How To Do An Artist Study- Part 1 The Benefits
Before discovering Charlotte Mason, our homeschool lacked quality art practice, observation skills, and an appreciation for art. Artist studies use our senses beyond just visual and auditory. The senses of feeling and emotion and touch (if you are copying artwork) are awakened as well. Having a nuts and bolts of ‘How to do an Artist Study’ would have made my journey easier. And this is my reason for sharing.
Charlotte Mason is the most influential resource for art in our homeschool. As a perfectionist, I thought I had to do a perfect artist study which would require money, lots of time in our schedule, and brain power. Not only is Charlotte Mason’s method of art/picture study simple and inexpensive, it takes only 15 minutes or so a week. Sometimes we do more if I read about the artist, but that is just the icing.
So why should you do artist studies? How can art improve your children’s education? Does bringing beauty into your home(school) really make a difference?
Without further ado…
Benefits of an artist study:
- Artist studies cultivate a love of the beautiful and awakens gratitude.
- Studying art develops acute observation skills. You learn to recognize details that you normally would not see in a painting, photograph, or work of art. This skill translates into other subjects as well.
- Through an artist study, you learn about the artist as a person, an imperfect sinner with passions and quirks. You also see the result of artists using their talents and following their passions.
- You learn to recognize great works of art by an artist even if you had not seen a particular piece before. My oldest daughter recognized a Mary Cassatt painting on a calendar in a resident’s room during our nursing home ministry, because she knew the artist and was very familiar with her work. This happens repeatedly.
- Art studies sharpen the skill of focus and spark the imagination.
- In an artist study, you inherently gain an appreciation for the art and the artist. Our trip to NYC allowed each of my kids to pick 3 things each they wanted to do. My oldest daughter picked visiting the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) as her first choice. Seeing many of the paintings we have studied over the years was surreal. It opens up a love in you and your kids.
- Want to be like a great artist? Copy a great artist. You lose a sense of perfectionism just by getting started. All of my 3 children would get super frustrated initially while copying a great work of art. By repeating this practice regularly (weekly), they could see improvement in their artwork and they took satisfaction in it.
- Art studies, by their nature, help you understand the history and the culture of an artist’s time period.
- An art study teaches articulation and how to express oneself as you narrate what you see.
- Art makes you more proficient in other subjects; specifically reading, writing, and math. “…researchers determined that students who received more arts education did better on standardized tests, improved their social skills and were more motivated than those who had reduced or no access.”
- Art study is inexpensive, easy to do, takes little time, and it’s benefits are far reaching and meaningful. It goes beyond the classroom.
The How To Do An Artist Study series is broken down into 3 parts: