Simple Artist Study: Picasso

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The small co-op that the kids and I were doing with some friends has ended. We were finding it difficult to keep to a regular schedule with sick kiddos and changes in schedules. It’s not a bad thing, it just means that I’m on my own for artist and composer studies. No more accountability.

So, I’ve decided to follow my own tips, now that it’s just my crew and I again, and keep it simple. Our first artist to study will be Picasso since I had already done some research on him for our co-op. Wow! What an…um…insteresting man. Interesting as in, some of the details of his life will probably be interesting to moms (and dads), but you won’t want to pass it all along to your younger kids. Two words: ladies’ man.

Some of those stories are the stuff of soap operas. One of my favorites was about one of his mistresses who dumped him. Later she decided that she wanted to legitimize the two children she and Picasso shared by marrying him. Picasso told the woman that he would marry her as soon as she divorced her husband. She did…and Picasso promptly married someone else!

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I was surprised to be able to find several books for younger kids readily available at our local library. We’ll be reading from:

Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail by Laurence Anholt

Picasso and Minou by P.I. Maltbie

What Makes a Picasso a Picasso by Richard Muhlberger

I plan to utilize something the kids were all enjoying at co-op, a variation of a paper bag book report. I have drawn several simple sketches representing details about Picasso’s life, such as a school building representing the fact that, at age sixteen, he left the prestigious art school he was attending or a fire to represent the fact that Picasso burned many of his early paintings to provide heat for his apartment during his “starving artist” days.

I’ll hand these pictures out to the kids, then, narrate a brief biography of Picasso. When they hear the fact that they think their picture represents, they’ll hold the picture up. It’s fun and a great way to encourage them to pay attention.

I was very excited to see that Jimmie, at Jimmie’s Collage, recently studied Picasso with her daughter. I was planning an artist imitation of Picasso’s cubist period very similar to what she and her daughter did and I’ll be reading through her suggestions again to see if I can find anything else we want to add to our study. I think we’ll spend a few Wednesday afternoons on this now that they’re free. If that doesn’t work, though, we may spend some time reading through the books and doing some activities on Friday afternoons after we do our state study.

Whatever we do, we’ll definitely be keeping it simple, low-key and fun.

Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Yes, too much information on a painter can definitely change how one views their work.

    I enjoyed your accompanying tips on artist/composer study. Let us know how the Picasso study goes!

  2. I've so been lacking in our artist & composter studies. I know to just keep it simple, but for some reason I keep trying to complicate it. Your ideas sound goog.

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