The stars are big and bright at Monet & Me this week!
We will be studying Vincent Van Gogh’s famous oil painting Starry Night. Van Gogh was a poor student, struggled with bouts of volatile temperament, and only sold one painting while he was alive but now his name is one the most prevalent in the Art History realm.
Van Gogh was a minister’s son born in the Netherlands. He started painting as a young man at the age of 27. His initial paintings were dark and not well received by the public. However, once he moved to Paris his color choice became more vivid. His paintings often mimicked his feelings and mood. Throughout his life he struggled with mental illness and depression, and eventually took his own life at the young age of 37. Although Van Gogh lived a short life as a painter, he often created a painting a day. He painted almost 2,000 works of art in 10 years! While in Paris, Van Gogh began using paint directly applied from the tube, this contributed to his thick brush strokes.
Starry Night is a dramatic painting; the swirling sky and mountains create a chaotic landscape. In Fact, Starry Night painted while Van Gogh was a patient in a mental hospital. The scene was inspired by his bedroom view. While hospitalized he attached candles to the brim of his hat for illumination. Many people consider Starry Night his best work and it is certainty his most famous! Next up, Picasso.
Monet & Me
This week at Monet & Me we are discovering the world of Blue Dog Art. New Orleans, Louisiana has produced one of the most iconic American Artists, Blue Dog Celebrity, George Rodrigue. George passed in 2011 after battling lung cancer but his legend lives on!
Rodrigue was raised in Iberia, LA, and was diagnosed with polio in 3rd grade. He started creating art in elementary school, and won several awards as a child. Fascinated by the world of art, Rodrigue enrolled in the Fine Arts Undergraduate program at University of Louisiana and continued his education at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Upon finishing school, Rodrigue began to create art inspired by Cajun's, their myths and traditions as well as the landscape of the South.
Growing up, Rodrigue had often heard the story of the loup-garou. The loup-garou is a legendary werewolf mentioned in many Cajun ghost stories. It was this creature which inspired his famous “Blue Dog” series. He used his studio dog, Tiffany for artistic vision. "Blue Dog" series became the focus point of his work for over 30 years. Visit his gallery in New Orleans, http://georgerodrigue.com/.
Don’t forget, our “Art Superstars” series begins next week, spaces are limited!
Monet & Me
De Kooning, an American Abstract Expressionist of the 1900's serves as our topic of study for Monet & Me Classes for this week! Abstract Expressionism is a movement in which there is emphasis on form produced with brushstrokes, poured or flung paint, and mixed media.
More on our artist, Willem de Kooning was employed as a house painter for several years before he was encouraged by Dutch artist, Arshile Gorky to pursue his creative passion, producing art. He became a leader in the Abstract Expressionist movement in the late 1900's. His work is featured around the world, and he continues to be celebrated as one of the greatest artists of his time.
During class, each child is learning about Organic Shapes. The use of fine motor skills is encouraged as the kids cut formations from construction paper for his or her masterpiece. The final result is a collage of geometrical shapes creating an colorful abstract piece full of kinetic energy and emotion.
Monet & Me