School has officially started. My kids have been studying ancient history for a month now three days a week with my dear friend Heather who is an INCREDIBLE history teacher, and now we have started fine arts class with me on Friday afternoons. I guess the year never officially ended... but I have to say that I believe we have officially started this next year. I am starting to write down what we do and fully counting it towards the 3rd and 8th grade years.
The class that I started teaching today for our homeschool group was SO much fun that I may just want to go on forever. It is loosely based on the Meet The Masters program. Which, when I started thinking about teaching this class, was transitioning from a book program to a online program and wasn't available (it is now). The program is really neat though if you want to check it out... tons of ideas!
Meet The Masters
Stemming off of that, I started looking into the masters of art myself and seeing what fun projects I could come up with to have a full class of little artists.
Today was our introduction. We made our art portfolios and then we started class with a book called I Am An Artist by Pat Lawery Collins which describes how to look through your eyes at anything and see art in a very child friendly gentle way. I asked the kids to put their art eyes on, and look at a few painters with me. Then we looked at pictures of Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Piet Mondrian, MC Escher, Pueblo Picasso, and Claude Monet. I talked about the works and lives of each person very quickly, and then moved on to their differences in the way they saw the world. I read a page of Sunflowers and Swirly Stars by Joan Holub that talks about the differences between Theo Van Gogh (Vincents brother), Paul Gauguin, and Vincent... and the way they saw the world. Then I went on to ask about different paintings of Van Gogh's and what the kids thought of them.
"Was it hot or cold?"
"What about this one?"
We went a little bit in to technique just enough to start talking about texture. Some of Van Gogh's paintings took up to two weeks to dry. This means that there was a LOT of paint on Van Gogh's paintings. It also means that they were not flat... they had lots of bumps in the paint, lots of texture. This lead quite easily into talking about the way he used texture to convey movement and warmth (or lack of) and we did a few exercises.
Then we finished with a book called The Artist's Palette by Elizabeth Koda-Callen. That story came with a treat from me. A little artists palette necklace for each one of the kiddos that Cyan and I made.