The kids got arty with George Rodrigue!

by Jen in art,george rodrigue,great artists

kid painting on easel

We took Red Ted Art’s Kids Get Arty challenge and we got arty! I’m not talking about our usual arts and crafts stuff, I mean really arty. We were totally up for this one! I brought the proper artist easel in from the garage even. As for our inspiration, we looked no further than our new puppy (who will be with us in late July). I have been wanting the girls to make paintings of our future dog, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. In our hunt for an amazing artist to learn about we landed on George Rodrigue. You are probably familiar with his series of works titled Blue Dogs. This American artist’s paintings of a blue dog seemed like the perfect jumping off point for the girls.

george rodrigue blue dogs
After looking at some examples of Rodrigue’s artwork we discussed the fact that his work is more abstract and two dimensional than some other classic artists like Renoir and Manet. We actually found many examples of dogs found in famous paintings. The history of dogs in artwork is fascinating. This is a great link with further information. Rodrigue’s use of colour really appealed to my girls.
We started by thinking of how a piece of art is constructed. The use of background and foreground in a composition.
explaining painting composition to kids
The girls then worked on their rough sketches…
child sketching artwork
kids artwork sketches

And began working on canvas with acrylic paints. They used proper paint brushes and were thrilled to work with mommy’s “big” easel.

large adult sized art easel
the mama easel
kids art
almost done
kid painting of dog
 getting there
kids painting of dog
 the finished piece “Blue Mountain Dog”
child's painting of dog in the park
 “The Park Dog”

The finished products were gloriously colourful and creative. My youngest daughter was delighted with how her border terrier turned out “it looks just like a real border terrier, I can’t believe it!” My eldest daughter, who is more of a writer than a painter, took a more simplistic approach. Each are unique and each will hang with honour on their bedroom wall.

This was a great opportunity to open up the discussion about art. In fact as my daughter was working on her sketches she was using an eraser we had picked up during our last trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario. It says “Art Matters”. She said “see mommy art does matter, just like the eraser says.” I cannot wait to take my girls back to the AGO to see the Pablo Picasso exhibit…it’s in the calendar!
We are linking up today’s post to Red Ted Art’s Kids Get Arty – Exploring the Great Artists link up. Be sure to head over and find out how many other bloggers are introducing the great artists to their children all over the world.
Red Ted Art


maggy, red ted art May 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

Oh my. This is wonderful!! I love how you explored an artist that is currently relevant to your family – i.e. your new puppy coming!! Great to look at backgrounds and foregournds. And LOVE the finished results (especially the girls smiles).


Thank you for sharing our Kids Get Arty journey! See you again in July!


KitchenCounterChronicles May 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

Maggy – This is a great series and I can’t wait for July!

Carolyn Wilhelm May 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

Wonderful, and I sent this link and Maggy’s page to an art teacher I know. Thanks so much, Carolyn

KitchenCounterChronicles May 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

Awesome! Thanks Carolyn.

Rebekah May 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

You have inspired me to look at some animal art with my daughter. She loves animals especially cats and dogs so this would be perfect for her!

Jackie H. May 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Wow! I love that you used a “real” piece of art as a jumping off place for the girls to create their own. And I love that they didn’t just copy his work but really created their own interpretations.

andie jaye May 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

how fun! i think it’s so interesting that they sketched out ideas first! my son loves using an easel too! just adds to the experience :)pinning this to my famous artists board.

The Monko May 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

this is great. I had never heard of George Rodrigue, thanks so much for sharing him, and your great art activity

PlayDrMom May 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Thanks so much for sharing their process and products! It’s a very inspirational post … I definitely want to try more stuff like this with my kids! Thanks so much for sharing it on this week’s Kids Co-Op Linky!

Carolyn Wilhelm May 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

This blog post is included in the FEATURED ON WE TEACH weekly video made from selected pins on the We’re Bloggers share. Thanks so much! Carolyn from We Teach.

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