Practical Pages

Art Appreciation ~ Mary Cassatt

Image via Wikipedia

Our latest Famous Impressionist Artist is

Mary Cassatt

She was different from all our previous Impressionist Artists in that she was ~

We read a short biography and viewed her art on a slide show.

Then the children wrote a brief narration on our Famous Impressionist Artist biography pages. (You’ll notice that I acted as scribe for my 8-year-old.  She will soon start to write much more on her own, but she loves to dictate her detailed narrations and I wanted all the time available for painting.)

They each chose a thumbnail painting of Cassatt’s woman and children art works and wrote about it in their minibooks.  (We have combined our lapbook minibooks with our biography pages.)

Then we looked at her works more closely in our coffee-table book Impressionist Painters by Guy Jennings.

Appreciating art is such a personal experience, and I let each chose their own painting to copy.

Mary Cassatt’s paintings look simple, but once you begin to paint, you quickly appreciate that her technique, details, colours and forms require skill and patience.

After an hour of painting we had these beautiful copies:

My middle-schooler and I chose “The Boating Party“.

My 8-year-old copied “The Little Sisters“.

These pictures were easy enough to copy, but we use grid lines to copy more complex compositions.  I often trace famous pictures and the children colour them in or paint them.

It was interesting to read that Mary Cassatt herself spent many days in the Louvre copying famous artworks!

I  urge you to include art appreciation in your school week.  Just start with something short and simple and add a little extra until you can complete a full art appreciation lesson.  (We started out slowly – and do art often participating in Sketch Tuesday.)