For this week's stART project, we learned about a new artist: Mary Cassatt.
We read these books:
The kids LOVE the dvd versions, as well.(We watched this volume today after we read our book.) They will sit and watch one of these, just as well as they'll watch Curious George or whatever. I really like them, too. (I pick up more from these dvd's than I would in an adult documentary.) They're narrated animation, and they go through the whole life of the artist in a light-hearted, humorous way. At the end of the story, they stream images of the artist's paintings (plus the title and where the work is currently located) across the screen.
OUR ART PROJECT:
I got the idea for this project here. I gave the kids a piece of colored paper, colored chalk, and kid-safe pastels. (Cassatt generally used pastels.) I asked them to remember what kind of subjects Cassatt generally drew. They remembered: people, specifically the mother/child theme. She liked to draw women embracing motherhood, and she also liked capturing women as intelligent beings (such as a woman reading a book). She mostly just liked to portray everyday activities as being important.
I told the kids they had to use realistic colors for their pictures. (This is really hard for Tornado; he was constantly picking up blue to make lips or green to make skin. I reminded him that drawing pictures of people was important to Cassatt, and she wanted to portray them with honesty. I know normally you want to let your kids use their imagination and not stifle their creativity. I was trying to show through this project that artists learn from other artists, and they even learn from practicing copying others' work.
Sissy's Girl Picking Flowers for her Grandma
Dash drew a boy in a boat, with a dolphin swimming next to him.
When working with chalk, I had to remind them to watch their arms resting on their paper. And if chalk dust built up, softly blow it away, instead of trying to wipe it off.
Here are a few of our other artist studies and projects: