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Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for View from the Fifth Grade Trenches: Van Gogh


Twenty-Six Days of Creative Inspiration


How many of you just said, "Ahhhh" when you looked at this pic of Starry Night? The work of Vincent Van Gogh grabs me every time I look at it. His variety of brushstrokes, his vibrant colors, and his perspective of the ordinary never fails to pull me in.


I find his work very appealing and relatable to my 5th graders. Van Gogh's work is accessible because the kids can see the color variations and the movement of the lines. They do a terrific job duplicating his work as they experiment with their own blossoming artistic skill.


My students will recreate Sunflowers twice, once in chalk and again in thickened tempra paint to explore the textures Van Gogh created.


Okay, okay, there is the ear (or lack of it) "issue." Yes, I do share that information with the kids. It's a great illustration of an "artistic personality" run amok.

Van Gogh's life story is as compelling as his work. He is a cornerstone of my inspirations.

Are you a Van Gogh fan? Florals or landscapes? Do you have a favorite piece?

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18 comments:

  1. Leslie: Another great post. I was an art major for two years. Van Gogh is fascinating. As you mentioned, his life was incredibly tragic but that is what produces great art, imo. My favorites are his flowers and self portraits. Also his room at Arles.

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    1. My hope is always to pique their interest so they're motivated to learn more about the artist.

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  2. I'm not really a Van Gogh fan, but I like how you used his art to engage with your students. Good for you! :)

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  3. Yeah, Van Gogh is definitely my favorite. There's a Dr. Who episode with him that's also one of my favorites :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  4. I love "Starry Night." It's also my 9 yo son's favorite piece of art. :)

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  5. I do like Van Gogh, and Starry Night in particular. And I really enjoyed reading about how you brought Van Gogh and his work into your classroom for the kids. What fun!

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  6. Aww, I wish I could sit in on that class. Sounds fun! :)

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  7. I have always loved Van Gogh, especially Starry Night. And I love the song, too.

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  8. Huge Van Gogh fan--the self-portraits and the countryside series are my favorites. Great post--sounds like you really enjoy your work! The kids are lucky to have you--a teacher who's passionate about the subject is an educational asset, especially in things like art. Congratulations!

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  9. Thanks for all the good thoughts. You're all invited to my classroom to use the goopy paint.

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  10. I'm a fan. I prefer the landscapes. The lines do look like they might move.

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  11. The "ear" piece is a classic even for a non-artist like me

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  12. That's very interesting to me that your 5th graders like Van Gogh because several of his paintings are already slated to figure in my middle grade novel.

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  13. I watched a documentary on him not long ago. Truly a revolutionary artist. Even my kids love him.

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  14. I'm a huge Van Gogh fan. I must confess that I touched Starry Night back when I was a teen before it was covered in glass (because of bad people like me). When I went to the Museum D'Orsay a couple of years ago, I spent a lot of time viewing the Van Gogh pieces. The haystack one with the lounging people was my favorite one there.

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  15. A great artist... and the last illustration gives a new meaning to the phrase "... Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears..." LOL

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  16. I love Van Gogh. Starry Night has always been a favorite of mine because I love the color and texture. Also- the sunflowers he does are excellent. I can see how kids could relate to his work. The project you do sounds like fun!
    ~Jess

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