Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art Book Review: Art In Action

I know this is an art project blog, but I have decided to post some book reviews on here as well. A little shameless cross-promotion. Aside from using art education blogs, I also consult various art books for project ideas. I've had a book review blog for several years and I thought I could do a little cross posting.

We have been making weekly (sometimes even twice a week) trips to the library this summer. And my oldest daughter has been into borrowing "How to draw...." books. So I've visited the 700-750 range in the nonfiction section of the library often. And I've found some GREAT books relating to art and kids. I decided I was going to put up a few reviews of these books on the art blog. Since they were BOOK REVIEWS, I figured why not cross post on the book blog as well. I'm sure there are some mom book bloggers out there who might be interested too! :-)

I found this book, Art in Action(1) by Maja Pitamic this week at the library as well as its counterpart Art in Action(2). Oh my, these are FANTASTIC books relating art and kids' art projects! I will be purchasing them. They break down into chapters by a certain theme like "Color", "Shape", or "Portraits". And then an artwork is profiled that fits within the theme. The artwork page shares interesting yet simple information about the artist or style and then the following pages depict project ideas.

Below shows the artist page for Henri Rousseau's jungle image: Surprised. We actually did a project related to this painting last year. You can see our project here. This page in Art in Action shows a fun collage you could do with the kids' handprints.

The images above show what the artwork page in the book looks like and the finished project.
In the "Nature" chapter of the book (below), you can see an image of Jacopo Zucci's Pergola with Birds and then create the following projects:

You can see from the images I took that the projects come with very visual instructions, also a supply list and most of them are very easy to do. The bird rug project could be applied to other imaginative play as well. Your kids could make rugs for their dolls. My daughter has a kitchen setup for her American Girl doll, this would be a perfect thing for her to make for that too.

What really impresses me about these books are the ease of the projects, the relatively "normal" supplies that can be found around most households easily, and the creativity behind the project ideas. These are things I have not really seen before (at least not all in one book). And I love that I'm interested in more than one project in a book. Sometimes, I find books where only one or two things appeal to me.

This last one is a Cezanne painting and a 3-dimensional box sculpture.

I have a few other art books I would like to review so look for some more reviews in the future! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Holly, thank you soooo much for reviewing these books. I have been looking all over for children's art books that don't focus on paper-plate art. These look wonderful. And they are written by Maja Pitamic, who wrote a Montessori book I have.

    I am going to buy them :) THANK YOU!