The Worlds Greatest Artists A Unit Study

While traveling around the net looking for resources on the Greatest Artists I came across a wonderful Unit study from Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.

I am yet to actually use this but it looks very interesting and quite promising, which is great. This unit study uses many of the books I have at home in our collection as it’s basis, which is even better for us. But don’t fear if you like what you see in Erica’s Unit study of the World’s Greatest Artists, but don’t have the books, you can buy them for around $5 – $6 each from either book depository ( for Free world wide shipping) or Fishpond (for free shipping within Australia).

Please don’t forget to check out the FREE downloadable Greatest Artists Unit Study from Erica at Confessions of a homeschooler, I know we are going to enjoy using it and hope that if you check it out –  that you will also.

The World Greatest Artists – Vincent Van Gogh

This year we are studying the Worlds Greatest Artists.

So this week we have spent time looking at Van Gogh. The children are already familiar with some of his work, thanks to a Doctor Who episode called “Vincent and the Doctor”.

Anyway we started out reading a book called Van Gogh by Author / Illustrator Mike Venezia ( we actually have quite a few of his Greatest Artist books in our own collection)

The children loved this and enjoyed reading about Van Gogh. This book is easy to use, entertaining and informative. If you have never checked out of of Mike Venezia’s books, I would highly recommend that you do.

After reading the book and discussing the art work presented we then watched a few YouTube Videos about Van Gogh. Even though these were only 5 or so minutes long, the children enjoyed the different styles of delivery presenting the life of Van Gogh.

We then re watched the episode of Doctor Who – “Vincent and the Doctor” to see how many real facts they recreated in this story that were true to Vincents life. The children enjoyed pointing out the facts and inconsistencies, such as Vincent would not have met monsters back when he was alive.

Other things we enjoyed included viewing Vincent Van Goghs Works here – Van Gogh Museum

Reading some of the letters written by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo and his friends, Gauguin, Bernard and others.

Learning more about Vincent hereat  Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam and by reading about him at the Vincent Van Gogh Gallery

The children are looking forward to our next art lesson when we further study Vincent and this paintings.

The Shingle Strike – A Port Arthur Historical Play

The Shingle Strike by David Young tells the story of Irish poet Francis Macnamara’s endeavour to overcome the bullying tactics of an unscrupulous overseer. The convicts’ only hope of resistance and justice is to strike, but can Macnamara persuade his gang to join him?

What a wonderful experience this was. We thought we had missed all the plays that were on throughout the day as we had focused on ensuring that we managed to actually attend the Port Arthur Beneath your Feet – Archaeology session. Which was our main aim of going to Port Arthur. However after enjoying the Harbour Cruise, we decided to have a look at the Commandants House and the buildings surrounding it. However as we approached this the actors in the play were calling out ‘Last play of the day!’ so we decided to go and see what it was all about.

What a wonderful surprise it was. Everyone, even the children enjoyed the play!

Here are some pictures taken during it…

Everyday Art

I have never considered myself to be very artistic, yet I have always considered myself to have a love of art.

In having a love of art, I try to give my children the same opportunities as I had as a child in order for them to hopefully also appreciate all it has to offer. I don’t believe that they have to be the best painter or sculpture to do this. Rather they need to be observant and true to themselves and their likes and dislikes.

Often when people think of art they only think of things like paintings, drawings, sculptures and craft work. However, art is so much more and affects every part of our lives every day. Art is obvious in all things like the clothes we wear, the buildings we live in and the items we use. It is also evident in the photographs we take, the meals we cook and the way we present ourselves and our homes. The music we listen to is art, as well as the films we watch and the video footage we take. Art is evident everywhere, every day of our lives, we just have to look beyond the obvious.

Art is the manner in which we arrange (or rearrange) items for the pure enjoyment over our senses, emotions and intellect. It involves colour, textures, patterns, mediums, visual representations and so much more. Art can invoke any and all of our emotions, and we don’t just need to go to an art gallery to enjoy it. It is constantly around us all the time.

So with this in mind I am always encouraging my children to be little artists. Through presenting them with opportunities to express themselves in any manner they choose. This includes such things as the clothes they wear, the colours they choose and the hairstyles they want. It also involves providing them with opportunities to explore more traditionally thought of forms of art, such as painting, drawing and sculpture as these are great ways for them to express themselves also.

So next time you are thinking of doing an art activity with your child/ren, Why not go for a walk around your local community and discuss the styles of architecture used in the buildings you pass, or have them present a meal as an art form.

Other ways you could enhance your child/rens artistic talents and love of art in general include:

  • Letting them take a drawing book to bed rather than a reading book, from time to time,
  • Going for a walk in nature, picking some flowers and coming home to arrange them in a vase
  • Inventing something? Not just to be functional, but also visually pleasing
  • Exploring fashion over the ages. What changes are obvious? Why might this be?
  • Exploring colour choices, why is it said that ‘Blue and green should only be seen on a fool?’
  • Architecture? How have things such as doors and windows in different age buildings changed over time? Why might that be?
  • Hairstyles – how have they altered over time? Styles / colours / size
  • By giving them access to things like musical instruments, camera’s and video camera’s for use whenever they choose
  • Pointing out natural beauty when out and about on a nature walk or hike

The possibilities are endless, so next time you think of having an art activity, why not try to think outside the square!