Teaching Kids Art

My daughter’s kindergarten class is doing a section on artists. So far, they have learned about Seurat, Jackson Pollack, Monet and Matisse. And they met the illustrator of Only Nine Chairs: A Tall Tale for Passover, who happens to be the grandmother of one of the kindergarten students.

Today, they met an artist who likes to do Jewish subjects: me.

First, I showed them my havdalah painting:
I asked them what they saw. They mentioned the candle, the cup, the plate. Then I asked them about the colors. What colors did they see on the cup? What colors do you see? Any idea why I put red next to green? I told them I was inspired by Rembrandt. Their teacher then pulled out the Night Watch (that’s not its real name, just its popular name), and I pointed out how the light and the angles of Rembrandt’s painting had similarities with mine.

Next I presented the four cups:
four cups
We talked about pointillism, and how the colors in this one differed from the previous painting. Besides the cups, what else is 4 in the hagaddah? The kids reminded me that there are four questions. But what I had in mind was the four sons. Why is one son separate from the others? They believed it was the “rasha”, the bad son. That wasn’t what I had in mind when I did the painting, but I let my viewers find their own interpretations.

They loved my final painting, a watercolor:
Not only is it someone they know well (my daughter), but the setting is their classroom.

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