I have always been a fan of Blue Dog. Someone gave me a calendar of the paintings years ago and something about it just struck me. A painter named George Rodrigue paints her into his paintings. She's based on a dog he had for many years and it's become kind of a tribute to her. I think he captures that curious look many dogs have, but there's still a little bit of sadness.
Anyway, I read my students the book:
This book includes a lot of vocabulary on different colors the kids probably don't already know-lavender, magenta, etc. And there are some riddles-what color do you paint Blue Dog when she's fishing?--Salmon, of course!
But what I love about it is the message-that artists can make anything any color they want to. Often I think kids are used to someone telling them what color to use, where to color it. They will often ask "what color do I use?" and my response always is "you're the artist". We make a distinction between when we are doing art and doing something like science-in science, we have to observe and record what's there. But as an artist, your imagination decides your palette. I'm really trying to encourage creativity from them.
We tied it into multiple perspectives, so I asked them to write about how Blue Dog feels:
Can you tell he's GT?