Sunday, August 28, 2011

N.C. Wyeth

We have studied art and artist throughout all of our years of homeschooling... a little... never as much as we wanted.  We studied some singular pieces of art, just for viewing pleasure... seeing them in our 'mind's eye" looking through coffee table books of artists we enjoy.  Taking time to stop.. and see.. various pieces of art we come across on a day to day basis.  I believe the children have learned to appreciate art and it's welcomed distraction from our busy thoughts.

However, this year.. there is a new determination.  Observing anything of beauty brings such a welcome, peaceful state of mind.. to me anyway.. but LEARNING and KNOWING a piece of art, or a favorite artist is a joy!  I don't want to miss these last couple of years to share this with the children.

For starters we are continuing to choose artists and art that interest us, as well as those that connect with our history studies (we are still in the Middle Ages, by the way!).  Secondly, we are remembering and applying what we learned through Simply Charlotte Mason for art study application.  Thirdly, we are incorporating our Language Arts into our Art Study. And lastly, we are finding amazing influence and inspiration via the Internet (something renewed to us recently).   I'll explain...

One of our (my) favorite artists is N.C. Wyeth.  I came across a wonderful book in the used section of The Homeschool Gathering Place, our most local homeschool store.  This beautiful book has 8 X 10 prints of some of Wyeth's work... many from the numerous children's books he illustrated.. all of them child appropriate.  And it also has a quite lengthy Wyeth biography. 

So, we chose a print to study... Robin Hood Meets Maid Marion.  First we displayed the print for a few days then tried to 'see in our mind's eye' and really got to know it.  Then, the older children read the biography, shared what they learned with their little brother and each wrote a short narration.  Now, I have traced the work and printed copies on watercolor paper.. tomorrow, during our scheduled 'Art Study' time, we will attempt to copy the coloring of this selection of art.  They will have time to continue working while I read aloud to them after lunch.  We are a little nervous, but excited. 
When all the paint is dry, we may share our very first attempts... depending on how pleased we are with our feeble, untrained efforts!  We will surely share photos of our attempts!

By Amelia:
Newell Convers Wyeth, born October 22, 1882 in Needham, Massachusetts. Looking through all of his artwork, I couldn’t help but to fall in love with him. I think that my favorite painting is “Fight on the Plains” (page35). When I first looked at it, I was sad. But then I grew to like it, because the three men are fighting for their lives. And even though their horses are dead, they are still helping the men to stay alive. Another favorite is “Above the Sea of Round, Shiny Blacks the Thin Loops Swirled and Shot into Volumes of Dust” (page 20). I love the detail in the faces of the horses. I didn’t know much about N.C. Wyeth, or his art/illustrations before I read this book. But now it’s safe to say that he is one of my favorites.

By Daniel:
N.C. Wyeth was born on October 22, 1882 in the town of Needham, Massachusetts and was the eldest of four. Fortunately for Wyeth, his mother encouraged his predilection for drawing. She persuaded her husband to allow Wyeth to attend the mechanics arts school in Boston where he learned drafting and graduated in 1899. Wyeth’s first sale of work was to the Saturday Evening Post for a painting of a bucking bronco and cowboy. The Cowboy has on a green shirt, a red bandanna and it looks like he is holding a whip. The horse is black/brown and is jumping 1-2 feet in the air.

*I had given Amelia and Daniel the same simple assignment: "Read the biography and write about it.. maybe describe a selection of art".  It is so interesting to see the different 'takes' on the same biography and assignment. One full of emotion and feeling, the other a bullet list of facts plainly stated.  Amelia typed these out for me and saved them in a word document.  (Another goal for this year is to involve the children more in our school blog) She promptly asked me "Does Daniel even know what predilection means?"  I had to laugh, because I had asked the same question of Daniel!  He did use the word straight from the biography they read, but he also defined it for me so that I knew he had an understanding of what the work means.  If he hadn't understood the word, it would have been a great 'teachable moment'.  Since we have Internet, Daniel has been opening an on-line dictionary before he begins his history reading.. for those words he comes across that he doesn't fully understand.  Also, I keep my iPhone open to a Dictionary.com app when I am reading aloud to the children.  We really enjoy the pronunciation help.. now the children do not have to endure me stumbling over multiple ways a word could be pronounced!*

1 comment:

Family W said...

I love this background!