listening with utter irritation to the teacher moaning about my lack of background.
After 17 years of artistic education I have ‘consumed’ several art teachers: some were cold and professional, others cool and inspiring, and of course there were those who were painfully conventional. As a result, I have been called both an ‘enthusiastic creator’, an ‘untalented poor thing’ and ‘devil of smudges’.
Creating is a source of immense joy. All kids know as much, but an unable tutor can effectively ruin anyone’s self-esteem and will to create. So I am now sharing with you what I think makes a good art teacher.