If I had to choose my favorite artist, it would have to be Vincent Van Gogh(followed closely by Georgia O'Keeffe!). I never get tired of teaching children about the tragic story of Vincent's life and struggle to be accepted as an artist. I've read many version's of his life and painful rejection by other artists and the townspeople of Arles and Auvers in France. I always show the kid's Mike Venezia's video, The World's Greatest Artists,Van Gogh. It is animated yet manages to convey very clearly what a struggle his life was. It also shows massive amounts of his work and where he painted these works. I stress to the kids that his implied texture is what transfixes audiences to this day. That he sometimes squeezed the paint directly onto the canvas to create thick, swirling motion, be it in a wheatfield or his own beard! I get happy just looking at his Sunflowers, boats and fields of flowers. I asked my 4th grade students to choose a landscape by Van Gogh and give it their own spin using oil pastel. Once they saw the variety of textures that they could create, they really took off!
I will post more when they are finished and on display. These make me very happy!