Mrs. Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren
As a child growing up, we did not have any sort of art appreciation courses in school, and we did not live near art museums so learning about great art was non-existent. Art class, yes. We learned to use paste, scissors, water colors, crayons and such, but art appreciation was not a part of my education until I had children of my own. As a home school mom, I loved the fact that I could pick and choose the type of education my children would have and I knew theirs would include art. Yes, cutting and pasting, painting and drawing, but also being exposed to beautiful fine art. This would be my education as well, and that is the beauty of home education --the teacher oftentimes learns right alongside her students.
Mary Cassatt became one of my fast favorites because of her many, many pictures of women and children. Our own children grew to love her work and could recognize her paintings. It was exciting for me to think that our children would eventually be able to pick out some of the great artists from a group of paintings, but my utmost goal was that they would simply have a love and appreciation of beauty that is truly art.
Breakfast in Bed
Is this not the way to awake every morning --a cup of coffee or tea and the joyful innocence of a child beside you in a cozy bed? Those were the days!
Young Mother Sewing
I love this picture of a diligent mother fully concentrating on her sewing while her daughter leans on her lap. There is no disruption, but a sense of "being together" that is enough. Likely, the disruption came later on.
Louise Nursing Her Child
What's not to love about this picture? Both are fully captivated by each other. What a bond!
Little Girl in a Blue Arm Chair
This picture became one of my daughter's favorites. She requested it for her birthday, if I remember correctly, and she proudly hung it in her bedroom to look at every day. She still has it hanging in her own home today. If you would like to view more of Mary Cassatt's art, click here. All paintings viewed here were selected from Mary Cassatt Complete Works.
If you are considering studying fine art with your children, I recommend looking for large coffee table books at your library of various artists' work. Casually flipping through the pages and stopping at favorite pictures to look deeply is one of the best ways to learn to love art. Ask questions like: "Why do you like this painting best? What part of this painting does you eye focus on most? Where does it seem the brightest? The darkest? You might also like to play the game of Eye Spy while studying a picture. If you have access to art museums, pack a lunch and go! Even a half hour can enlighten the mind and soul!