Thursday, 19 January 2012

Picture Study / Artist Appreciation

This year I want to incorporate more of Charlotte Mason's methods into our homeschool.  We won't go full-out for a CM curriculum as we are Afrikaans speaking, but we will start the year with art and music appreciation.  January is the start of our new school year and a great time to start with new ideas.

Last week we started with reading and revision, while this week we added the artist and composer.  For the artist I chose Jan Vermeer, as we have a Time-Life Book about his life and works.  I bought three of these series at a second-hand book shop for about R50 a book.  They cover the life of an artist but also have a lot of prints from other artists.  So we will be able to use the book for more than one artist.

I first made a selection of 6 works by Vermeer, those that are on full or even double pages.  This week we will study Street in Delft.  I wanted a picture that would capture the attention of the children and has interesting detail.  That way artist appreciation starts on a positive note (and I will try my best to keep it that way).

Simeon had to look at the picture for about five minutes and had to try to see it in his minds-eye.  Afterwards I turned the book around and let his describe what he saw.  I think for a first time it went well and we will refine the process as we go on.  Next week I want him to have a good look again and then try to copy it.  That is also a good way for a person to become part of the picture. 

Afterwards I propped the book on an old artist easel, so it will stay upright and in sight, and on a little side table in the passage from the rooms to the kitchen and near our dining room / homeschool table 

I use a clip to keep the book open on the particular page.  This also stops the children from turning the pages and looking at other pictures.  The idea is that they concentrate on this one picture for a week or two.

I found this video very helpful.  It shows exactly how Picture Study can be done.

This is a copy of the picture: The Bouquet of Daisies / Margueritas by Jean-Francois Millet that I downloaded from here:

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