Autumn In Tennessee - The Spot Where I Was Engaged

Autumn In Tennessee - The Spot Where I Was Engaged
by Sherri Wear 2008

Friday, April 13, 2012

Picasso for Kiddos

Hey did you know that Pablo Picasso's full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz Picasso?  I didn't know either until my toddler and I started reading about the famous artist today.  I send my deepest apologies to my humanities teacher Mrs. Sally (formerly) Smith for not remembering this bit of art history and appreciation.

Boy With Red Earring by Jackson Wear
A construction paper collage in the style of Pablo Picasso

I will officially begin to homeschool Jackson this August, but I try to do a little here and there so he'll be ready for the kindergarten curriculum.  Well, phonics and numbers get boring even with the help of "Blue's Clues" and "Team Oomi Zoomi."  I just could NOT handle being bored on a Friday.  I remember how my 8th graders hated doing work on Fridays, especially in the springtime.  I had to come up with something better than classic academics today.  While browsing through last night, I came across several art crafts and lessons for kindergarten and other school-age children.  I decided since Jackson is a child prodigy ( I mean, he is MY son), he could handle some of these lessons at the age of 4.  I'm happy to say that I was right about this decision.

There are countless sites with information about Picasso on the Internet, but I settled on one that focused on basic information about the man and gave a lot of examples of his works.  That site is  We read the information.  We found Picasso's places of birth and death on a world map.  Then, we began to look at his art, especially his later, more abstract works.  Jackson thought it was "cool" that Picasso didn't try to make everything look "perfect."  I liked his reaction to the work.  Most adults with no appreciation for art make statements like, "I could paint better than that" or "It looks like a child did it." 

I saw on another site (that I can't remember) how one lady had her child make a work of art in the style of Picasso out of construction paper cut and placed into a sort of collage.  I knew Jackson needed to work on his cutting skills with "big boy" scissors, so I thought I would try something similar.  Instead of printing a bunch of pictures, we kept the iPad handy so we could refer to it to compare some of Picasso's more famous works.  I didn't want Jackson to copy one particular painting.  I wanted him to focus on the style and the bright colors.  We decided to only make a face.  He picked out all of his favorite bright colors.  I let him draw the shapes and glue them into place.  I didn't have any children's safety scissors, so when we got to the smaller parts of this "masterpiece," I let Jackson draw them while I cut them.  Mostly, I cut the dots and pupils.  He had such a great time, and so did I.  Jackson named it Boy With Red Earring.  I have to say that I thought it was a female until he told me otherwise. 

Jackson with his masterpiece

I am hoping to get my husband to sit down long enough tonight so that all of us can use acrylic paint to try to copy one of Picasso's paintings.  My hope is that this activity will show Jackson how everyone sees things differently and how much fun family time can be without a computer or television.  If it works out, I will post photos of our paintings. 

I hope this inspires someone out there to get kids interested in art at a young age.  If things keep on their current path for public schools, it may be the only art appreciation American children ever receive. 

Well, I tried the activity that I mentioned with my family attempting to paint one of Picasso's works.  I don't know if it showed that everyone sees things differently, but it definitely showed us that Picasso's work are not easily copied. The painting that we tried to copy was Picasso's Girl With Red Beret. I feel that he may be turning over in his grave after our attempts!  We did have fun, and I encourage everyone to try replacing family game night with family paint night.

Family Paint Night
Pablo Picasso's Girl With Red Beret

Jackson's Girl With Red Beret Copy

Daddy's (David's) Girl With Red Beret Copy

Mommy's (Sherri's [My]) Girl With Red Beret Copy


1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of family paint night! I also love what the three of you came up with. Thanks for the inspiration!