Art Appreciation Impressionists – Van Gogh’s Irises

I LOVE Impressionist Art!

We studied several famous Impressionist artists this year ~ and the famous Van Gogh leads the way!

My irises in full bloom

Last summer my irises flowered in a spectacular display and it reminded me of Van Gogh’s paintings.  I decided that this was the perfect time to look at several of his works.

Van Gogh’s Irises

I cut a bunch of irises, placed them in a vase and draped a cloth to create a neutral background.  We decided to work on A4 size paper.  We created a quick border, sketched the flowers in pencil and used acrylic paints to paint the irises.  It was a challenging lesson!

Painting our still life … note the dejected expressions at this stage in the lesson …I’ll admit that although the results were really lovely, there were some tears … 😦

I taught art in public schools for 10 years I never saw any tears, but being their mom and teacher, I found that there is a network of emotional connections that spill out …

My 9-year-old’s irises

My 6-year-old’s irises

My 14-year-old’s irises

My own irises!

Somehow children process their frustrations and difficulties differently with strangers and acquaintances, like their sports coaches or art tutors.

  • Do you also experience this in your homeschooling ?
  • How do you work through these moments?

Pop over to my Art Page for all my other art appreciation lessons and free downloads.

6 thoughts on “Art Appreciation Impressionists – Van Gogh’s Irises

  1. Totally true!

    We have yet, in our year and 1/2 of schooling @ home to do art the way I would like without groans and tears. Oh wait, once.
    It’s frustrating, because I went to art school, taught children and haven’t really been practicing in a little while (having babies, home schooling) — but it’s frustrating because they don’t realize what they have at their fingertips. A real Artist/Art Teacher.
    Oh well.
    What I have done, is snuck it in where I can in other subjects, not really making it a formal thing (like what I want). My son is obviously not into it, YET! hhaa ha haa (bad guy laugh)

    This winter I’ll be starting to incorporate artist study — finally. Once in a while they look through all our old texts from university and enjoy it.

    I didn’t start learning formally till a teenager. So your kids are ahead of the game.


    • I love your sneaky art!
      Actually this formal art approach only takes place once a term or so … my girls love crafts more and we relax and enjoy that more often. I’ve learnt to make nature journalling non-art times and just let them sketch, doodle, and write a little. (But here I sneak in the nature guide info! – smile!)


  2. The Van Gogh study is wonderful! Your (all of you) still life paintings are glorious! I love Irises too. I never see them in China. Wonder why.

    As to crying. I hate to admit that it does happen here. As a public school teacher, I was so careful to be sensitive. I think that with our own children we forget those safeguards. A good reminder, Nadene.


  3. I just found your blog through Homeschool Freebies. Oh, I will spend hours hear looking over all of your wonderful resources.

    I just want to say that all of your iris art is lovely!!! Please let your girls know I am very impressed.
    Thank you so much for sharing all of your hard work with us!
    What a blessing! I pray your day is blessed.


  4. I love purple, I love irises, and I love Van Gogh’s paintings. Your irises are all just beautiful!
    I can absolutely relate to the tears – inparticular with one of my girls. We had it just last week when we were watching a drawing instruction dvd, lots of tears (I think tiredness after a late night played a part) from one of my daughters, but after letting it all out, she seemed to find her groove and produced a beautiful picture. I think some of us (and our children) who don’t seem “naturally gifted” don’t realise what is in there until they receive some quality instruction and just have a go!


  5. Pingback: Van Gogh’s Sunflowers ~ Art Appreciation Lesson | Practical Pages

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