Oh, don't get me started.
We LOVE our artist study. It was Sonja Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason who demonstrated this in such a lovely way and I've been doing it her way ever since. Rather than going into all the details, I'll share this video of her instruction. We study one artist for six weeks - I select six of that artist's works (usually from Ambleside Online) and then download those to a disk. I take them to a local print shop, hae them printed in color on card stock (sounds pricey, but at the chain in our town I get a copy for each of the boys on 5 x 7 and one for our wall - all this for way under $5.00). So, in one year we will study six artists total - six weeks of "living with" each one.
After we have done our brief study of the art work for the week, I frame the art work and put it up in one of the six places in our home where we constantly rotate in the art we are studying. This way we live with each piece of art for six weeks in a row as we study that artist. Let's say there is frame #1 near my entry way. I put our first picture of Van Gogh in there while we are studying him. Next week I fill frame #2 and on it goes. But, what was in the frame prior to that? It was Monet, whom we last studied. So, for a time, while we are filling in Van Gogh week by week onto our walls, we have some Monet still up. By week six we will have all Van Gogh ... until we go to the next artist and their work starts to replace Van Gogh piece by piece. This way each work stays with us a total of six weeks. It is in our DNA and subconscious to recognize these paintings/drawings as our own. And, bonus, our home looks lovely with little prints of great art up all the time.
My children recognize famous artists and works of art and can discern a Monet from a Michelangelo merely by investing five to ten minutes a week in our artist study. But, more than that, they love and appreciate art.
Beyond studying artists we also practice art using three curriculum. The first is Exploring Art with Great Artists book which features art projects which emulate the great artists we are studying. Some of the projects we have done through this book include taping paper under the coffee table and the boys laying on their backs to get the feel of what it would be like to paint the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. We have painted paper with water and then painted on top of the water to get a feel for Impressionism. We have thickened paint with flour to make it like "impasto" which Van Gogh used to paint his famous paintings like Starry Starry Night and Sunflowers. For each six week period of school I select two projects which reflect the style or era of the painter we are studying and we carve out two hours on a Friday every three weeks to spend time doing art. This isn't the time we focus on skill development. We are just experiencing art in different modes and approaches.
|My Five-Year-Old's Van Gogh's Sunflowers|
|My 12-Year-Old's Picasso Style Painting|
|My 12-Year-Old's Motorcycle Racer|