One of my most favorite projects with my second graders was an art history book. A class mother, who was also my friend, asked why I didn't teach Art Appreciation and I said, "You're right! I should do that." So I gave my students postcards of famous works of art from the Met and assigned them to draw the image and write an essay about it. Some writing prompts were, What do you think of this picture? How would you describe it? What do you think the artist was thinking? "How would you like to be inside this picture?"
Here are a few samples.
They had to pick the cards sight unseen and I was glad that a little girl chose this one. When she turned it over her eyes popped! Here's what she did with it.
The handwriting is excellent but I'll print the text. She wrote; Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres French, 1780-1867 Portrait of the Princess de Broglie If I was Princess de Broglie I would be happy. I would think I would live a long life. Every day I would have a new dress. My mom and Dad would be King and queen!
Then there's Gauguin
This kid writes;
Paul Gauguin, France (1848-1903)
I think it's got nice colors. But I wouldn't want to be there. Because it looks too hot and you can't take the subway home.
H. W. Janson, eat your heart out!
These were all priceless but the one I found really inspiring was this rendering of the Mona Lisa. Look at her.
I couldn't resist this. I took that face and really went to town.
The little boy who drew this Mona Lisa is now a grown man, maybe with children of his own. I wish I could show him how much I love what he did.
Working like this is a nice vacation from my usual pen and inks but I haven't quit those. Here's an update on the House of Yellow.
The roof is framed in and ready for the shingles. I'm not sure what color to make the front door but it will become clear as I fill in what surrounds it.
There are two great events this weekend that I want to let you know about.
September 29, 2022