Back in the 80s, back before I was married, when I had far less gray hair and less life direction than I do now, I remember watching Family Ties. In one of the seasons Alex (Michael J. Fox) was falling in love with Ellen (Tracy Pollan), an artist. I remember thinking, that would be interesting to marry an artist. In real life the two ended up getting married and over half a decade later I did marry Kristin J., the artist, author, homeschooling guru and founder of this website.
Here we still are 27 years later. Of course, now I’m just “The Husband“. My son and I were joking the other night that he is “Kristin’s son” and I am “Kristin’s husband.” Although I surmised that someday I may only be “Seth’s Dad” and “Kristin’s Husband.” It’s cross I’ll have to bear, I suppose.
All kidding aside…well, not yet. I was an athlete in high school and college, but the thing about being an athlete is that it’s basically all downhill after your early thirties…sometimes even earlier. You can look forward to less speed, less strength, slower reflexes and deciding to wear more clothes at the gym…because it’s cold in there—yeah—yeah, that’s why—it’s cold in there. Those glory days become more and more of a distant memory.
Surrounded by Artists
But if you’re an artist, if your skills are more in the intellectual, creative realm you have decades to enjoy and improve your talent. But I did do some drawing in my early years. My mom is also an artist, as are both my sisters. My oldest, younger sister is a very talented professional cartoon caricaturist, Disneyland trained. So I’ve been around artists all my life.
My biggest claim to fame was in the fourth grade back in the 60s. It was a grammar competition. Each of the 4 teams of students was given a wall to decorate. We had to incorporate grammar into our artistic representations. My best buddy (Vince) and I went for tanks and warplanes. We had exploding prepositions and verbs. Very cool. But also in our midst was one named Kevin whose skill drawing Snoopy, Lucy and Charlie Brown made him famous at McKinley Elementary in San Diego. So Vince and I came in 2nd. Man, was Kevin good and man did we want to win. Good grief!
So I have very little skill as an artist but since I’m 59 I am not the perfect person to test Kristin’s map books, however not a bad choice considering my artistic skill set. If I can draw it, your students probably can too. So below, for your viewing pleasure, is my drawing of Kristin’s latest book, Draw Oceania. We are in the proofing process (always find something it seems) and hope to be selling Draw Oceania in May of 2017. Get ready for some islands—and lots of dots, lots of dots, lots of dots, lots of……………………………
As mentioned in an earlier post, Kristin is using a grid (for Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia) and sea creatures as a device to help your students better place the numerous islands. Helped me too! This is the last book in the draw map series! “WooHoo!!!!!!!” I’m quoting Kristin.