Spring Bouquet Alisa Burke-Style

20151020_115303I subscribe to Alisa Burke‘s blog and receive her inspiration almost daily in my inbox!     She is a prolific artist and we often create motivated by ideas, such as here  and our first bouquets.

This week we were inspired by her post “A peek into my process” ~

Kate, who loves to pick and arrange flowers from my garden, collected an amazing array of brightly colored and textured spring flowers.

She used Alisa’s process, and took apart the petals and painted color testers.  Art Alisa Burke spring bouquetsShe then painted a beautiful bouquet.

Alisa Burke Spring Bouquets 002Lara painted her bouquet and created detailed outlines. Art Alisa Burke spring bouquets1Alisa Burke Spring Bouquets 003

Somehow, she and Kate “swapped ” their styles from their previous bouquet paintings.  Art Alisa Burke spring bouquets2I used my waterproof black ink in my fountain pen and sketched all the flowers. Using waterpaints, I painted the flowers and leaf-shaped background. Alisa Burke Spring Bouquets 001We really enjoyed painting our flowers!

Pop over to my Art Page for all my art inspiration lessons and downloads.


Bouquet Art Alisa Burke-style

We have done loads of Alisa Burkeinspired art, as seen here .   She is a prolific artist, creating art and posting her sketchbook pages, her art processes and designs, studio updates, tips, fabulous tutorials and art ideas on her blog almost daily.

Her ideas often spark a creative art ideas for us, and this week we were inspired by her post “a peek inside my sketchbook – one bouquet 3 ways“.

I used a glorious bouquet of pincushion proteas and king proteas, now sadly fading, as  my bouquet inspiration. 20150923_112308


Lara and Kate created their own bouquets with loose watercolors on their page and black pen details ~20150923_105126

20150923_105137Find a contemporary artist for new ideas, new techniques or approaches to art.

Pop over to my Art Page for all my art inspiration lessons and downloads.


Klimt’s Tree of Life

Continuing from our previous Summer Art Klimt painting,

we painted our own versions of Klimt’s

Tree of Life

Klimt Tree of Life 003

I printed out an outline picture found on Google and we both had fun painting!

Klimt Tree of Life 002

Lara painted her tree “ombre” colors.

Klimt Tree of Life 001

I painted my background in gold, typical, I felt, of Klimt’s style.

Here’s another Klimt Art project  found on Deep Space Sparkle.


New Music and Art Timeline

I created a new Music and Art Timeline.  Music & Art Timeline Cover This is a helpful Fine Arts tool, identifying both famous musicians and their music styles, as well as famous artists and their masterpieces displayed in parallel.

How to use the timeline:

  • Print out and bind as is, or add to a Book of Centuries.
  • Cut and paste the pages side-by-side/ under each other as a visual Fine Arts timeline.
  • Add art work thumbnails to a timeline on a wall.
  • Cut the art works and paste them on cards and let children match the artists to the eras.

You will find your free download on my Free Page ~ Art Era Timeline, fresh and newly updated!

Recently Homeschool Freebies of the Day featured my Art Era Timelines to email subscribers.  Subscribers often get links to special freebies that you will not find openly on Internet, so it is worth joining their subscription list!




Alisa Burke Art Inspiration

Each month I try to introduce my children to a new contemporary artist for new ideas, new techniques or approaches to art.  (Pop over to my Art Page for all my art posts.)

Although I have recently shared about Jane Davenport and her “Beautiful Faces”, this post is about an artist I discovered last year and who profoundly influenced me …

Alisa Burke is an awesome contemporary artist!  Alisa Burke

She is a prolific artist, creating art and posting her sketchbook pages, her art processes and designs, studio updates, tips, fabulous tutorials and art ideas on her blog almost daily.

Anyone who knows me personally will have noticed the impact of her art, style and fashion in my life. In fact, I literally remodeled my wardrobe according to an “Alisa Burke Look”!  Here’s a page I put together from her Fashion Friday posts ~

Alisa Burke Fashion style

Clothes4I even figured out her style “formula” = Crisp white or black + geometric patterns / polka dots / stripes +  a pop of bold, clear color = I am a serious fan!

Of course, we have done quite a lot of Alisa Burke-inspired art here at home ~


She and her hubby and little 3-year-old often do collaborative art, which is really amazing.


