Sunday, December 16, 2012

tornado surprise

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him." Psalms 32:8-10

On Thursday morning my new writng experiment had mixed results with my first two students. Students lay on their back on the floor under a desk, reach up with pencil in hand, look up, and complete a TALL  AND  SHORT writing exercise on the paper taped underneath the desk (see above). The reaching up with the writing hand strengthens the muscles and grip of the writer's hand.

The larger of the two students did fine. The tall letters were tall and the short letters were short.  The shorter of the two students struggled. When I asked for their feedback on this invented task, it came out. For one it was too hard. It took two hands to do it. She was erasing her efforts, quite mindful of her mistakes. Hmm. I want my students to have a measure of success. As her teacher it would be up to me to find I a better solution.

Another new challenge called X2O was received by my next two students, after all our regular exercises were carried out. In X to O, lumps of modeling clay were stuck to the bottom of the desk, in either the pattern of the letter X or of the letter O. Students lay on the floor under the desk, look up, pluck off lumps of clay with their writer hand, and reposition the lumps. This activity strengthens the muscles and grip of the writer's hand.

Throughout the rest of the day I considered which activity I would use to replace the failed TALL AND SHORT under the table. Would I do the TALL AND SHORT on top of the desk, as it is properly done, or introduce the X2O instead? I weighed the pros and cons.

A decision beyond my control redirected me Friday morning. The teacher whose room I use for our exercises had closed it down for a meeting. She offered another room, but I chose to have our group out in the nearby hallway. We have done it that way other times. It is a wide hallway.

CLIPS ON THE CHAIR came to mind. Perfect. All my students were familiar with it. A stack of three chairs and five clothes pins were all I needed. In one of my groups I have a new student. It was great. A regular student showed the new student how to sit on her bottom facing the back of the stacked chairs, pick clothes pins up with her writing hand one-at-a-time, and clip each pin on any flat ridge on the back of the chair. It could be up high, or on the side, and down low underneath. There were many possibilities to choose from. What a delightful re-direct!! Taken out of my hands.

With my last morning student came a surprise. After finishing all six of the required exercises, he was pushing himself on his back on the floor with his feet. TORNADO flashed into my mind. Of course!! TORNADO was created by a sixth grader of mine at the Carrollton middle school.

You lay on your side on the floor, pull yourself in circles in a clockwise manner, three rounds. Rest. Turn over to the other side, pull yourself in circles counter clockwise. The dizzy spin calmed nervous bodies. This last student was a bouncy student to begin with. Holding muscles still during the Hook Up, the Cross Crawl, Toe Touches, Superman, and Popcorn made the exercises boring to be sure, and a challenge, of course. Guess what? My bouncy student LOVED the Tornado. He burned up energy doing it. It was work. And it calmed him down. He WANTED  MORE  OF  IT!!!

WOW. I did not see this coming. My morning devotion had spoken of HIS  DIRECTION. As I drove in my car to my next building, to more students and more of my day job, I MARVELED---
YOU led me in this, Jesus. YOU LEAD me. YOU SURPRISE me. Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

one in the boat

My Brother by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on panel
(Private collection in Cameron, Missouri)
My Sister In Ethiopia by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on panel
(Private collection in Bellingham, Washington)
My Sister In Prayer by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on panel
(Private collection in Carrollton, Missouri) 
Brother Obermueller by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on panel
(Private collection in Carrollton, Missouri)
One Wrapped in Light by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on panel
(Artist's collection in Carrollton, Missouri)

Listen to four minute song 
from  "Dancing With The Chromosone" recording 2000
Who are You, Man of God?
Who are You, Man of God?
Who are You?
I read about You, You're the One in the boat,
waves are crashing all around them,
They don't know if they can float.

Who are You, oh Man of God?
Who are You, oh Man of God?
And with Your mouth You speak a command,
and the wind and the waves they OBEY.
What is this?

What is this?
Now you're telling me the things around me,
the wind and the ocean, obey his voice? WHO is this?

I let You in as my Savior, I'm learning about You every day,
Your scriptures tell me about what You did for me and that's ok,
but who are You to stop the waves?
Who are You to bring peace in a storm? Who are You?

Behind Those Stars by Karl Marxhausen

And in this class of biology, I am reading about
the smallest things that I can't see,
There You are, putting it together
So intelligent and smart You are.
I guess it's in the Bible, how You made all things
And in all things, things find their place in You.
Who are You, oh Man of God?

