Sunday, July 24, 2016

Books to Incorporate Art

I have always been a big fan of art. I grew up out in the country in Pennsylvania and we would go on field trips to NYC to look at the museums and watch a play. The museums were my favorite part-I could have just spent days in there looking at all the masterpieces. In college I had to take an art elective and because I'm not very good at making art I took Art History. It was my favorite class! I loved learning about what the paintings meant and about the lives of the artist. Art is so subjective-what I look at and like you might hate-it's all in the eye of the beholder.

I teach art to my Kinder students. Once or twice a month we profile a popular artist and learn their techniques and then the kiddos make art. Let me be clear-this is not a craft where they have specific directions-paint this color here, glue these already cut out pieces here. This is art-a blank canvas and they put their vision on the paper.

Here are a few books I like to use when talking about different artists:

This is a beautiful, touching story about Henri Matisse and his life of creating art.

An author (and an artist) talks about her start in creating art and how she was inspired to make many of her famous books and illustrations. I love that she wishes us a "colorful" life.

In customary Gail Gibbons' fashion-she gives us a story about all the tools an artist uses and examples of how they use them. Good for teaching the kiddos art vocabulary.

I love Blue Dog! Rodrigue is an artist out of New Orleans who began painting his beloved dog in his paintings as Blue Dog. She showed up in all different kinds of settings and I think it's a great tribute to her. He came to Houston to exhibit once and I really wanted to take my class, but we didn't get tickets in time. 

My kiddos loved Press Here so much, I had to get the sequel. In this book the kids get to "mix" up the colors of the book by shaking it, etc. They love it and it's teaching them that we can get new colors when we mix them together. Inevitably every year one of my students will ask what we get if we mix all the colors together-so I let them try that.

Huge fan of Eric Carle to begin with, but this is a really beautiful story.

Ah Magritte. I know what you are thinking, he's a little dark to be teaching Kinder students about him. But this book is actually a fun story that highlights the surrealism. A hat that is there and then not there-it's in lots of different strange places. It's a cute story.

So there you have it, a list of books that you can use to keep teaching art to our young kiddos! So important for fostering creativity.