Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Education in Art

artbook 001

I know I already raved the other day about this terrific kids’ art book (one of a series!) that I picked up a week ago for 99 cents at Value Village.

HOWEVER.

I have to say… I have been reading two pages to the kids at a time, and this is a BRILLIANT book.  Reading this is an education for ME along with the kids.

Why?

Because I am SO dumb about art, it turns out, that I don’t know where to look.  The author tells you where to look, or at least, what is worth looking at in the painting.  Like, “in the doorway of the church, there is a priest” or “the poet’s thoughts, like flowers, are scattered across the page.”   “The smiling artist means he is happy in  his village.”  (I’m paraphrasing; the author does a much better job than I ever could)

I know this is pretty basic stuff, but, well, nobody ever told me where or how to look at the art before.  I just kind of “skim” it, like “that’s nice,” or “I like the colours.”  The colours are important, nice is important, but it’s also important to know that the poet’s head is on upside-down for a reason.

Naomi Rivka is not QUITE as fascinated as I am, though she will talk about the paintings a bit, but the text is engaging, and brief, enough, that she listens nicely, understands, and is not overwhelmed.

Also, the pages are organized so everything you need to know about a painting is organized on the facing page, so you are always looking at the art while you talk about it.  That makes a big difference.

I have great hope that the other books in this series, which I ordered online, will be equally wonderful.  What a find!

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