Meeting the Masters: Van Gogh

imageI mentioned a few weeks ago that I had invested in Meet the Masters as our art program for the coming (now here) school year.

We did the program intro a few weeks ago, but today marked our return to “real” schooling with a proper, full session with our first Meet the Masters artist.

This month’s artist is Van Gogh.  The program consists of a slideshow, followed by a few “simple” activities, followed by a longer art project which we’ll attempt another day. 

The slideshow presents the life of Van Gogh in a fairly simple, non-hokey way.  There’s no audio for most of the slideshow; instead, there’s a PDF of a script which you’re supposed to say to your child while clicking through the slideshow.  Knowing nothing, I feel a bit stupid talking about art and artists, but it actually works well in that we all learn the same things at the same time, and then I can help Naomi reinforce the lesson with the hands-on component.

I printed off the three worksheets that go with this lesson and we did them all because they’re fairly simple.  All of them deal with creating texture. 

It’s not part of the Meet the Masters curriculum, but I also had Naomi do an artist narration about “anything she remembered” about Van Gogh.  I left it open-ended and she humphed a little bit and she whimpered a bit because Elisheva was listening, then related quite a bit of detail – I was pleasantly surprised!

(click the image to read the text of what she narrated)

arts 003 arts 004

When the slideshow explained what a self-portrait is, she got excited and asked me if I wanted her to draw one.  I said yes, BUT not during the slideshow – I said she’d have a chance to draw one afterwards.  I suggested that she try to create a mood with her self-portrait, the way Van Gogh did. 

Another pleasant surprise:  not just a self-portrait, but a framed self-portrait hanging on a wall, with ANOTHER self-portrait alongside:  herself admiring the self-portrait she has created.  Meanwhile, Mommy sits (where else?) at the computer keyboard, while Gavriel Zev, ever the pesky little brother, chases after her shouting “Wait, Naomi!”

imageNext week, for art, we’ll do our regular Draw Write Now session on Monday.  Then, the following week, we’ll revisit Van Gogh with the Meet the Masters art project.  Along the way, somewhere, I have a “colouring page” version Starry Night from this Masterpieces colouring book that we will probably do with watercolours or tempera paints because Naomi really doesn’t like crayon colouring.

There are also lots of free Starry Night colouring pages online:


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