Monday, March 03, 2014

It's Art

                                         Okay, formatting all the pictures on this post was the most miserable task I've conquered in a while, and actually I far from conquered it as you'll notice.  Regardless, welcome to the somewhat mediocre evidence that my poor homeschooled children have learned something this year, or at least been exposed to educational information. Our goals, curriculum, and schedule are ever-evolving, but our study of famous artists and composers has remained constant, and not coincidentally, been my most favorite subject to study with them. 
Splatter painting seemed a good place to start, enter Jackson Pollock.  Here's Erik's interpretation, with Ellie's and mine below, respectively.

Edgar Degas's famous ballerinas were a delight to study, and finding a painting simple enough to attempt to duplicate proved the challenge.  Ellie and I gave it a shot.

Erik opted for an equestrian sketch, another famous subject for Degas, though Erik took some artistic liberty adding the cowboy.  His drawing always makes me smile.

Thanks to TMNT, Michaelangelo was the next artist they selected.  First we created artwork by taping paper to the bottom of our kitchen table and definitely gained an appreciation for the method Michaelangelo used painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Then we tried some hands, which were surprisingly difficult!

Erik put a good effort into Adam's hand but decided God was up for a high five instead.

Next up, Georges Seurat in all his pointillist glory.

Again, a good start from Erik but struggled with the follow-through.  In his defense, these are all pretty challenging projects.  We seem to be surprised at the emotional fortitude required each time to complete an art reproduction.

Learning from Michaelangelo's hands, I went ahead and printed a sketch of Leonardo Da Vinci's Maddona of the Rocks.  The detail and subtlety was daunting, but for better or worse, we persevered!

Erik opted out of participating in our Van Gogh painting session and I must've been too emotionally drained to care.  Ellie and I tried using plastic forks to create the stripey texture, but I think having the proper paint and canvas would've helped.  Still a fun project.

I don't think this is the actual Claude Monet original we copied, there were so many after all, but it captures the essence.  At least for me and Ellie, this was one of the more rewarding art sessions.  Lily pads are much more forgiving than facial features.

I wish Erik would've finished because I think he'd have made something beautiful, but after several frustrated outbursts over the particular shade not being achieved, his paper had been wiped off and scratched to its breaking point.  He was also at his breaking point.

Matisse made some fun paintings that we would've enjoyed copying, but his paper cutting work is unique to him so we had to give the method a go.  Erik actually did finish a nice paper collage of a rose, but unfortunately lost it. 

Ellie created a scene of Byzantine worshippers in front of the Hagia Sophia.  Totally her idea.

I was feeling much more light-hearted, depicting my kiddies entertaining themselves in our lovely backyard.

I love Mary Cassatt's impressionist work, mostly of mothers and children.  Ellie chose this artist, eager to study our first female artist.

I was so proud of Erik for finishing this painting!  I recall that it took the larger part of an entire day, lots of redirecting, validating, persuading, encouraging, adapting, and waiting patiently.  Noses are really struggly to paint, I know it.  That's why I'm so proud of him.  Also, I'm proud of me because all of those unfinished paintings of Erik's above are really just evidences of my unwillingness to painstakingly walk him through the process, not allowing him to give up just because it's difficult.  Now I know what we're both capable of!

This was the original work of Cassatt's that Erik chose to copy, on account of it appearing to be an easier project.  You'd think we'd have learned by now that they are never, ever easy!

And what a homely likeness it is!  Faces are so, so struggly, I tell ya.  

Ah, good ole Picasso.  Can't go wrong here, right?

I really love the way our collages turned out, and it was refreshing to create something with somewhat lower expectations of its visual appeal.  

This month it's Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Georgia O'Keeffe, just like last month...  We slacked a little on our art curriculum in February.  Still, we're learning something together, we three, and if the Department of Public Education or whoever enforces these things shows up at my door demanding to know what my children have learned over the past six months, this will be most of the hard evidence I can offer.  Is there a way I can get a hard copy of their improved critical thinking, creativity, curiosity and contentment? Yeah, didn't think so.  Wish me luck! 


Unknown said...

Ok, some of those interpretations are actually really good. I especially love Elle's Hagia Sophia, as in, how much is she selling it for? I'm doubly impressed because I know of a surety that I would be more of the Erik school of thought, were I to attempt any of these. Well, well done you three!

Thomas Family said...

Seriously impressed!! You guys are really good!!

Heather said...

I am totally impressed! I love that you are doing this with your kids.

Karrot Soup said...

Wow. Do you remember at one point I told you that you were really growing into your motherhood? Double and triple, I want to come to your art school, please. That was one of the best posts to bring new thought of love and appreciation for you, somehow seeing what you've so painstakingly created was even better than pictures of your beautiful selves. Yay!

Mandy said...

You are one crazy amazing teacher, my friend!! LOVE this post and the way you write and talk in general actually ;) Happy to have your blog now....let the invasion into your personal life begin. :)