We’re exploring Italy this week, so in addition to enjoying large amounts of pasta and gelato and pizza we’re spending some time learning about the Renaissance. Did your eyes start to glaze over just then? Trust me, this doesn’t involve lengthy lesson plans or anything too labor intensive.
I found a website called Making Art Fun that features great information about artists and cool projects for kids. Lexie was kind enough to fill out “job applications” for da Vinci and Michelangelo to read tonight during dinner (Tim’s bringing home Neopolitan-style Punch pizza), and then we all tackled the subtractive process sculpture project. Which is a fancy way of saying we cut shapes out of soap.
While the kids channeled their inner Michelangelos, I read them some of his quotes:
- “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” (How perfect is that for this project? Only in this case it wasn’t an angel so much as a goldfish.)
- “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”
- “A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.”
- “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
- And my favorite: “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.”
Next up is painting the Sistine Chapel, aka the underside of the dining room table. Andrew and Lexie are off at various camps this afternoon, but I’m going to have Will and Lily do some sketches on large sheets of paper, tape them under the table, and let them go at it with tempera paint. On their backs, of course. Should be interesting!