I was so excited to return to Beacon School today after the holiday break that I hardly slept last night. I decided to bring my gigantic book about Thomas Hart Benton. First I sat with Sky Hawk and he was so enthralled with Benton's paintings I ended up showing him every single reproduction in the book. One of the portraits was of a young woman in a dress, seated, playing guitar, and I thought she looked exactly like a girl in our class. Sky Hawk agreed. We looked at the sketches that Benton made in preparation for his murals. Sky Hawk gasped out loud when he saw the photo of the finished murals in the Missouri State Capitol. This gave me another idea - I will bring in my big book of Diego Rivera's art into class next!
When I was showing Arctic Wolf the Benton book she was intimidated. She said I can't draw like that! I said he didn't start out that way. Look at the pencil drawing he made when he was a child, at the beginning of the book. The drawing was of a train, and there was a sketch of some cowboys and Indians. But that's really good too, she protested. One of the photos in the book was of the models for Grant Wood's painting, American Gothic, standing beside the painting. I asked her if she knew that painting. She said everyone knows that painting! I read the caption aloud; the man who modeled for the painting was Grant Wood's dentist and the woman was Grant Wood's sister. We laughed. I said look at that guy's face! Wouldn't you want to paint that guy if he was your dentist? I would like to bring all my art books in to show them, one at a time.