Monday, March 26, 2007

Tulip Mania & the Still Life of Van Huysum

Today, I taught our co-op about the incredible Dutch Tulip Mania of the 1600's. I read the book The Great Tulip Trade about this fascinating time. Tulips became so popular, that one bulb could trade for a whole year's salary! Then, there was a big tulip "crash" and the bulbs were worth practically nothing. Some people lost all their money. The girls really enjoyed the book - and the strange story.

I then talked about the Dutch painter Jan Van Huysum. He was an incredible painter of still life - primarily flowers - and they are currently having a large exhibit of his work at our local art museum. A few interesting things: he sometimes dated his paintings with 2 years as he waited for the correct flowers to come into bloom; he wasn't concerned about the correct size of the flowers he painted; and most of his paintings have various "bugs" (flies, butterflies, snails, etc) "hiding" in his painting. I went to the exhibit last week and it was fun to hunt for the bugs.

Lastly, we tried our own still life painting of a bouquet. I had bought a flower bunch from our grocery store, but I thought they looked really bad when I tried to arrange them. So, my friend Ms. S helped me out and I think we both discovered that we were better at flower arranging than we thought. I think it turned out very pretty! Looks pretty enough to give as a gift!

Painting flowers was a little harder than I thought, but I once again enjoyed the process and am ready to try it again some time! That's my bouquet above - I took some creative license and the flowers aren't exactly like the ones in our arrangement. There are things I would change... but maybe next time...


Sherri said...

I am in awe of anyone who can sit down and paint/draw something like you did the flowers. I have never been blessed with the ability to draw. Oh, I have tried it and have done okay at times, but I it is not a natural talent of mine. Madison is sittint in the den right now drawing one thing after another...she really has an interest in it.
I think it is so cool how we, as moms and especially homeschooling moms, can help but to do a lot of what we are passionate about with our children. I wish I could give mine more opportunities to learn about art and art appreciation, but it's hard for me becaust it's not something that I am drawn to. However, take writing and I just can't get enough of it or teach it enough. Unfortunately, writing is like anything can't teach someone to love it. I try to make it as exciting as I can.
I love your did a great job!!! Keep drawing and sharing them with us.

martinbrtj said...

I think it's beautiful! And you're so lucky to have such a great co-op.

momof3feistykids said...

What an awesome lesson! I may have to steal this one. :-) I love your still-life.

Sherri said...

Hi Dana,
It's me again. I wanted to ask you if it is okay that I mentioned you in my last blog post and put a link to this entry. I'll take it out if you want me to, but I hope you will let me leave it in there. The entry on my blog is titled "Inspired". Let me know!

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