Who are You, oh Man of God?
Owner of a thousand hills, owner of a thousand cattle, You're the One.
Outside time You made this place,
not only on Earth, but in outer space.

Holy, I find You rare.
Such a love has no compare.
I'm a child of my Father
You love me, I am Your own.

How can I understand this?
Like David I'm found wanting.
I don't understand You,
Who are You, oh Man of God?
I believe You, I receive You, help me through it....

Karl Marxhausen © 2000

You Embrace Me, How Can You? by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on panel
(Artist's collection in Carrollton, Missouri)

Wired To Hear Your Voice by Karl Marxhausen
40 3/4  by 64 inches, acrylic and oyster shell on board

(Artist's collection in Carrollton, Missouri)
More on this work HERE

Open by Karl Marxhausen

acrylic on panel
(Artist's collection in Carrollton, Missouri)


Friday, November 16, 2012

best day muscles tell me

     I am so proud of  my kids!! ~ When they follow directions in class ~ When they do their brain gym exercises in an orderly manner ~ When they lead their classmates, counting up to twenty with their arms outstretched in front of them, as we do in "Superman" ~ When one gains new habits, starting his capital letters at the TOP and pulling the line DOWN. It is their "willingness to try" that pleases me. I see them as WRITERS, ENGINEERS, PROBLEM SOLVERS, and LEADERS. 

     His morning exercises completed, one crouches on top of an flattened cardboard box with FLAPS, reaching forward to grab the lid with both hands, busy in silence, going as far as this moment allows. He is affirmed for his effort, with this teacher's promise of another try on Monday.

    One stands occupied, studying the teacher sheets left out on the desktop, with her left foot crossed over her right foot, arms criss-crossed, hands entwined, still and focused, in a HOOK-UP. Her furtive eyes considering today's writing worksheet, pondering the meaning of TOP DOWN.
    Wednesday was the best day.********

There were music tracks from my "Chromosone" recording that released excitement. Sample: Dancing Medley 11:00 minutes  (Dancing With the Chromosone by Karl Marxhausen 2000, Cry of My Heart by Terry Butler 1991, I Could Sing by Martin Smith 1994) (Chromosone, Karl Marxhausen, 2000, vocals with guitar, 14 songs)The thrill of new material. video from which I learned that Mike Lyon is interested in the line work in his mammoth woodcuts. Submitted photos and videos from the KC Print Society gang have me all fired up, yee-oww!!

Affirmation from my brain gym supervisor at Field School gave me bearings.

Listening to Ms. Price read from Hatchet by Gary Paulsen took my mind back to a boat I made out of sticks and grass stems when I was 16 years old (above). In Hatchet, the main character was stripping a willow branch of bark to make a bow to get food for himself out in the woods, near the lake where the plane he was in crash landed. Just the kind of story the "boy-in-me" liked to imagine. 

After lunch it was all of us out on the asphalt shooting basketball hoops. Two fourth graders skirmishing against "this old dude." Taking the game lightly, in a goofy manner, swishing baskets in my mind, the boys hitting all their shots, the joy of getting along, taking turns, giving respect. And it was SO GOOD that my lower back started talking to me all about it when I was back in the classroom, after recess. My muscles talked to me for two days and then gave it up, Wednesday was that good.

By 3:30 pm, back in Carrollton, the energy was granted to pour THREE HOURS into Ms.Tilghman's presentation on east India wood block textiles.

++++++++++++++++++++++ nice !!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

test it please

My third graders have just finished all five brain gym exercises and compressions. There are a few minutes left to work on a motion puzzle. They have been practicing on one with a cardboard track and a ping pong ball with holes in it.The puzzle promotes eye and hand coordination.
 As with all my puzzles I practice them myself first. If I can do it my students will be successful themselves.

Watch Cardboard Track and Ball puzzle on video. Two minutes.

