Chinese Art

We’re still here, still schooling, still trucking on through summer.  We wrapped up our history study of China with a trip to the Sackler and Freer Galleries to appreciate Chinese scroll painting.  We also did a couple of projects.

First, we learned a little about the tradition of Chinese peasant painting.  You don’t see much Chinese folk art here in the West, but it’s out there.  When I lived in China, there was a terrific folk art center in my city with lots of artisans producing textiles, paper cuts, and the style of art called “peasant painting.”  I showed the kids lots of examples of these brightly colored paintings and then let them plan and try their own in the same style.

photo 1 (3)

We also went more traditional and imitated the Chinese brush paintings with some black watercolors to stand in for inks.

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Block carving is an old hobby of mine, so we happen to have lots of materials on hand.  When the kids asked if they could “sign” their paintings with a red stamp, I cut two tiny squares of pink EZ Carve for them and let them quickly carve something.  BalletBoy chose to do his initial and the Chinese surname I use.  Mushroom asked for me to pick a surname for him so I picked one as close to their last name as I could.

photo 2 (3)

2 thoughts on “Chinese Art

  1. You always have great curricula recommendations and this post makes me wonder what you use for ancient history in general. This is the subject which has given me the most trouble. My daughter’s eyes start to roll back in her head at the idea of timelines and I don’t think she remembers more than 10% of what we went over for ancient Egypt last year. Just because I think that hippopotamus means ‘river horse’ is a delightful nugget doesn’t translate as interesting to her.

    We’re doing ancient China ourselves now and I’ve resorted to reading aloud folktales and making up songs about Pangu together, set to the theme song of The Beverly Hillbillies. I can’t seem to find any cohesive way to make the subject interesting to a visual learner who doesn’t like to read much.

    Any ideas?

    Tx, Heather

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