Monday, January 26, 2015

{Artist Study} :: Fra Angelico

Artist Study is one of the kids' favorite little "extras".
Because they spend so much time on it, I save it for the last activity of the day. 

I do the Picture Study, per Miss Mason's suggestions, and it really is a wonderfully simple, yet powerful, learning experience.

We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.
-CM, Vol 1: Home Education, p 309

My 8yo son's own depiction of Noli me tangere, by Fra Angelico

We attach a good deal of value to what we call picture talks, that is: - a reproduction of a suitable picture ... is put into the children's hands, and they study it by themselves. Then, children of from six to nine describe the picture, giving all the details and showing by a few lines on the blackboard where is such a tree or such a house; judging if they can the time of day; discovering the story if there be one. The older children add to this some study of the lines of composition, light and shade, the particular style of the master; and reproduce from memory certain details. The object of these lessons is that the pupils should learn how to appreciate rather than how to produce.
-CM, Vol 3: School Education, p 239

A study of the Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb:

Although I don't require my children to draw and color a reproduction of these art pieces, they have an insatiable desire to try their hand at it. I do not discourage them because they really love it so much. Also I have not had them do the reproduction from memory (yet!). Reading through this particular quote above has reminded me of where I should be heading as our Picture Study continues to advance.

What we do:
  • Look at the chosen work first, silently, for about 4-5 minutes together. 
  • My younger one tells everything she remembers about it (actually quite remarkably well for a 6-year-old in her first term!)
  • Afterwards, my 8-year-old does his telling, adding to what was already mentioned.
  • Sometimes we have time to do a copy of the work immediately after the narration; other times it must wait until the following week.

Just recently, my artistic 8-year-old has begun not only copying the main portion of the painting. He has been adding in his own stylistic elements. (see top picture's drawing of Noli me tangere)

And now the Resurrection:

My daughter prefers to do hers more closely adhering to the original work:

How do you do artist study?

Is it an enjoyable addition to your week's educational studies?

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