      After hauling this styrofoam tray around in my truck cab, I shared it with my students. I asked what they thought it was made of. Was it metal? No. Was it plastic? No. Was it heavy? No. I rolled the ball down two sides of the tray to plant the idea.  "What do you think?" I ask each. "Can it work? Test it for me, please." And they do.
     Two students have to sit down to do it. Most can tilt the tray with their two hands so that the ball rolls around once. Two passes around seems to be a threshold. So, the next time we meet, I have each tilt the tray so that the ball passes around two times and then as many times as they choose after that. All of them have gotten better at it.
     It is tricky because there are two big holes in the tray and it is easy for the ball to fall to the floor. This tray promotes eye and hand coordination.
     Now that they have acquired the focus needed and the ball is controlled. What else can they make it do? The students are becoming inventors. They try out a hunch. Test it out, trial and error. Sometimes it doesn't work as easy as they thought. Two students came up with ideas I hadn't thought of. I was pleased. Do they have a name in mind for the puzzle they discovered? I listen to their ideas.

Two minute video
This next week I will have each try the boards. It is a balance puzzle. And yes, I have been trying it myself. The thing is, if I can plant an idea, of course keeping it safe and do able. What might they come up with--as they master it?

Two minute video
The students I am assigned to need the brain gym exercises to get the right and left sides of their brains working together. I tell them that the exercises are designed to make the body want to fall over. The brain tries to over ride the fall.
Paul E. Dennison coined the term "brain gym."
My class does both Hook Ups and the Cross Crawl.
You can see what my students have come up with on my Motion Puzzle blog.
"Welcome to Motion Puzzles where students have created, tested, and named their own exercises. Balance is challenged. The left and right side of the brain sends emails back and forth, "NO NO, DO NOT TIP OVER!!"

(courtesy of Teacher Tube,,; and,, accessed Oct 21, 2012)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

school skills

O Lord, you are my strength and my shield. You bring me joy in pleasant ways. I sing your praise.

There is a delight when a student thinks for himself and formulates an answer, a guess, a hunch. The thinking through and voicing of her thought. This came Friday morning with my third graders. We had completed our six brain gym exercises, and time remained for a motion puzzle. I held out a large rectangular chunky looking tray to each in the group. What did they suppose was the tray was made of? Was is wood? No. Was it metal? No. One guessed, paper. Was it heavy? They held it with both hands. No, it was light. Then I continued, I had found this Styrofoam packing material left out for the janitor to discard. It had once been around a computer unit. I thought maybe it could be used here in our room. (I brought out the plastic golf ball from my jacket pocket, and placed it in the inside the tray.) I wondered whether you could figure it out. (Taking hold off the tray on both ends with my hands, I tilted the tray so that the ball would roll down one side and across the side closest to me. Just enough to plant the idea. We had been trying various forms of ball rolling back and forth on a cardboard track. See

Each student took three minutes to try their skill at making the ball run down all four sides of the tray in a circular fashion. In the middle of the tray there were two large preformed holes. Every student experienced the ball falling through the tray to the floor, bouncing under a table to retrieve on hands and knees. It was not as easy as it appeared. Two students chose to sit down instead of standing to complete the two loops. I thanked each for trying this exercise out for me. Some began coming up with names for the puzzle. The joy of the Lord enveloped my heart.

Friday afternoon at BMP I listened to a third grader read. Sounding out words you do not know is WORK and takes much COURAGE. Following the story with my eyes as he read, I could interject the right pronunciation of a word after he tried it himself first. The sentences came together in a halting fashion. Start stop start stop. Instead of gibberish, the story actually meant something and could be understood by both of us. After he finished the chapter we looked at the book illustrations and talked about the silk weaver woman, what an ox looked like, what the wooden cart looked like, and the pointed to the major characters by name. After completing the assignment, the student was delighted and in a pleasant mood. The joy of the Lord snuck into my heart and made my spirit soar.

You make my path straight. You bring me your joy in unexpected ways. How sweet you are. How gentle and kind.

Friday, September 7, 2012

streaming over

At the impulse of your love, at the impulse of your LOVE, at the IMPULSE of your love--it comes. Streaming fowler--rockhill memos--names off the record--the positioning of gertrude woolf lighton--jim edd spencer--subjects geary logan lankes leighton had in common. A sheet filled with ideas, my truck cruising over the late green of north carroll county, toward work in chillicothe. spirit sparking flashes, lines of data, to a writer's glee, your whee, your manner of business, downloading file after file. Thanks Lord. This is what you bring to me.
You heard my cry and flooded my data banks to overflowing. The abundance of mulberry essence, your sense, your timing, your impulse, effortless, soundless music to my mind, all you, sweet you, my God. It comes.

