30 April 2013

Bean Van Gogh (September 2012)

Miss Bean's classes started in September with Vincent Van Gogh.  I knew the art she made in this class was going to knock my socks off from the first thing they brought home, Starry Night:

Yes, I admit, I may be biased, but this was the best one in the class.  Miss Bean wasn't even the oldest in the class at that time (it was much bigger in September than it is now).

Next up is Sunflowers:  

Since Van Gogh painted lots and lots of sunflowers, this isn't a copy of any particular picture.  Instead, the teacher brought in a vase of sunflowers that she put in the middle of the table and they all painted it.  It was fun seeing all the different paintings, each from a different perspective depending on where around the table each kid was!

And a still life (with a bonus sunflower, of course):

I think this may have been a warm up before the Sunflowers still life.  Also, this one might need to be rotated 90° counterclockwise.  Bean couldn't remember for sure, but this was her best guess.

And finally, a self-portrait:

Neither Bean nor I are 100% sure this one belongs in the Van Gogh stack, but she vaguely remembered that they talked about colors being connected to mood. With my limited art history background, that brought Van Gogh's self portraits to mind and seemed to fit better than the other possibilities.  Note to self:  I really need to stay on top of these things and make notes right away, don't I?

Diva's Weekly Challenge #116

This week's challenge is called "Blind Sighted" and challenges us to use a blind string...just what it sounds like.  Put the pencil on a border, close eyes, and draw a string.  Once of the advantages of using my little sketchbook instead of a regular tile is that it was pretty obvious when I just about to run into the spiral binding or when I went lurching over the edge of the cliff page.  I tried to experiment with a little more white space than I usually have, but I felt like it still needed something:

So I tried tangling the stems of the Zingers:

I think it was my inability to draw parallel lines for the stems that was bugging me, but I kind of like the tangled stems, so we'll go with that.  Since I tend to get bogged down looking at a blank frame, the blind string made that part a little easier, so a fun challenge!  Thanks, Diva!

24 April 2013

Artist Girl

Bean has been the resident artist for a long time now (this picture still cracks me up).  This year, she has been taking a homeschool art class at the Monroe Street Arts Center up in Madison.  In the class, they focus on one artist each month.  They learn a little art history, see some famous examples of their art, and do art projects either copying famous pictures or doing their own take in the style of the artist.  It will come as a surprise to no one who has me the girl that she ADORES the class!  Her only complaint was that some of her classmates were more interested in talking to each other than making art and were disturbing her.  My vivid imagination is imagining the top picture from the link above.  Since the first of the year, the class size has gotten smaller and she is better able to concentrate, and even when the class was bigger, I don't think the noise was a make-or-break deal.

Anyway, today the sun was out for a change (no clouds, rain, or snow for a change), so I finally got all of her class art projects hauled out into the sun to take pictures.  Over the next week or two, I'm planning on posting her pictures by month, so watch this space.

The other fun part about the class is the other things it has led to outside the class.  She and I have been hauling artist biographies and stories and picture out from the library.  We read three out of four volumes of a nice kid-level art history series (the fourth volume isn't in our library system, or more precisely, is but the only copy is lost) and watched an older PBS art history series (Art of the Western World).  Currently, we have segued off the beaten path to read about illustrators.  Along with the monstrous pile of books we have been hauling home from the library each week, one was Talking With Artists, which, for each of fourteen artists, gives a short biography and then has each artist's answers to eight questions that are commonly asked when folks like these talk to students or do a reading.  In addition to reading from the book we have also put holds on several books by each illustrator, so we read and look at pictures after we read about one of the illustrators.  We are currently a couple of illustrators in to the second volume and I just discovered a third volume.  I guess we'd better get reading!

The sad thing?  First, we have already read down the pile by at least a dozen books since the beginning of the week.  Second, this stack doesn't even finish off the second book. It's a good thing the librarians like us, or they would be hating us with all the holds we have been picking up!  We'll whittle down this pile a bit before putting holds on books by the last few illustrators in Volume Two.

Anyhoo, more pictures, less blabbing in the next several posts as I get Miss Bean's masterpieces posted.

22 April 2013

Happy Earth Day