Friday, September 4, 2009

Fine Art Class #6 ~ Mary Cassatt

Today we studied Mary Cassatt. We started out the class with a video about her life played by Amy Brenneman. My kids and another family had seen it before, but the kids still got a lot out of it. Especially since I had flagged the actual paintings they see in the movie in the art books and popped them out on queue. :) (Our whole group are avid users of the public library.)

After the movie, the kids could all say where Mary Cassatt was from (Pittsburgh in America) and name where she loved to live (Paris, France). They could also name the style of art she did (Impressionism) and a couple of other people she knew (Edgar Degas being the main one. We touched a little bit on her friend Louisa May Alcott, but none of the girls are really old enough for Little Women so they only knew her by name, not by literature.)

After this, we had a snack and a break, and I got the kids seated for their art project. The first thing we did was look at some more of Mary Cassatt's art work. We looked at these ones:

And then, we looked at this one:

We had a nice long conversation about 'formal' and 'casual', and about the style of the day (ladies going out in hats and gloves). The kids sucked this up! I went through the flash cards that I had of Cassatt's paintings and asked if they were each 'formal' or 'casual' and the kids were bouncing off their seats with answers. We also talked about patterns of dress, and how Cassatt used the patterns in the clothing of the time to create contrasts in her artwork.

Then we got ready for our art project.

Because all the ladies that were in 'formal' wear always wore hats, we made the silhouette hat project out of Meet the Masters. The kids each cut out a traced silhouette and then followed instructions to make a pastel colored hat with a plaid pattern on it. We practiced the plaid before hand on a white sheet of paper and then cut out our hats from the card stock.

They turned out really beautifully!

Some of course, were open to 'artist interpretation'.

The whole time they were doing their project, I saw other lessons coming through their work. Talk about texture and about how the hat has to be the right size for the head because they were both in the foreground... it was GREAT! Above is a picture of Cyan 'squishing' Abbie's head trying to explain about depth perception. lol!

Another great class!!


Bona Fide Mama said...

that was just too much fun! how funny that the kids loved formal vs casual!

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

These turned out great!
I know this was a LONG time ago, but we're about to do the MTM Cassatt "hats" project and I'm wondering where you got the silhouette to trace. There doesn't seem to be one in the project package PDF, so I'm wondering if you downloaded it elsewhere.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

It was in my package, but I am sure you can find one on line on google images that will work. It's just a womans face silhouette.

Have a beautiful day!