Monday, September 30, 2013

Bears for sick children

I just wanted to share a quick photo of one of the bears that your artwork images were added to for last month's community service project.  These will soon be heading out to hospitals around the state.  I know that the kids will appreciate them!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grant Wood Extension Activities

Isn't it interesting how Grant Wood combined fanciful and realistic elements in the same painting?  I just love his sense of whimsy.

Ready to learn more?  Here are some more activities to try:


Texture is one of the most important art elements in Grant Wood's work.  It is what gives his artwork depth and what makes it look real (or distinctly not-real).  Remember those texture rubbings we did on our Grant Wood landscapes?  Here's a way to learn how to create the same texture using your pencils.
  • Use your pencil to create a texture rubbing using the bottom of your shoes, a drinking glasses, or leaves.  
  • Then, using the same pencil, try to duplicate the look of that rubbing.  Pay close attention to how dark or light the marks are.  (hint: use the side of your pencil rather than the point)  
  • For more detailed instructions on how to create this project take a look at TeachKidsArt


Grant Wood is most famous for American Gothic, but he has done much more.

  • Museum Syndicate has a great digital collection of his work.  Take some time and flip through.  Which one is your favorite?


  • Kahn Academy (one of my all-time favorite free resources) has a wonderful video discussing  Wood's American Gothic.   It might be a bit much for younger students, but it is truly fascinating.
  • The video Dropping in on Grant Wood {affiliate link} is an adorable cartoon that does a great job of telling the story of Grant Wood's life.  Check to see if it is available in your local library.  There is also a companion book that is quite good.


The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is offering FREE ADMISSION on October 14th.  This would be a great opportunity to take a look at some of Grant Wood's pieces in person.  They also have a fantastic exhibition opening soon on American abstract expressionism that I think the kids would enjoy (in addition to the always popular mummies).


Grant Wood was raised in a Quaker home.

  • Learn more about what the Quaker's believe at HistoryforKids.  Does this sound similar to what you believe?  What is different?  
  • In official Quakerism, few believe in the need for salvation.  This is because most Quakers don't accept the reality of sin.  Instead they focus on improving themselves through good works and acting peacefully.  Is it possible to please God by simply doing good things?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Grant Wood

Welcome back to Sketch! I am so excited to start a new season.
Grant Wood

A few housekeeping details: 

Our church is now entered through the front door of the complex, rather than the side.   For those of you joining us for the first time, directions to the church are located on  our class site 

When you arrive, please have your registration form and payment ready (if they have not already been mailed in). You will turn these in in the front hall where you will also collect your nametags.

Picture Study

Each month I will be sending you an image to study prior to class. This will help your child to become familiar with the artist, and will give them time to really appreciate the different techniques that are used. These can be printed for educational purposes only.  If you are looking for art to decorate your home, please purchase prints.  The artists and museums will appreciate your support.

Please place the assigned image where your child will see it often. Personally, I like to hang prints beside the children's bathroom mirror where they can look at it while brushing their teeth. This may seem a bit irreverent, but really, where else will they have time to simply gaze at a picture several times every single day? Other options include sliding it inside the front cover of the child's favorite school binder, posting it on the refrigerator with magnets, or using it as the screen saver on your computer.

This month's artist

This month we are going to be looking at the work of:

Grant Wood

Grant Wood is most famous for parodies of his painting "American Gothic" of two farmers.  As tempting as it is, please wait to share all of these funny images with your child until after our class.  Mr. Wood is far more talented than the spin-offs lead us to believe.

To prepare for class please place a copy of the image below in a place where your family will see it often.  (click here for a printable image)
Birthplace of Herbert Hoover
Grant Wood
Oil on Masonite
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This month we will be learning about texture as we make stuffed bears to share with children who are sick.  You do not need to bring every item on our supply list.  In order to complete the project each student will need to bring to class:

Parents, please remember that this is not a drop-off group.  Come prepared to enjoy working alongside your child.

See you at 6:30 on Friday, September 20th!