A reader ordering my South African Artists download asked ~
“I just wanted to check with you if the artist study would be suitable for children aged 9, 7 and 5 or is it mostly aimed at older children?“
Another reader asked,
“I am new to Charlotte Mason and wondered how to use your South African Artist download?”
Here are my responses~
This South African Artists download is designed for middle and high school students for Art History & Art Appreciation. This download includes simple biographies, Internet links and at least 4 examples of each artist’s works, as well as a blank biography page. I used it with my children when my youngest was 6 or 7 years old, and her siblings were around 9 and 13 years old.
The wide variety of art and artists that I included in this download covers notable South African artists from the 19th century to modern contemporary artists. The art ranges from classical oil paintings to modern sculptures, classical to contemporary art, both male and female artists, and includes both European as well as indigenous artists. Many of the artists produced landscapes or portraits, some were sculptors. One South African artist’s traditional Ndebele style was famously used to paint a car and even an aeroplane!
I believe in exposing children informally, regularly to fine arts each week in our Fabulous Fine Arts Fridays. Following a Charlotte Mason approach, we studied and appreciated one South African artist for a month, focussing on a new art work each week. The aim is to appreciate the artist’s style, content, method, materials and message in their art. In the first week, I introduced the artist, read their biography and we viewed one new art work.
I used larger images of the art work on my laptop, zoomed in to fill the screen, to appreciate the art. I encouraged detailed observations, informal discussions regarding the subject of the painting, the style and colours, and any message they personally experienced. Sometimes we looked at other works online, and maybe added further research. Then each child responded with their narrations. Some weeks we included supporting art activities to imitate the art work. Sometimes we copied the art work, or coloured in an outline drawing of the art or made clay or paper mache sculptures. Most times, we simply looked and then discussed the art work. Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to “show” for your Fine Arts lessons. It doesn’t have to be recorded or written or filed. Just talk with your children and listen to their interpretations, encourage their creativity and personal connections. Look for ways to for them to “make it their own”.
All this to say that perhaps your 5-year old may simply enjoy the exposure, whereas your older two children could gain a deeper art appreciation experience. May I suggest, because art appreciation is so personal, choose the art that you enjoy and relate to from my South African Artist collection. You definitely do not need to do them all!
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