Thursday, June 5, 2008

Drawing and Art as an end to the school year

Cyan only has two more stories in her primer. Explode the Code and Singapore Math books are finished. We have been focusing more on our backyard and less on animals from far away places... we have been pulling in, getting ready for the summer vacation. We started the year with art, and ended the year with art.

For the last two days, we have been reading and drawing, then reading and drawing some more. We found this wonderful archive of Jan Brett videos that include a whole bunch of "How to Draw a..." videos. Cyan has been watching them every spare minute she can. She has been sitting at the table, enraptured with the author/illistrators every move and asking me to pause the show when she falls behind. Here are some of her works from these fun little draw-a-longs:

Jan Brett has three hedgehogs. Two mamas and a little one. They are the CUTEST things! OMGoodness! At the beginning of her 'How to Draw a Hedgehog' video, she shows her baby hedgehog, which is pretty much the sweetest thing ever. She also tells the story about when one of her hedgehogs got loose and got stuck in one of her socks, which was the inspiration for our favorite Jan Brett book "The Hat".

I love this sweet little chick!

This is my favorite of the day. Cyan did such an amazing job!

As you can tell, I really love Jan Bretts work, and she has a generous spirit to have all of these activities for kids to follow along with on her web site. I am sure part of the goal is to get people to better know her work, but her love of her art shows through every thing she puts on there, and it is just so neat to be able to share some of my favorite fine art authors with my kids on such a personal level. I mean really? How many 6 year olds know what some of their favorite authors look like? Much less get to draw along with them on video and watch them take trips to Africa!

I remember what Dr Suess looks like from my youth from his pictures on the backs of his books... and a wonderful local illistrator and author, Jasper Tompkins, I got to meet when I was young at a Young Authors confrence (which I am fully ready to have my kids go to!). I remember these moments fondly. My dad is an English Prof and my mom ran Young Authors in this county for years... the fondness for good books was one of the few things they shared, and well, it is just really neat to be able to share that same love with my children.

You see the difference in hair color? The red/gold is my color... just a bit lighter. The blonde blonde is more toe-head and I believe that Cyan's hair will go brown before she is a teen. Maybe light brown, but brown, more like daddy. I think that Logan will have hair like mine. I love this picture. :)

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