Because Sprite and I enjoy art, artist study is one of our very favorite aspects of a Charlotte Mason education. It was one of the very first CM elements that I added to our routine.
Charlotte Mason’s Formula for Artist Study
- Choose an artist for a term (6-12 weeks).
- Choose enough works of art by that artist so that you will have one for each week of the term.
- Have weekly picture study by letting the child study the art for a few minutes and then narrate it back orally. Read more about this narrating art at Charlotte Mason Artist Study.
Isn’t that beautifully simple? Over the course of the term, the child should become familiar enough with that artist’s style to recognize other works by the artist when exposed to them. For our artist study, we prefer to look at a work of art each day instead of each week. Whenever possible, we visit art exhibitions and galleries. A real climax to our years of artist study occurred in Sprite’s 6th grade year when we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. What a joy to see her appreciate new works of art and identify ones that we had studied. I know that our homeschool art lessons enriched my visit there as well. I had the confidence to speak about the art and almost felt like meeting old friends when I saw some works of art.
Besides the basics, you can add on additional activities to an artist study: notebooking, biographies, videos, gallery visits, and making your own reproductions. Here are some of my favorite artist study books.
I also have a board at Pinterest devoted just to art and artist study for homeschool. I invite you to follow me there.
Specific Artists We Have Studied
Feel free to glean from our artist studies through the years.
- Georgia O’Keeffe
- John James Audubon
- Frida Kahlo
- Jacob Lawrence
- George Catlin
Charlotte Mason felt that all students should have some basic drawing skills. When Sprite was young, we worked through Mona Brookes’ Drawing With Children. You can read about our experiences at Using Drawing With Children. She currently takes drawing lessons with a professional artist.