Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dinner with Van Gogh

As you know, I have three kids. More specifically I have three boys. Three active boys. That often means that dinner time can be utter chaos with everyone talking at once, Vegan Mom and me trying to keep kids in their seats, spilled drinks, etc. So, Vegan Mom came up with a great idea to help focus the dinner conversation. She signed some books about various artists out of the library, and every night each one of us tells the rest of the family what our favourite painting is by the artist of the week, and why. We then all say what we like about the painting, and discuss the elements and principles of art evident in the piece, as well as techniques that define the artist. On the weekend, we all make our own picture in the style of the artist.
It is a lot of fun to see what pieces of art the kids choose as their favourite because they have no preconceptions and don't go for the obvious. And, I have to admit, doing the original artwork is really hard! I loved art in high school and did a few pieces that weren't half bad, but art employs a part of the brain I have not used in a looooong time. I could almost feel my brain creaking and clunking away trying to get my hand to do what I wanted it to. Above is Son #1's interpretation of Van Gogh's self portrait. Below is my attempt at doing this picture a la Van Gogh. Next up: Picasso!

28 comments:

Chris said...

What a great exercise for the kids and yourself! Not only is it fun, but I'm sure your boys will retain some of the knowledge for years to come; compare with the vacations my parents took me on where the kids were usually too tired to be bothered and slept in the car. Who knows, you could be planting the seeds for the next Van Gogh! :)

shelby said...

Awesome paintings and I love the idea! I have 3 little brothers so I would love to try this on them.

Anne said...

What a great portrait of Van Gogh!!!!! I love it!

Eva said...

That is a very nice Van Gogh-esque loaf. I like it a lot.

aTxVegn said...

Your family has many talents! Starry Night is my favorite painting.

dans-ing said...

I just land into your blog in a search for bakery's blogs...and i just couldn't skip it.
I just loved the way you try to keep your vegan life and family and this idea of vegan mom about art and weekends interpretations are just amazing..definitely i'm going to use that with my future kids.
thank you for being you and keep the good and hard work.

herbstsonne said...

What an amazing idea, and what an inspiration to dig out my pastels and start drawing again! :D That is awesome!

Emily said...

That is a super cool idea and a very nice ciabatta painting! :)

yasmin said...

Nice drawing Vegan Dad! And very cool family project, it's great you found a way to focus family dinners. I would put your tips into immediate effect if I had kids.

Dawna said...

Hey! Great art piece! Looks like your hand was QUITE cooperative, if you ask me.

I like the idea you are posing and know all too well about spilled drinks... mostly via my husband actually. ;)

Just discovered your blog. I LOVE it!!! Thanks for all the hard work you do in helping fairly-new vegans like us. :)

Eating Consciously said...

I'm impressed with both!

Danica said...

Give Vegan Mom huge kudos from me for a FANTASTIC idea!! When I started drawing again after eons I got Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It brings your head around to your hands and vice versa. :D

nick said...

This is a very neat idea.
I want to see more pictures, especially the Picasso interpretations!

beckiwithani said...

What a cool idea for a family activity! My daughter is only 2, but I could see this being something we would all get into doing in another couple of years. Thanks for sharing.

And I love the Van Gogh ciabatta.

Cindy said...

Good idea! Cuz 3 boys....eeek! I know all about it. I'm number four with 3 older brothers. I learned not to be a shy, quiet little girl. I could speak as loud as they could when I wanted! I like both paintings very much. But, I must say...I think I like the portrait best!

Sarah said...

This is a great idea! And your son's picture is very good - you might have a budding artist on your hands.

RuthWeb said...

That's fantastic!!

It has so much "motion" in it!

I love that.
#1 son's picture is FANTASTIC. He's an artist. Some kind, anyway.

Keep on scrawlin'.

Bianca said...

What a neat idea! This is the kind of thing that will stay with your kids forever. I love family traditions!

allularpunk said...

what an awesome idea!

laci said...

Awww you son's perception of Van Gogh is pretty good! And is yours bread?...

PB and Jess said...

I must say, you're a talented artist! Sounds like a great way to inspire your kids :)

Carolyn said...

Wow, what a great idea. Can I be in your family??

WhiskeyMind said...

Very good idea. Vegan Mom is on the ball. I think this world is ready for and heading for another Renaissance, to rediscover that life is so much more than how many toys someone can afford. Very cool idea.

Susan G said...

I had to laugh at your description of dinner chaos - it is the same at my house with 3 girls! That is a great idea Vegan Mom had. My kids have done Starry Night in art class - they looked pretty good considering they were done by 5 year olds!

VeganLinda said...

I love the pictures and the idea. I think we might have to start this.

Singletrack Angel said...

What a great tradition that the boys will remember forever...

erin32mc said...

great idea!!! i love both of the art pieces. we might have to steal this idea for our house.

Anonymous said...

You should take your (or their) favorite pieces at the end of your weeks of artists from each of the boys and have them framed and put them up around the house. That would just be so neat.