Remember it, as the evidence lays ready to the right of the keyboard. Recall the goodness,the magnitude of him, who leads you into MORE. Delectable, always tending to your needs. Thank you Lord. Pull me back to your name, your genuine attention, your assurance, your fullness, your poetry, your symphony of good coded in my mitochondria.

you restore missing files from the hard drive, files buried within other files, you help me extract and consolidate: geary, spencer, memos, holly street, lighton. with clear air you release organization, thank you, thank jesus, thank you father, transfer complete, blessed be your magnificent power, your blessed interface, your pronouced exactitude,
"Delight in Me," you whisper close. On this cool day in September, yard blessed with new green shoots, leaves chanting your praise, windows open to refresh the house, cats napping and listening to the rustle breeze, I delight, Oh Lord, I remember, Oh God, I smile. Fingers tapping, pauses choosing, yes, to your credit, you are worthy of word and song.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

twelve by twelve

Double click on images below.

Majestic by Karl Marxhausen
hand-pulled linoleum impression
signed edition 4 of 10,
image size: 12" h x 12" w
sheet size: 18" h x 18"
monogram in left corner

Order yours at
Burkholder Project
719 P Street
Lincoln, Nebraska

dark from foltz

It was the Lloyd Foltz print exhibit at the American Legacy Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri that took me in to THE DARK. While at the opening I had author Barbara Thompson sign my copy of the above pictured book. You can order the book HERE. It was the use of darkness in Foltz's block prints that later helped me envision Glade 1. Double click on next closeups.

I was halfway through my first linocut reduction,
when the idea of light cascading from the sky took hold.
Cuts were made on a varnished birch panel
twelve inches square.

Two such prints are in the August exhibit.
It is the darkest dark that I love.
Double click on image. 

Glade 1 by Karl Marxhausen
hand-pulled woodcut on white sulphite paper
image size: 12" h x 12" w
sheet size: 18" h x 18" w
signed edition 2 of 10
monogram in left corner

Among The Mulberries by Karl Marxhausen
hand-pulled woodcut on white sulphite paper
image size: 12" h x 12" w
sheet size: 18" h x 18" w
signed edition 2 of 10
monogram in left corner

Order yours at
Burkholder Project
719 P Street
Lincoln, Nebraska


Double click on image to see details

Untitled #1 (Shadow)
plein air acrylic on cradled panel
12" h x 12.25" w
Signature lower left

Untitled #2 (Mulberry Beach)
plein air acrylic on canvas
9" h x 12" w x 3/4" d
Signature lower right

Untitled #3 (Waterway)
plein air on canvas panel
9" h x 12" w
Signature lower right

Untitled #4 (East)
plein air on cradled panel
16" h x 20"w x 1.5" d
Signature right hand side

Untitled #5 (Greens) by Karl Marxhausen
plein air acrylic on cradled panel
11" h x 14" w
Signature lower right

Self Portrait by Karl Marxhausen
acrylic on watercolor paper
12" h x 9"w
Signature lower left

CONTACT Lisa Holmquist or Anne Burkholder for purchase
Phone: 402-477-3305
(Please call only during gallery hours)
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 4pm
Saturday: 10am - 2pm
(9am - 3pm during Farmers Market)
Monday by appointment

Burkholder Project
719 P Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

Monday, July 30, 2012

his answer

Shouts of joy resound in my tent. He did it.
The Lord has done mighty acts. He answered me.
Thus, pens song writer and poet David, son of Jesse.
The day the dragon wind howled in my ears,
surrounded by juicy mulberries,
just west of the Floyd Levee, off blacktop B,
this is the information I came home with.
 My dream was to capture
the branches going up up up above my head,
 yeah, imagine this, on a horizontal canvas.
Double click on image to enlarge.
(15"h x 24"w on stretched canvas)
The dream took shape
when I rendered an abstract on square paper.
(18 x 18 inches)
It was during the workouts
 in the water and
 the sauna heat,
the waiting, the pausing,
the resting of the mind,
that He brought it to me.

The square graphite came next.
(12 x 12 inches)
There are too many
changes that He granted,
praise to His name, His majestic name.
So grateful this image came to be.
The desire of my heart,
placed within by His intention
bestowed by His affection.
Harder still would be 
the converting
of graphite swiggles
 into solid black shapes.
Inked linoleum block
 (twelve inches square)
Double click on images to see enlarged.
Trial proof

Woodcuts and paintings
Now on display
lower level of Burkholder Project
Lincoln, Nebraska
August 3-28