Monday, September 22, 2014

Van Gogh Artist study

Lately we've been doing some artist studies.  We started with O'Keefe (because our poppies were blooming like crazy and she painted poppies) and moved on to Van Gogh....because now our sunflowers were going gangbusters!  Tying the artists into our garden has really worked well for us and has helped direct which artist to study next.
We take it nice and slow....
We listened to Starry, Starry Night by Don McClean. 
 We read some children's nonfiction books about Van Gogh (often I pick through and just read some of the parts and we examine the pictures).  For Van Gogh I didn't go into all the details surrounding his suicide and his depression, etc.  I keep it appropriate for my kiddos' development.

Then we tried his expressionist style of drawing, using the Starry Night for inspiration and pastels.
 Q wrote his name for us each day on the chalkboard.

 We are also enjoying these Crayola Slick Writers--similar to pastels but slightly easier to use and less smudgy, but still a LITTLE smudgy.  Beck, especially, likes them!  And Q went wild and drew every spare second of her day with them for the first two weeks we had them.  :)
 But mostly we just used regular oil pastels.
 Then we tried our hand at drawing sunflowers.
 (random streamers were due to Q's bday festivities....)
 We REALLY loved these two books.  Beautiful pictures, simple story, and very informative.  We probably read each book 5 times.

My kids have just loved learning about Van Gogh and were very captivated by his paintings--especially the sunflowers, Vincent's Chair, Vincent's Room, Cafe at Arles at Night and Starry Night.  We've seen a few random Van Gogh reproductions at various spots over the past weeks and I am so proud when one of them notices and excitedly exclaims, "There's a Van Gogh!!"  I had fun with this, too!  Q has asked to study Paul Gauguin next, as he was a contemporary of Van Gogh and they painted together (and he was likely the reason Van Gogh cut off his ear....)