By Stephanie Sandoval
Growing up, not only was I the artsy little girl in class, I was also a huge book worm. Reading books was (and still is!) my favorite after school activity because it became a way for me to look at art that was related to my interests. If I wanted to take an adventure with Winnie the Pooh, I could pick up one of A.A. Milne's works and start my journey with my favorite little bear. Or if I felt like getting lost in Paris with my favorite school girl, I would dive into Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline series. Every story transformed out of the words and phrases on each page and into another world where anything was possible. Though I certainly was unaware of it at the time, this type of engagement was made possible by a book's illustrations. The images on the pages guided my reading, made me excited to turn the page, and even stuck with me as I grew older. To this day, I can't explain in full detail the different journeys that Madeline embarked on, but I can talk about the different yellows and greens (my two favorite colors as a kid) the illustrator/author used in each drawing. I can even describe how each image seemed like a fast-paced sketch that the artist seemed to spew out in minutes, an art technique that I am still inspired by today. So to say that my interest in art first began to peak during my childhood all because of reading is a total understatement!
With the end of the school year just around the corner, your mini-artists may be interested in a summer read that takes them on a new journey, as my favorite children's books did for me. Be sure to take a look at some of my favorite works and help fuel your kiddo's interest in art with their beautiful illustrations and amazing story lines.
1. "Eating the Alphabet" - Lois Ehlert
Perfect for pre-schoolers, this book introduces the alphabet by using different foods. Not only will the vibrantly-colored illustrations make you hungry for a watermelon, but it also introduces the world of culinary arts to your mini-chef! This book may also appeal to the mini-artist who is also interested in participating in our Artistic Foodie summer series at Patricia's Table!
2. "Go Away, Big Green Monster!" - Ed Emberley
Let's be honest, who isn't afraid of scary green monsters? This book encourages kiddos to face their fears and chase away their nightmares as they turn each page to watch this green monster grow and then POOF, disappear! The designs featured in the book will also leave your kiddo feeling eager to turn the page as they watch the monster transform.
3. "Amos & Boris" - William Steig
This classic tale is a story about an unlikely friendship between a whale and a mouse and the adventures they go on together. Awarded in 1971 as New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, the illustrations will help your child learn about friendship and caring for others.
4. "Leo the Late Bloomer" - Robert Kraus
This tale features a shy tiger who isn't ready to bloom just yet. Take a journey with Leo and discover how this fierce feline tackles on life's problems. If you're looking for a book with colorful illustrations that mimic a summertime vacation on every inch of the page then this is your child's new summer read!
5. "Flotsam" - David Wiesner
Do you have a mini-artist who is also interested in science? This is the perfect story, to not only get your kiddo excited about summer vacation, but to also discover life under the sea in brilliantly colored illustrations.
Don't forget to sign up for Monet & Me's summer art camp sessions where your child can channel their artistic skills and create with us! Mini-Masters Art Camp takes place on June 15th - June 19th and Contemporary Kids Art Camp takes place July 13th - July 17th.
Let's create and learn together this summer!
Did you know that the word, “Impressionism,” was actually a negative term coined by art critics to describe the paintings that artists were creating at the time? In fact, Claude Monet’s artwork was scorned by an art critic who despised the artist’s mark-making techniques that the critic went as far to say that Monet’s work wasn’t even as good as wallpaper that people put in their homes. Talk about controversy! Ironically, these scornful remarks actually gained Monet more attention and popularity amongst his audiences.
It’s hard to imagine that artists like Henri Matisse and Claude Monet, whose work now sells for millions of dollars each year, were once ridiculed for experimenting with new techniques and deviating away from the popular art during their time. However, once these artists began to create unique artworks, their audiences eventually came around and began to accept the new art forms that were about to dominate the art culture.
When students take Mini-Masters Art Camp this summer (June 15th - 19th), they will learn about the work of several different master artists and their most famous creations. From Mona Lisa to Starry Night, your kids will begin to recognize these most famous works of art and learn how they were created.
Get your paintbrushes ready and have fun with us this summer!
Monet & Me
Written by: Stephanie Sandoval
Written by: Stephanie Sandoval, Teaching Artist at Monet & Me
Did you know that the pioneer of Pop Art, Andy Warhol, was also a filmmaker? In addition to the many screen prints he created, Warhol also filmed movies, featuring his many different artist and musician friends. In fact, the first film Warhol ever created was a 6-hour long movie of his friend sleeping! Learn more about Andy Warhol and other Contemporary artists in our Contemporary Kids Art Camp taking place July 13th - 17th.
Contemporary art refers to art that was created during the 1960s/70s and continues to be created today. It also encompasses a wide range of non-traditional mediums and techniques that artists have experimented with. Take for example Jackson Pollock. Instead of using traditional paintbrushes, he instead, used long sticks to to throw paint onto his canvases. Talk about a messy studio space!
Using these same ideas, students will learn about different artists who have redefined the meaning of art such as Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. We will be teaching students about different mediums that Contemporary artists used in their artwork while giving students an opportunity to explore and create.
So come have fun with us this summer and dive into the world of Contemporary Art!
Monet & Me