Thursday, November 3, 2011

Guide lines

I love how my life mimics art.

The task for my art class this week was two point perspective. Meanwhile, in our home school, we were losing all perspective, crumbling slowly in the face of an overwhelming schedule and the rigors of highschool. I know some homeschools are perfect and never wonder if knowledge is really such a good thing, but we were in a crisis; wondering if it would be possible to graduate from 9th grade by whittling out some of the less important subjects...like all of them....and replacing them with candy.

I sent the art class several warnings throughout the week. Each warning was accompanied with a supply they must not forget. Rulers are crucial in two point perspective drawings, for example.
"BE ON TIME!!", I begged, "Or I guarantee you will be lost. Two point perspective is not easy."

It is easy once you understand it. A whole world of drawing opens up before you like magic when you understand two point perspective. However, it is initially very confusing. To gain the proper perspective, you sometimes start off with a tangled confusion of intersecting guide lines.
"Which guide line does the roof line here go?" asked one student.
"Which guide line does this bottom angle into the alley way go?"
"Which guide line do you follow for the line of lampposts?"
"How do I draw a guideline for a sign sticking out of the building?"
Etc.
And uniformly, when I showed the kids where they had placed a building edge on an incorrect guideline and they corrected it, they sat back with a big smile on their face. When you follow the correct guide lines, the result is perfect.
"I know something is wrong," said Hannah, "But I keep trying to redraw it and it is still wrong."
"Which of these guidelines do you think you need to follow?" I asked.
She peered at the drawing.
"Oh... this one?"
"Try it."
"Yes!!! Wow!"

As every student successfully mastered the two point perspective sketch, I pulled out a picture of towering skyscrapers. The photographer was standing at the base of them, and all the lines of the skyscapers were converging at varying angles. Initially, I had thought this must be about a hundred point perspective drawing. But then I realized something that made me think long and hard about my homeschool.

"How many point perspective is this picture?" I asked the class.
" A million?" said one student.
"Six?" said another.
"Where is the viewer standing?" I hinted.
"At the bottom looking up," said Adam.
"Remember what I taught you about the horizon line being wherever your eye level is? Where is the horizon line?"
"Straight up...." said Monica.
"And how many points on that horizon line do the edges of the buildings converge on?" I asked.
"One!" cried the students..
"Yes," I said, "There is only one vanishing point. This is one point perspective. All guidelines converge on one point straight up."

Later, I thought, that is the proper perspective for our homeschool. Our guidelines need to all converge on one point, looking straight up.
Asherel and I decided to take a break and go for a walk, and pray.
Because half the battle is one of perspective.
But just in case, I have a bag of candy at the ready.

Psalm 23:2-4

 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

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