Saturday, September 29, 2007


For art appreciation/art history, we've been studying Picasso the past few weeks - Alexandra's choice!

We learned that Picasso's father was an art teacher, who recognized his talents at a young age. His style changed many times and included:

  • The Blue Period - this started after a friend of his died and was his first big break from painting like others - he mixed blue paint with his other colors and made blue people, blue walls, etc. Alexandra and I tried blue paintings of our own - they are both about something sad in our life - when her hamster Emma died about a month ago - mine shows a blue tree with a cross under it representing where she's buried and Alexandra's shows Emma with wings while Alexandra is on the ground standing next to Emma's tombstone (photo of The Old Guitarist taken at The Art Institute in Chicago, but it doesn't show how blue it is!)

  • The Rose Period - Picasso fell in love and broke his "blue period" and changed into a "rose period." His colors were "happier" and he started painting happier things. He made many paintings of circus people at this time.
  • Cubism - Picasso developed this style and became famous for it. Cubism changed over the years, but some of them are of people with their facial parts placed in the wrong place. Many of these paintings look like they were broken and put back together. We played a fun on-line activity for this one that we found and Toad Haven. We went to Picasso Head and created our own mixed up faces. Lots of fun! (below: Picasso's The Red Armchair seen at The Art Institute)
  • Collage - "Art historians generally attribute the first use of collage in fine art to Pablo Picasso in 1912, when he glued a piece of patterned oilcloth to a cubist still life." We made our own collage art - I actually tried to kind of copy one of Picasso's works called Lady with a Hat while Alexandra made up her own creation - A Peek Into Lunch, complete with a sandwich, apple, napkin, and other lunch items.

  • Guernica - We also looked at one of his most famous paintings, Guernica. Picasso painted this large painting of a town in Spain called Guernica which was by the town he'd grown up in. It had been bombed during the Spanish Civil War and thousands of innocent people had died. Picasso made this large painting to demonstrate his anger.
We read several good books about Picasso:
  • Picasso (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia - a great series
  • Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules by True Kelley (a Smart About Art book) - another great series by various authors
  • Pable Picasso by Linda Lowery (an Own My Own Biography)
  • Picasso: Art Activity Pack - this is the first one of this series that we've used, but I have 4 or 5 others waiting to be used! This has descriptions and photos of several of Picasso's art works and then an acitivity - in this pack, the activitiy was the collage Alexandra and I did, shown above
  • Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail by Anholt - a book we LOVE (below - photo of Alexandra in front of one of Picasso's paintings of the Girl with the Ponytail

  • When Pigasso met Mootise by Laden - this book was OK, but gives you an idea of the artwork of these 2 artists and their relationship
  • Picasso and Minou by Maltbie - very cute book about Picasso and his real-life cat


Anonymous said...

GREAT! Fantastic ideas here for how to structure artist study for this very unique artist. :-)

Cyndi said...

This was wonderful information! What a thorough study and a great list of resources. :)

Melissa Telling said...

I love your paintings! Now I want to study Picasso! :O)

Robin said...

Dana, you did a great job on this lesson! Alexandra will probably always have a great appreciation for art because of all the care you've put into these lessons. Great post!

Unknown said...

Great study of Picasso. It was really fun just hearing what you did to make it come alive for your daughter.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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