Another subject we don’t find as much time for as I would like. This time it is not lack of motivation but lack of time that is the determining factor. Hoping that by reorganising our schedule/activities a bit and studying alongside others we will find the carve out the time.
1) He’ll be starting art classes at a centre in Fareham to work on the lower levels of the Art Award (dipping toe into field of recognised qualifications). I think that these will only be a short term thing for this term though. Should add hopefully – will depend on whether enough sign up for them to run the course.
2) Sketching practice. We’ll be working on observational drawings, taking our Book of Centuries out to museums and a sketch book on nature walks.
3) Introduction to Famous Artists. We’ll be looking at a different artist every half-term and a different piece of work every week. We’ve chiselled time out in our week by planning on slotting it in before Spanish so friends will be joining us.
We are going to make use of stories and start by covering the artists in Anholts Artists series.
I have prepared factsheets on our first artist and works of art we’ll be covering. We have quite a few different about the artist books although these ones are the best.
We won’t do the artist worksheet with the group and we will see on the timing about the works of art ones. May do the facts element and leave the opinion element to be done individually. Developing opinions and considering why he likes/dislikes works of art is something I am keen to work on this year.
The second aspect of the artist study is observation. Very much placing my own interpretation on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy I’ve produced a series of ‘picture study’ worksheets which encourage the children to look at the picture or a particular element ofthe picture in detail and then try and reproduce from memory.
The third element is to produce their own piece of work inspired by the one we are covering. I’m not an artist (although hopefully not completely incompetent) so focus will be more on expression and exploring different media than on technical skills. Plan for first half term can be seen here – Matisse plan. Over the years I have greatly whittled down my art books to a few good ones that I can draw on for inspiration if needed, Matisse though with his simple lines and strong colours provides all the inspiration needed.
The fourth and final element is to hopefully get out and see as many pieces we are studying in their original in galleries as we can. Obviously with many that will not be possible, I’d love to visit the Louvre and the Metropolitan in New York but unlikely so will have to do the best we can. We’ve arrangements to catch the Matisse exhibition at the Tate before it closes in early Sep and will hopefully make it to the National to see what Monet’s/Da Vinci’s they have (undecided which to do next – Monet’s poppies would fit in nicely with Remembrance Day/WW1 plans but quite fancy the idea of Vitruvian Man out of Gingerbread for last session before Christmas). Earlier in the summer I read newspaper coverage about the artist Jake Chapman claiming galleries were not the place for children – they won’t understand the ‘complexity’ of many works of art. Well to be perfectly honest neither do I in many cases but I still like looking at them and I think it is incredibly pretentious to think you have in depth understanding of a piece to appreciate it. The trick to me in enjoying galleries with children is not trying to do it all, go to view a handful of works and focus on them and then leave before anyone gets fractious.