Kate recently created these painting based on Alisa’s and her hubby’s latest collaboration ~

Kate's art4


And here’s Kate’s art inspired by Alisa’s beautiful portrait above ~

Kate's art3



Another stunning Alisa-inspired portrait done by Kate ~


And here’s my doodle page of art inspired by Alisa Burke ~


Expand your artistic wings and use some contemporary artist inspiration and fly!  It is wonderful to learn and experience art through someone else’s discoveries and creativity!


Notice Board – Famous Artists & Composer

Here is the last post featuring our new homeschooling notice board ~

Famous Artist & Composer


Our Famous Artist studies have been really rich and rewarding.  This year I selected several famous artists, as well as some featured in Patti’s posts on All Things Bright and Beautiful. (Patti prepares a weekly art, music and poetry study with links & sources – all done for you!)

After I read a brief biography as an introduction to a famous artist, we chose one famous art work and study it quietly (either in an art book, a postcard-sized printout, online, or as an image saved as a screen saver).  I encourage my children to try re-create the painting as a detailed, visual, mental image and ask them to tell me what they noticed in the painting, and importantly, what feelings the colors, textures, objects, placement, space, and details in the painting created.  My kids enjoy creative discussions about the mood of the painting, or how it made them feel. I encourage them to form a personal connection with the art work.

Sometimes we may do an art appreciation lesson where I may trace an outline of the picture and they can paint or color it for themselves.  We also jot and paste a thumbnail of the artist in our Book of Centuries.  We record the artist and we sometimes refer to my Art Era Timelines. Usually I am quite happy that they simply recognize the artist and the famous art pieces.

Our music appreciation lessons are very informal.  We simply listen to one of “VOX Music Masters” CD’s, which tell the musician’s life story over his music, while we paint or sketch, or I play a featured music piece each week. Sometimes we watch a YouTube video of a famous music selection.  My children enjoy occasionally filling in a music appreciation notebook page.  You can download all my Famous Musician pages free.

My aim is to instill a love of beautiful music in their hearts and minds.  It is easy – use the hard work and efforts of others like Barb of Harmony Fine Arts.  She has wonderful free Fine Arts plans!

I want to encourage you to conduct your art and music appreciation lessons very informally.  Surround your children with rich, beautiful music and art and cultivate a wonderful fine arts appreciation in your homeschooling!

Much grace,

Previous Notice Board posts include ~

Wonderful Works of William-Adolphe Bouguereau

This year we started our art appreciation with works from William Adolphe Bouguereau, a very successful French painter of the 1850’s Paris Salon.

His paintings are beautiful and my daughters have loved looking at his works.

William Adolphe Bouguereau picture studyWilliam Adolphe Bouguereau picture study1

My youngest daughter chose “The Hard Lesson” for our most recent art appreciation lesson.  She orally narrated her observations and agreed to paint her own copy of the painting.The Hard Lesson-001

Instead of drawing or tracing an outline of this artwork, I used Picasa‘s “pencil outline” editing option and created a very quick full-page illustration.The Hard Lesson

Miss.L11 painted her picture, while I used chalk pastels for my painting.  We listened to Brahms as we quietly painted.  An hour or less later, our paintings were finished and hanging on our Art Gallery wall (well, actually on our school room door).  Not a ‘hard lesson’ at all!


And here are your free pages ~

William Adolphe Bouguereau biography page

May you enjoy this easy lesson in your Fine Arts!

Blessings and much grace,

Pastel Art Appreciation of John Singer Sargent

Chalk pastel art is very popular in our home!

My children begged me for another chalk pastel lesson for our weekly art appreciation …


After viewing several of John Singer Sargent’s paintings, we voted and then, because we couldn’t settle on one, we chose to do 2 paintings ~

Miss.T18 and Miss.K14 focused on “Rosina” 


while Miss.L11 and I selected A Gust of Wind

The Gust of Wind

Miss.K used her new birthday gift; her nifty aluminium, collapsible easel to prop up the printouts.

(My hubby and I agreed to buy our 14-year-old some quality birthday gifts to encourage her natural creativity!  Along with the easel which comes in a lovely carry bag,  she  received some canvasses, acrylic paints and a lovely set of drawing pencils.

