Art History

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls”

Pablo Picasso

If we removed art, acting, handiwork, innovation and the written word from our homes, we’d be left doing the dishes and heading to bed after the kids were snuggled in their beds. Rather, we watch, we play, we read, we discuss and debate, we click and tap, sew and knit, draw and paint. We re-create our lives.

I might have been a liberal arts major in another life. No time like the present, though. I endeavour to introduce my children to composers of different periods, music of different genres, books of different flavours, and art of different eras. A full flavour of the rainbow.

One of our favourite book series is in in picture book style that we discovered on our visits to Paris’ Louvre and London’s National Gallery last spring: Katie by James Mayhew.

June 2013 001

These vividly illustrated picture books are representations of renown artists known to most of us. Katie Meets the Impressionists includes paintings of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas. Katie and the Bathers shares a story of the pointillists Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, and Camille Pissarro.

Katie and the Mona Lisa, well, you know that one…except that the real life painting is much smaller than depicted in the book…and surrounded by dozens of onlookers at all times.

Katie and the Sunflowers depicts post-impressionists Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Paul Cezanne. I like reading and re-reading these books to my kids, and I feel that their education is well-rounded, capable of discussing the basics at their future soirees.