We don’t do a lot of artist studies, but when I saw Grant Wood was from Iowa and we had just started studying Iowa, I knew we needed an aritst study on him as part of our geography lessons to further our United States Geography.
Hi! Future Ticia 2023 here, we have since done a second Grant Wood Artist Study, only this time we focused on the different versions of the American Gothic people have created since the original was made. So, I’ll share our first Grant Wood artist study from early elementary, 2nd grade, and then I’ll share our high school, 10th grade, Grant Wood artist study. All right back to past Ticia 2012
Since this is our first study, we kept it fairly simple.
Grant Wood artist study resources
We read the Great Illustrators book about Grant Wood, if you haven’t read this series I highly recommend it. They’re a great way to learn more about artists and other historical figures in a non-threatening way.
As we read the book we did a lot of talking about his life, and how he decided HIS art would value the everyday life. He went away from all of the modernist styles of the day (think cubism and Picasso) and just painted life in Iowa.
Future Ticia 2023 also uses YouTube in her lessons, especially artist studies where it’s useful to look at video lessons of their art styles.
Now back to Past Ticia 2012, and our original American Gothic lesson.
American Gothic lesson for elementary
His most famous painting is “American Gothic.” You can see it on the cover of the book, and it’s been redone over and over again but never with the same feeling. We looked at some of the different versions of it, but decided we wanted to create something that was familiar and close to home for us like he did, instead of making our own version of his painting.
I set them loose with watercolor pencils, index cards, and the book to give them ideas. When they were all done with the painting they wrote down what made them think of home.
Or, that’s what they did in theory.
In reality, the boys drew monsters and told all about how the monster liked living on a farm. I think that’s what it says. I can clearly read “He like a farm.”
It’s a start…………
High School Grant Wood Artist Study
We had a very different lesson when we studied Grant Wood again in high school. They were old enough then to have seen some of the parodies of American Gothic and know more of who he was already. So we decided to make our own parody versions after watching this YouTube video.
We talked about different versions we had seen of the painting, and how we always drove past the house when we went to visit Aunt Tara, but have never quite been willing to go visit.
American Gothic shows up in all manner of movies and TV shows.
I pulled out various art supplies: index cards (I kept this aspect), crayons, markers, oil pastels, chalks, and watercolor pencils (another part that accidentally crept over), and we got started creating our parodies.
We happily sat there creating our Grant Wood parodies and talked about what we made. I think the boys primarily used markers, and I used oil pastels. The Artist went upstairs and got her own special art set. Ours weren’t good enough. Probably more she wanted something she knew how it would act.
All in all, I think they turned out amusingly well. They also were very much in line with each child’s interests at the time we created them.
Oh gosh, I totally forgot about that boy’s horrid brown ghost. There was much teasing after the fact that it did not look like a ghost. Not in the least.
All in all, both were quite successful artist studies, if not necessarily super conventional.
Now hopefully at some point soon I can complete the Iowa Unit, and have that as another project completed for this blog. So many things I want to write and so little time.