I purchased some very basic leather tools for her ~ a bag of mixed leather pieces, some needles, waxed thread, special leather pen and eraser, eyelets and studs and an assortment of brads and buckles.)

But, back to Sargent’s art appreciation lessons …

Here are the “Rosina” chalk pastel paintings ~

Art John Singer Sargent3

Art John Singer Sargent2

And here are our “A Gust of Wind” chalk pastel paintings.

Art John Singer Sargent1

This week, my youngest did not once worry or fret about her art work.

Art John Singer Sargent

Here are free downloads ~

The reason my older daughters love chalk pastels is that they can cover ‘mistakes’ with extra layers.  They even use an eraser and rub out small sections!  Because it has a ‘loose’ feel, they do not feel that they have to get the details perfect, but I am stunned by the clarity and detail they achieve.

Chalk pastels are a simple medium which produce  gorgeous effects.  I love the color combinations, the smudged effect when you rub an area, the quick way you can cover a whole page with the side of the chalk .

We use all three types ~ the basic chalk pieces, really good quality wrapped chalk pieces and my extra-special set of chalk pencils.  We have discovered that one cannot really use the chalk pencils over other chalked areas, so now we save the area where we want to use the pencils for the last phase, when we ‘pull out’ the details.

We each use a section of toilet paper to keep our hands fairly clean, and we quickly wipe the dust off  the plastic tablecloth with a damp cloth.

I really encourage you to try chalk pastels for some of the less detailed, precise art works you and your children may study!


Albert Bierstadt landscapes in Chalk Pastels

This month’s famous artist in our homeschool is Albert Bierstadt.

I have always loved the misty luminance of his landscapes.

My older daughters both wanted to do art with Miss.L11.  After reading a brief biography, we looked at some examples of his works and sat chatting about his paintings.  Each of us connected with a  different painting, so rather than focus on just one piece for the day, I let each choose a painting.

Using our chalk pastels, we covered the backgrounds, filled in dark area and then worked to add focus and detail.  All the while our Famous Composer ~ Chopin’s music quietly filled the room.

My youngest two chose The Golden Gate.

Miss.K14 said that it reminded her of a scene from The Dawn Treader by CS Lewis.

Art Albert Bierstadt2

My youngest preferred to paint her picture. Art Albert Bierstadt3

She is in a “realism” stage and becomes discouraged when her art doesn’t ‘look right’.  She walked away when her smudgy painting was done.  I gently encouraged her to try some chalk pencil details once her painting was dry.  Amazingly, she found that she could pull out the details, smudge white chalk pencil to create the glow the Bierstadt masters in his work, and she and I were very happy with her painting when it was done.

Miss.T18 and I chose The Giant Redwoods Trees of California.  She and I loved the faded mystical quality of the distant trees.

While you can’t see the difference, Miss.T18’s picture is a ‘small’ A4 page, while the rest of us worked on nice large A3 pages. Art Albert Bierstadt1

Bierstadt’s paintings are very big, so it seemed right to paint ours large too! This is my pastel painting~

Art Albert Bierstadt

Here are all our paintings on our school room gallery door ~



Bruegel’s “Hay Harvest”

This is our 2nd week art appreciation of our Famous Artist Bruegel the Elder and we looked at ~

Hay Harvest

The Hay Harvest

We viewed wonderful color plates in the “Bruegel” art book by the Colour Library of Art borrowed from our local library.

They also display several enlarged selections from the main painting.  We enjoyed looking back at the original to find where these smaller focused areas appeared.

Some of these selections made wonderful art works of their own.

My youngest daughter especially liked the focused area of the three peasant women in the  “Hay Harvest” which she traced by herself, and which I then enlarged on my printer.

Bruegel's Hay Harvest

Miss.L11 used pastels for her first attempt at the art work and she was unhappy with the results.

She then tried her second picture with water-color paints and was very satisfied!

Bruegel 002

As I’ve shared before, an art appreciation lesson does not require any actual art activity.  Charlotte Mason encouraged detailed observation.

We often enjoy simple oral narrations, but many of our art activities are  spontaneous, as with this painting.

I love the child-led interest.

And why not? We are building an amazingly rich mental art gallery!