Monday, September 19, 2016

Vigee LeBrun Lesson Extension Activities

I love my head.  I have a morning routine that includes general head maintenance like brushing my teeth, combing my hear, and washing my face.  Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun spent a good portion of her life focused on heads too; painting portraits of them, sculpting the image that those heads presented to the press, and even working to protect her own head from the guillotine during France's revolution.  Through it all, LeBrun's artwork played a key role in the politics of the day.

Ready to learn more?


It is impossible for us to cover all the details of any artist's life in our short class time, and Vigee LeBrun is no exception.


Use your quilling tools to create more artwork! 
  • Make a quilled dress for Marie Antoinette.  Template available at
  • Try making a 3 dimensional quilled piece - maybe a necklace or Christmas ornament.  There are many free patterns available.


  • Thirteen years of exile was probably not something Vigee LeBrun intentionally placed on her to-do list.  What happens when we don't like God's plans?  
  • Read Jeremiah 29:11.  God has plans for good, even when it doesn't look like things could possibly ever turn out well.  Does that sound like a flippant platitude?  
  • Look into the history behind why those words were spoken.  God's perspective may surprise you.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun

Self Portrait in a Straw Hat
Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun
after 1782
Oil on Canvas
National Gallery, London
Welcome to the 7th season of SKETCH!  Can you believe that the summer has already come and gone?  I love the restful pace of long days, but I have to say that I really crave the structure of fall and I'm really looking forward to getting started with our lessons again.  

Thank you in advance for your patience during our first meeting of the year.  Supply distribution, late arrivals due to mistaken directions, finding places to sit as a group, introductory information: all of this takes time.  Rest assured that we will get a full lesson in, even if it doesn't look organized at first. 

Feel free to enter through either the front or the side door of the church. (directions here) I will have the registration table set up in the sanctuary. When you arrive please sign-in, pick up your exercise pages, and write name-tags for each child (and parents too!).  I try to use the kids' names as often as possible, but fully admit that I don't have everyone memorized despite my best efforts.

You may choose any table you'd like to work at.  My only request is that you please avoid skipping single seats. We generally use every chair on the first week, and I work hard to ensure that families can sit together.  There is a bit more space as the year goes on (and flu season hits) so the close quarters is only temporary.

You can then pick up any materials that you ordered.  It is essential that you check your order for accuracy.  I will include a copy of your order form and will note if anything is backordered. Please let me know asap if there are materials that you are missing.

Artist Exercise Pages

Each exercise page contains a short biograhical note about our featured artist, an image of the artist's work which can be colored in, and some exercises that will help get your student ready for our upcoming project.  These are designed to be done while you wait for class to begin, or to keep fingers busy during the art history portion of class.  It has been scientifically proven that doodling enhances both focus memory, so I encourage students to be as creative as they'd like with these pages.  Scribbling in the corners isn't making a mess, and it isn't disrespectful to the speaker - it is helping them learn, and that is our goal.

If you wish to create a portfolio of the work your child does throughout the year you can simply save these artist pages and attach either a photograph of your child's corresponding artwork or the original. 

Picture Study

Each month I will be sending you an image to study during the week 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 are low resolution and can be used 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.

I suggest that you 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 we are going to be looking at the work of:

Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun 
April 16, 1755 – March 30, 1842

As the first female court painter in France, Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun is best known, not for her  admission to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, but for her familiar portraits of Marie Antoinette.  The role of art in politics is clear as we view the  controversial social and political  climate of the French Revolution through her paintings.

Marie Antoinette and Her Children
Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun
Oil on Canvas
Palace of Versailles, France

In honor of Marie Antoinette's famous MIS-quote "let them eat cake," this month we will be learning about the ancient art of quilling as we create a gift for the volunteers of the NH foodbank.


Families who ordered material kits - You may want to arrive a bit early to collect your order.  Please check to ensure that everything is correct.  No substitutions or changes can be made after the kit is taken home.  Those who ordered the complete kit should have everything they need for this project included in the kit.  Those who ordered the basic kit will need to bring all their own materials, except for paper.

In order to complete this month's project each student will need to bring to class:
  • Acid free construction paper 12x18" assorted colors - 2-3 sheets per student cut into 1/4-1/2 inch strips (a paper shredder works well for this process) and an additional sheet or two uncut.
  • Elmer's white glue 4oz, can be shared
  • Scissors - 1 per student
  • toothpicks- 2 per student
  • popsicle sticks - 2 per student
  • straws - 2 per student
  • slotted quilling tool - 1 per student (this tool is not essential, but it will make the process much easier, especially for younger students)
  • Crayola supertip markers - set of 10 - can be shared
    • You may also want:

      Note: Please make sure that all supplies are clearly labeled with your family’s name.  Children work at large tables, and supplies often roll.  Collecting materials at the end of the day is much easier if they are marked.  Address labels work well for this purpose.  

    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 16th!
    Sheryl G.