Part of homeschooling for our family is continual exposure to the arts.  In addition to music and art lessons, camps, classes, and performances, I like them to research the arts and do hands-on projects on their own.  We enjoy the book series Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists and Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers.  These short picture biographies highlight artists and musicians in a kid-friendly fashion.  Reading these has led to further exploration of individuals who have piqued our interest, looking at their collections, listening to music, and even going on to create art and music inspired by their work.



In addition to learning about an artist, it’s fun to do actual hands-on projects.  I choose an artist or time period, peruse Google and Pinterest for ideas, find some video clips on Youtube or other sources, gather images of the artist’s work and life history, and hit the library for additional resources.  We get together with a few homeschool families so the kids can learn as a group.  I always find discussions and creation of art to be more enjoyable and thought-provoking when done with peers.  Everyone brings whatever art supplies are needed.  We start with an introduction of the artist, then view some biographical videos and examples of his/her work.  Finally, the kids get to work.




Recently, we studied Giuseppe Arcimboldo.  An Italian artist from the 16th century known for his portrait paintings using fruit, vegetables, and flowers to make up the shapes, he was a fun artist for kids to study.  They got a kick out of looking at many pictures of his work, noticing what types of objects he chose to incorporate into portraits, and how as we looked closer at the painting, the objects became the focus more than the portrait itself.  After enough study, they were ready to create.  What followed was a discussion and analyzation of Arcimboldo’s work, while the kids tried their hand at creating their own portraits.  The results were both impressive and comical, and the kids gave me permission to share them here.  I can’t wait to see what they create next.  Share any cool ideas and art projects that your kids have enjoyed with our readers, below.  Happy creating!