Saturday, January 5, 2013

When Pigasso met Mootisse

If you do read this blog regularly, you know that I was quite thrilled when my wonderful teacher/librarian offered to teach my art.  Somehow I love art but necessarily teaching it!

Before school began I went to the Matisse exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery so that I thought I could use this as inspiration to begin the year.  I happily gave Allison my nice book on children's art and Matisse.  (Sorry the book is at school).  Anyway my class has really enjoyed doing art with Allison and they have done some great work.  When she started a unit on Picasso it reminded me of one of my favorite picture books by one of my favorite picture book artists, When Pigasso met Mootisse, by Nina Laden.  I have always loved her books and having had the opportunity to hear her speak at an International Reading Association conference, and discovering she lived in the Seattle area, I was able to invite her to a couple of the Young Writers' Workshops our reading association used to host at the Vancouver Public Library for families.  Not only is she a wonderful artist and writer, she is also a lovely person.

Needless to say my class loved the book as much as I did.  I also was able to give them some other interesting links about the real relationship between Picasso and Matisse.  This was an excellent link with lots of information.  This is an interesting video interview about the exhibit of the two at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  Now if you feel inspired to do some art teaching I also found this good link as I was trying to find the name of the book that I lent to Allison about Matisse.  And the book is Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors: Masterpieces from the Late Years by Olivier Berggruen and Max Hollein.

My class did response booklets on the book and I am currently wondering what I have done with them!   I think they may be tucked away somewhere at school because they were so neat and thoughtful, I really wanted to send them to Nina.  As you can see their covers reflect the style of their favorite artist.  I have to say the class was quite evenly divided on their preferences about the artists.  The book also reminded them of another picture book we had studied, Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, a book with characters who are animals based on famous people.

I continue to be amazed by the power of picture books.  And I am also convinced that some of my talented students may be picture book authors and illustrators themselves one day!

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