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Thursday, February 16, 2012

John James Audubon - Swan, Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No. 2, Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander - Jesus Calls Us O'er the Tumult

John James Audubon's swan below may be a good painting to have your children try their hand at copying.  Drawing, like learning to read, write or ride a bike, takes much practice.  Our first attempts at new skills are usually not impressive.  It is through repeated attempts that we become proficient and skillful. Some people say they cannot draw but I think it would be more accurate to say that they haven't yet learned to draw. Artists are people who have learned to really see what we all look at and to accurately record this seeing on paper.  Praise your children's first attempts and give them plenty of opportunities for practice.  As your children advance in their skills they may be ready for gentle advice.  Sometimes it helps to encourage beginners to study the details carefully, "see the neck is quite long, and curves all the way around like a tight 's'".  When you draw a thing you have to look carefully at the original. Learning to see and remember the details is what picture study is all about.

Other than Peter and the wolf, music by Sergei Prokofiev is new to me but I thought we should check out one more of his works before we move on to a new composer so here is a piano concerto.  It is long - a half hour and not exactly relaxing music, so you may want to just listen to part or break it up.  Somtimes we will listen to music like this while we draw or do handwork.

Another beautiful hymn by Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander 

Jesus Calls Us

Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult
of our life's wild, restless sea,
day by day his clear voice soundeth,
saying, 'Christian, follow me;'

as, of old, Saint Andrew heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for his dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world's golden store;
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, 'Christian, love me more.'

In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
'Christian, love me more than these.'

Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love thee best of all.

A link to a nice organ rendition of the tune I'm familiar with singing this hymn to follows:


  1. The swan does look like a good painting to copy. I think I'm going to try it myself! (And, oh yeah, I'll include the kids as well, lol!)

    We studied Audobon a few years ago and really enjoyed learning about him. It will be fun to re-visit his work.