I think, well I know, Claude Monet was our favorite French Impressionist artist we have studied so far. We all loved him. We liked his life story, the paintings, his quirkiness. We read this book, and I think it gives enough details and information both Lucas and Siena were able to relate to him.
Also fun to know he grew up in Le Havre, a seaport town where our ferry will arrive from England, when we get there.
And from this book, we made this project and we had fun reading about his life from these pages as well. The kids loved it that he started drawing caricatures when he was a teenager and was known for his great talent.
Another day we did a painting based on how he painted. We picked a beach landscape and tried to paint in short strokes. We remembered the story about Monet and his painting at the beach, as most Impressionists were doing at that time, painting out of doors. We read of one time he was painting the ocean, and up came the tide and waves, and he got wet and all of his paints were taken by the water.
In one of the books we read, there’s a drawing of Monet painting at the beach, and with the wind blowing, he ended up with all sorts of things stuck to his paintings. From sand to starfish to leaves… just a funny sight.
We had lots of books with Impressionist paintings so we can discuss how different they were and to have on hand a copy of the originals right at our fingertips. To looks at colors, tones, strokes, styles.
And we also painted his Japanese Garden and water lilies from his Pink House just outside of Paris, Giverny. A place we’ve all decided we would like to go visit while in Paris. Right now, I am trying to figure out how to take the train and how to get to his house, now a Museum. How neat it would be to be standing right there.
We’ve been keeping our work in binders. We keep them in separate ones for the most part, by units. So, this is our France book, and at the end we are keeping some copies (either printed on photo paper from pictures online, or postcards I’ve had collected over the years or we have found or ordered recently for this unit.)
The kids have done a great job keeping them organized and looking so nice. We enjoy looking at them, studying the paintings, sharing them.
These are the resources we used to study Claude Monet:
- Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists : Monet by Mike Venezia. (DVD)
- Claude Monet The Painter Who Stopped the Trains by P.I. Maltbie.
- Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson.
- Claude Monet documentary.
- Amazing collection of the paintings of Claude Monet.
And we can’t not mention one of Claude Monet’s most influential paintings. Impression, Sunrise.
Because of this painting, shown at the First Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in 1874 (not called that at the time) is that this group of artists that were trying to break away from the main style of paintings of that time and before them, were called Impressionists. Name given by a critic not as a compliment but as a way to criticize them. Little did he know, a name was given to the next generation of Master Artists.