So, I went to the library, the big library, and found the skinny art section. Two books on photography, one on origami, and...and that was all. I did the next best thing, grabbed up my free Amazon coupons and Lauren helped me decide which ten books to order. "No Picasso. No Warhol. No Jackson Pollock. I only like realistic paintings!" We fired off that order via the internet and yesterday, the Bleeping Mail Lady, (named by Stuart because of her preference of horn over doorbell) honked the arrival of our package.
The children dashed in with the box and pouted because they couldn't open it until they finished up their last bits of science and writing. Fifteen minutes later, they pounced on the box.
Unfortunately, I forgot to make cleaning up the living room part of the precursor to opening the box, so they laid down in the midst of their school books and their doll house toys and began to read. A hush settled over the room. I was the only one making any noise and that was because I was reading Rembrant aloud to Charlie. The whole thing. He wanted to know if the people in The Night Watch were real; he wanted to count all the dogs in the paintings. He wanted to match the cartoon people to their counterparts in the real paintings. Then he wanted to get down because we had read for a long time.
Claire picked up the book on Grandma Moses. After a minute or two, she said, "Mama! Her paintings look like the pictures in the Will Moses book that we have!" She studied the paintings for another minute and then ran down the hall and came back with the Will Moses book and laid the two books side by side and matched similar parts of several paintings. She laid on her belly for a long time looking.
Lauren read them all. She read through chore time and wandered away from the table after dinner to read some more. She wants me to order the rest of the series. And there are even more series on the presidents and inventors and scientists!
Our candlelight question last night...Which artist did you enjoy studying the most and why? The conversation included realism, pointillism, impressionism, Cassatt, Homer ("The way he paints the sea, Mama, it's so real!") and Saurat...until Stuart said it was late and we needed to get to bed. When I went to wake up children this morning, I found two or three already awake and immersed in another art book.
The books are a mix of the artist's works, silly cartoons, and a brief history of the artist's life. Everything on the pages is appropriate for children. Run to your library and search for these. Hopefully, you live closer to a well-stocked library that we do but, if not, these are well worth adding to your personal collection.