Monday, May 31, 2010

Degas "Painting life through a keyhole."

Edgar Degas was born on July 19, 1834 in Paris, France.   Degas originally studied law before taking up art.  He liked to paint indoors and is well known for his many paintings of dancers.  He used charcoal and pastels as often as he used paints.  He liked to paint/sculpt how life was and not posed.  He said he liked to paint life as if he was "painting life through a keyhole".   As the artist grew older he had severe eye problems but still made paintings, sculptures, and drawings, from memory.   His work was shown along with Monet, Renoir, and Cezanne.  He died in Paris, France in 1917,  when he was 83 years old.
One of my favorite consequences of doing a study on Degas was being exposed to all the great art work that he created in addition to his paintings of dancers.   I had no idea how diverse he was and I especially enjoy his sculptures, mainly the horses.
We used several books for the above information and if you are interested in finding more information on Degas or any other famous artists please click here.

I chose this clip because it shows a variety of Degas' work:

We did two projects because I couldn't decide which one I wanted to do more.  I love working with pastels and I had just received an order of burlap. 
Our first project was from The Usborne ART Treasury.  Pastel dancers.  An easy project using black construction paper and pastels.  It gives you tips on how to make the dancers.  We personalized it a bit (because I made a mistake and didn't like the hair on mine) and cut it out.  The girls really liked this so they cut theirs out also. 
D wasn't as into making this project as others but he did like to mimic the dancers:

Our next project was from the book Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl and Kim Solga. 
This was a project also done with pastels.  Chalk on Cloth.  It called for a cotton cloth with a rough weave and we used burlap.  You soak the fabric in milk and then draw a picture on quickly before the cloth dries.  You turn the painting upside down on a piece of scrap paper and old newspapers, then you cover the painting with aluminum foil and iron.  This sets the chalk design into the fabric.

I wasn't sure what we were going to do with them but using them as book covers on our travel binders worked out very well.

D made a smiley face for Nick.


Lori said...

have you read "degas and the little dancer" by laurence anholt? we loved anholt's books about artists for children. :^)

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