Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Introducing children to art

Sunflowers No posts of art tonight, simply a post on art. A post on introducing children to art – to the highest possible in art.  Hope it helps.

Dianne Durante gives five tips to help you introduce your child to art.

For me, the point of looking at art is not to learn history or sociology, and it’s certainly not to wow other people with your knowledge. At its best, looking at art is pure pleasure. Even when it’s not pure pleasure, I enjoy figuring out why it’s not.

leonardo-lion1 That’s the most important thing to communicate, she says.  The pleasure of art.

    Notice that a concentrated look at art is the last step in [my] list of suggestions, not the first.
    You can take your child to the great museums of the world for hours on end, but if he can’t focus on what he’s seeing, and if the two of you can’t talk about what you’ve seen, what’s the point?

Mondrian Read on here for those five simple tips.

And I confess. I’ve softened. I’ve added a few pics of art (from Van Gogh, Leonardo, Mondrian and Monet respectively) that youngsters regularly respond to.  See how you go with yours.



  1. We took the kids to Monet. The 15 year-old was sullenly determined to find it all boring. And he did...until he came across the Japanese prints that so inspired Monet. He was intrigued by them. Pulled out a piece of paper and made a note of the artist's name. Came home and started looking at his work on the internet and we now have one of his prints as a screensaver. And you can look at it at length waiting for the computer to get on with it and never feel annoyed or impatient.

  2. Hello PC,

    You have said: "For me, the point of looking at art is not to learn history or sociology ... at its best, looking at art is pure pleasure."

    You are right to suggest the former within context, and the latter is true from the perspective of aesthetics.

    From studying the painter is one able to appreciate his art.

    The appreciation may or may not lead the observer onto different levels.

    Painters may or may not reflect elements of history in his paintings.

    An observer may be moved by the aesthetics before him; his perception is entirely his own.

    If he is thus moved, he may study the life of the painter.

    And in doing so, History may be revealed.

  3. This is the first time I have visited pc.blogspot.com having heard about it on Newstalk ZB. Box as ticked.

  4. Hi Lindsay,

    I have to say that I agree with your youngster -- I prefer the Japanese prints too. :-)

    (Which one did your youngster choose, by the way?)

    That said, Michael Newberry has persuaded me to pay more attention to what Monet and the impressionists were doing, particular as regards their use of colour to portray three dimensions -- at which I can now appreciate they really were masters.

  5. Hi Unsub, glad to have you on board I hope you don't "unsub" too soon. :-)

    Certainly history can be revealed through art -- and my favourite online historian Scott Powell agrees, so that must be right. ;^)

    But that's not art's primary purpose. That's the point Dianne Durante is making here.

  6. It's not art as such, but the highlight of a summer trip to Wellington for me was taking one of my lads to an exhibition of working models based on Leonardo da Vinci's sketches, then being able to show him his artwork as well. Never thought I'd be explaining the term 'renaissance man' to an eight year old who thinks the coolest thing in the world is a raucous fart.

  7. You say that like raucous farts are a bad thing, Marcus. :-)

  8. Hello PC,

    The question is not whether I will choose to 'unsub'; the question is "will you 'unsub' me if you do not like what I write. I ask the question based on my encounter with Perigo on the Liberal website. It appears Perigo et all are more than willing to protect freedom of speech - as long as speech kowtows to them. One could even say liberals bend over backwards to accommodate polishing as equally as they would bend forwards to accommodate friction.

    Durante has a fine point. I guess we each arrive at our own signposts of aesthetics depending upon the routes we take.

    I arrived, more or less, at mine in attempting to discover the extent to which Nietzsche was influenced by Wagner.

    It is impossible to study Wagner without travelling through Greek Tragedy.

    It remains a great pity both Wagner and Nietzsche continue to be misunderstood.

  9. PC, my raucous farts are indeed a bad thing. Even my boy Albie will admit that, between clenched teeth while he futilely attempts to hold his breath.

  10. I was introduced to Monet via our "best" place mats when we had adult guests round for dinner.

    When I made it to Paris, visited Gallery Marmottan to see a nice little Monet collection. Oh, and Whistler's Mum at the Musee d’Orsay.


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