Art: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

unless you have skills like me, then you will need 1,000 words to explain what you created! I come from a family of artists, all of them have a career pertaining to art. In my family we have a toy designer, home designers- both interior and exterior, and a jewelry maker. All of them can paint and  draw well too. Then there’s me… let’s just say I appreciate art and those who can make it.  I am not just being modest here either!

One time my dad offered to have a painting class for me and my sisters and two older nieces in my parents’ home. All of us came with various-sized canvases. I bought a 5″x7″ and was wishing I had bought a 4″x6″ canvas as we began painting. I chose paint a bouquet of sunflowers and tried to make it realistic. I should have gone for abstract.

It took several weeks to paint it and then we had an “art show”. Various-sized canvases (all large) were displayed proudly around the room and, while I wish I could have hidden it behind my back, I timidly put my painting on a small easel as was required for the show and went to join my family. We oohed and awed, and offered impressions and remarks on each that had been done as we walked around the room. Some of the girls were talking about getting their pictures framed.

Then we came to my sunflower painting. There was a long pause as my family tried to think of kind words to say about “It”. “Oh. That’s nice, Lis!”  and ” I like the colors you chose,” was about all that they could say. I don’t blame them. I was embarrassed for them and for me. At least I tried. If you are wondering if I kept the painting, absolutely not! I sold it on ebay! (not really!) 😉

Knowing my artistic limitations I found other more capable people to help me. I asked my dad to teach my sons some art classes when they were young and my older sister did some art projects with them one year, but I primarily depended upon art classes at a local co-op to help me with this area. I know not everyone has the same opportunities that I did for my children so I am posting some websites that have lesson plans to help you. I also have some books listed that I found to be a great help in exposing my budding artists to famous works of art without going to an art gallery or museum every week.

Internet

Art Lessons and Lesson Plans This is a terrific resource since it has lessons according to grade level, medium, artists, just to name a few of the categories.

Crayola When I think of crayola, I think of coloring sheets. Not so with this website. There are lessons and background information about the projects that I found informative.There are lessons for preschool through high school.

Artsonia You are required to sign up for the website, but after you do, there are over 3,000 lesson plans to peruse.

Art Projects for Kids This website is for ages K-5th grade, but I can see it being adaptable for older students as well. You can purchase lessons, all within the comfort of your home.

Books

The Usborne Book of Art Skills, Fiona Watt This has a great variety of art lessons for elementary students.

Oxford First Book of Art, Gillian Wolfe An introduction for children to art around the world.

A Child’s Book of Art, Lucy Micklethwaite This book has over 100 paintings to study, whether it would be color, form, style, or something else, this is a great book to begin with. Look for more of Lucy’s titles. She is one of my favorite authors for art studies.

Come Look With Me:Enjoying Art with Children, Gladys Blizzard I love her books and have recommended these to home school families over the years. These are a wonderful way to discuss art and give children the opportunity to study a picture rather than just hurriedly glance at it. She has more books to enjoy, so don’t stop there!

How to Draw What You See, Rudy De Reyna This looks like a great book to help an older student begin drawing. The important point is to practice, practice, practice!

Have fun, get messy, and do a project or two yourself. The main thing is to expose your artists to the world of art. Who knows? Maybe you have a famous artist in the making. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Art: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

  1. After teaching art for a bit over 20 years, the thing that I see which turns art into an impossible, intimidating chore is expectation. As we grow up, we are given an unfair expectation that all art should be framable and should look just like the Masters! It’s why most people put away crayons, paints and markers as they approach the impressionable years ~ fear of ridicule and not measuring up to the professionals. Art should always be relaxing, enjoyable, personal, and fun! I have seen more “potential artists” ruined by well meaning teachers who push the child to produce a work of art that she/he (the instructor) would have produced, thus killing all form of self expression and style. Absolutely introduce many different techniques and tools, but let the child create what he or she finds to be beautiful while using those techniques/tools well. I have recently heard of an art teacher who “requires” a certain number of “acceptably perfect” pencil drawings before the student can move on to using color~!~! This process has been known to take a couple of years in some cases. Good Heavens. There’s another Art Killer :o) LOL! I come from generations of very well known, successful artists who were given ALL kinds of supplies, techniques, choices, subjects, etc., and soared to the top. So, my advice is… expose your kids to ALL kinds of supplies, techniques, choices, subjects, etc…. and praise, praise, praise!

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