Monday, May 24, 2010

Masterpiece Monday: A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

Today, I wanted to introduce Masterpiece Monday.  I thought I would intersperse these with Montessori Monday, and eventually, I hope to add a Musical Monday!

Introducing preschoolers to art is not difficult, but it does take a little planning.  A visit to the library should provide you with plenty of material.  If not, you might consider purchasing a book of masterpieces (while I am partial, I still think Usborne has some of the most beautiful books for art including The Children's Book of Art, The Usborne First Book of Art, The Usborne Art Treasury, and The Usborne Book of Art).  Obviously, you won't go into great detail, but a preschooler will enjoy looking at the artwork.  Share a few background details, then you might ask a question or two about what they see (to help focus their attention).        

Our theme for this week is picnics.  While not a picnic, per se, this work by Georges Seurat gives a serene and peaceful feeling of leisure (which reminds me of a picnic!).

You can see the work at the link below:
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

Georges Seurat developed the technique of pointillism (which he called divisionism) in the 1880s.  Pointillism is painting dots or small brushstokes of color close together.  From a distance, the colors will blend and appear to form a new color.  Seurat worked on A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte for two years.  The painting has 3.5 million dots!
I was able to view this work a few years ago in Chicago, and it was impressive.  I had seen prints of the painting but was unaware of the painting's size.  Check out this photo from The Art Institute of Chicago to give you an idea of it's enormity!
Here is a simplified version of pointillism for preschoolers!

1)  Fill an egg carton with various colors of paint (I prefer washable!).  Give your child several Q-tips.

2)  Show your child how to make dots on the paper to form designs (or just do something abstract). 

3)  Another idea would be to give your child a coloring page or book and have them "dot" the picture.

Be careful if doing this with a two year old!  Sunshine thought it was fun to say, "Dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot" the whole time she was painting!  Then, when I was helping the other girls, she continued the "dot, dot, dots" on herself.  So, today really was an amazing mess!

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Blogger America said...

Hahaha...Oh I can see my 2 year old dotting herself...every time it is quiet she is painting her arm and hand!

May 24, 2010 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

She had so much paint on her, my oldest told me "Mom, Hannah is a masterpiece." :)

May 25, 2010 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Prairie Cate said...

this is an excellent idea!

May 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Alissa said...

I like the idea of using egg cartons to contain the paint to just a little amount for use. From Alissa@ Excuse Me Mrs.C!

June 2, 2010 at 2:35 AM  

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