Dear Sibylla Kiddle School Families,
I’m not an art expert. I have had the privilege of seeing original works by artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse but I’m not sure I could tell you what makes their work stand out against the paintings of lesser known artists. I do know when I see works by certain Canadian artists like: Jason Carter, Emily Carr or Ted Harrison that I love what I am viewing. I’m not sure what draws me to these works. Perhaps it is the use of colour, the interpretations on nature or the technique. I just know that I enjoy these artists more than others.
You don’t need to be an artist to enjoy a painting. You don’t need a course in art critique or history to have an opinion. You don’t even need to really know what you are talking about to instill a love of art in children. Picture books are one form of art. Did you know every year a medal is given for the best-illustrated picture book, called the Caldecott Medal? Many of the winners and honorable mentions from past years can be found at the public library. When reading these stories, stop and consider the pictures with your child. Do they like the pictures? What do they like (or dislike) about it? How does the art support or even tell the story?
If you are feeling more ambitious, consider a trip to an art gallery or museum. These can often be done in-person or online. Have your child choose a piece of artwork. What colours do they see? What do you notice? What patterns are present? How does it make you feel? What story do you think the artist is trying to tell? Why do you think the artist chose to do this picture? Do you like the painting? Why or why not? You don’t need an art degree to state a fact or give an opinion. Simply reflecting on a few basic questions can foster a love of art and plant a seed for representing the world through creativity and new perspectives.