Monday, August 14, 2017

A Few Random Thoughts and Peter Paul Rubens Art Prints

Happy fall, y'all. Okay, it's not actually fall, despite what the decor in Hobby Lobby is telling you. It's hot and muggy here in Colorado: hot enough to be miserable, but not hot enough to swim. *pout* Autumn is coming, though.

1. A new school year is upon us. My family started three weeks ago, but I know many of you are finishing your final prep work before you get started. I'm heading into this year with a second, fifth, and seventh grader. (SEVENTH GRADER!! Ahhhhhhh!!!) My kiddos jump grades in the fall for the purpose of church classes, activities, and answering strangers in the grocery store, but they don't finish their curriculum years until January. We break for summer in the middle of a 12-week term, so starting back in the fall just means picking up our books where we left off. Right now, that is Years 2, 4, and 6 of AmblesideOnline. Because of our schedule, most of my academic planning happens over Christmas Break.

2. What I do need to prepare in the fall, however, are the fine arts subjects. After seven years of homeschooling, I know myself well enough to know that if we're going to get to a subject during a busy day, it needs to be queued up and ready to go. For arts subjects, that means I have playlists or CDs of our hymns, folksongs, and composers. For art study, that means all my pictures are printed, trimmed, and filed somewhere. I'm currently running behind in my fine arts organizing, but I am making progress.

3. Naked people. No, I'm not talking about toddlers rampaging through my house. Peter Paul Rubens is the artist for our first term. He was a Belgian Baroque painter, and he brings a lot of Greek Classical elements into his paintings... including nudity. When we studied the first scheduled print, every single one of my kids felt the need to observe, "There are a LOT of naked people in this picture, Mama." They weren't particularly giggly or disturbed, just pointing out the facts, ma'am. (Okay, they were a little giggly.) In our family, we have no problem with nudity in art, presuming that the image is not designed to titillate. As such, I actually have a bigger problem with an image like Fragonard's The Swing than I do with Rubens' The Fall of Phaeton. Your family may take a different tact, and that's great. I'm not telling you what to do, and you don't have to call me a pagan in the comment section, deal? (Don't laugh; it has happened.) At any rate, the kiddos and I had a very interesting conversation about Greek art, why they painted and sculpted nudes, and their effect on Rubens. They enjoyed our study time quite a bit, especially when I gave them muffins to eat while we were looking and talking.

4. Peter Paul Rubens. If you avoid nudity in your art studies, you may want to choose a different artists or some different pieces, rather than what is listed on the AmblesideOnline rotation. I have had several parents ask me how I format my prints. I thought I wrote a post about that, but apparently not. Oops. I plan to remedy that next week, after we get back from our eclipse trip. In the meantime, I am done with our Rubens prints, and I'm really excited about the artwork we will be looking at. It feels different from anything we have studied yet. (Be sure to check out the sizes on his canvases. Several of them are HUGE! One of the things I have had my kiddos do before is outline the original size of the picture in masking tape to get a feel for just how big it is.)

Self-portrait, 1623, Royal Collection - I didn't include this one in my prints, because he looks mighty grumpy.

Download 8x10" prints here. As always, I included a self-portrait so the kids can see the artist. If you don't want it, just delete that page when you download the file.

Download 4x6" art cards here. They print three on a page, and I trim them to fit in the kids' Book of Masterpieces. Those books are still well-beloved and often-used in our home. I have lovely, slightly misty, visions of the kids sitting on their dorm room beds, finding comfort and a whiff of home as they flip through all their beautiful pictures. **sigh**

As usual, I have my prints done at Office Max on glossy cardstock. Regular sized paper is the cheapest way to get them printed, and I trim them size. Unfortunately, I have noticed an increase in their prices in the last couple years. If anyone has an option that prints as nicely and costs less, I'm all ears.