Nature Drawing 101

by Alden Cole on March 17, 2014 · 4 comments

So did anyone notice the typo in yesterday’s calligraphy? end of the first verse, a ‘tinkling symbol’ instead of the intended ‘tinkling cymbal’? A mistake that even I missed 51 years ago, caught up as I was in confusing phonetics. Good catch by Thornton classmate Judy Hargreaves-Fichtenbaum who enjoyed the play on words created by the substitution. Now on to the next:

3.17.63WPcolored pencil on paper, 10″ x 13.5″ • collection of the artist $

March 17, 1963. Today’s featured art was created 51 years ago in Nature Drawing, one of RISD’s basic Freshman Foundation studio courses. The 3-hour class, held bright and early each Monday morning from 8:30–11:30, was the first class of each new week throughout freshman year (and most likely my very ‘first’ class at RISD September ’62). The teacher, Miss Edna Lawrence, was a virtual RISD institution, who had graduated from RISD herself in 1920, and continued to teach there until she retired in 1974, after which the school honored her by naming the exhaustive collection of natural specimens from all over the world which she had started in the 30s, the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, which continues to expand, remaining one of RISD’s great educational treasures.

12.10.62WPStill running strong in her late 60s when I came along in ’62, Ms Lawrence enthusiastically shared her love of the natural world by opening our eyes “to the limitless visual patterns, structures, and processes in the natural world” — essential background knowledge for any artist. Through her classes I was also exposed to, and discovered a life-long love of, PrismaColor pencils, a favorite medium of many years now. Today’s featured art is an example of work done using these tools, as was this earlier piece at left of a seashell drawn December 10, 1962.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

judy fichtenbaum March 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

I didn’t see the use of “symbol” for ” cymbal ” as a “typo”, but as an enhancement of the ‘wake-up” call of the message!


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