Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TOS Crew Review : ARTistic Pursuits

It is no secret that my daughters absolutely love art ... it is always the first subject they ask to do each day.

I was so excited to get a chance to review the curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits {Book 1 for Grades K - 3} and because my girls love art so much I already had all the supplies we needed for the lessons. Though if the thought of having to go to an art store and purchase supplies sends you into panic mode, no worries, ARTistic Pursuits actually offers art supplies for sale on their website.

I really love the fact that each lesson in this curriculum combines art appreciation with art instruction - simplifying things and making my life easier. Also, love the introduction of fine art materials to children.

Our second lesson in the book was about how artists use their imagination to create artwork. It had us studying a painting by Mac Chagall entitled "The Birthday". We closely looked at the painting then answered questions in the ARTistic Pursuits book. Then we moved on to creating our own imaginative art using watercolor crayons.

Here is what Lexi and Ava Mae came up with ...

Some of the best parts of ARTistic Pursuits is what is not in their curriculum.

What you WILL NOT find in ARTistic Pursuits:

  • NO formal exercises that make no connections to real world experiences. We will not ask your child to draw a page of straight lines, circles, cones, and cubes. The development of eye/hand coordination, which may improve with such exercises, happens more easily when children draw objects that they enjoy and are willing to draw.
  • NO single technique to learning. This is not a book of step-by-step copy exercises typical of How-to-Draw books. The technique of teaching kids to draw shapes copied from a book page does nothing to help them draw real objects. ARTistic Pursuits employs a variety of drawing techniques practiced by all artists when drawing from direct observation.
  • NO tiny boxes in which students are asked to sketch into. Artists don't work in 2" x 2" squares and we won't ask your students to do something that is physically uncomfortable. With a 9"x12" sketch book, they practice the type of whole hand and whole arm motion needed to make art. Art requires the use of the larger muscles of the hand (moving at the wrist), and arm (moving at the shoulder). Small muscle groups are used less often, therefore large sheets of paper are needed, 9"x12" or 11" x 14".
  • NO kids sitting in front of the TV or computer screen. Assignments guide children to work from life. The stillness of a natural setting revives our spirits. To be in nature helps us to become keen observers of our surroundings and active in our participation. Children benefit from time spent observing, and learn to "focus in" and "ponder" rather than "tuning out" to harsh sounds and fast paced visuals that TV and computer programs present to them. One mom wrote, "My son took his ARTistic Pursuits book and art tools out to the pasture. He's been sitting there with his dog for quite a long time, drawing something in the distance. I couldn't be happier!"
Prior to reviewing this product we were using another expensive art curriculum that was definitely frustrating at times for my girls - due to many of the reasons listed above.

ARTistic Pursuits, K - 3 Book 1 - An Introduction to the Visual Arts, is available to purchase directly from ARTistic Pursuits for $42.95. As are the other levels of this curriculum.

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of ARTistic Pursuits? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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I am reviewing this product on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than a free copy of ARTistic Pursuits, K - 3 Book 1, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the curriculum.

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