A Blizzard?

Possible Classroom Concepts: Science – Weather (Blizzard, Snow), Arctic (Icebergs), Seasons (Winter), Shadows

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Claude Monet, Rockwell Kent

Landscape, Cool Colors, Tints, Center of Interest

In my last post, I talked about the unusually warm winter we had been experiencing. I’m thinking that I jinxed us because, not only has winter arrived, but it’s bringing a blizzard along with it. All this snow has inspired me to talk about Claude Monet, an artist who painted around 140 snow scenes. I covered several other winter artists ( Hendrick Avercamp, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Grandma Moses, and Agnes Tait), so, you ask, what makes Monet so special? Well, Monet would paint “en plein air” or outdoors. (Not that he would be painting outdoors in this blizzard!) If you are studying different kinds of weather, Monet is your man. Look here to see more about Monet painting in different types of weather. Also, the artists I discussed in my last post were interested in depicting many people and showing space in their landscapes. Monet was more interested in light and shadow on the snow as is illustrated in the following painting.


Claude Monet’s “The Magpie”

Note that the shadows are more of a tint of blue or purple than the black or gray normally seen in paintings. To find a nice concise description of the “The Magpie” look here. To see more examples of Monet’s winter landscapes look  here.

Find information about another “en plein air” painter named Rockwell Kent, who also used cool colors and shadows in his work, here.

If you’re interested in making an Impressionist style winter landscape, why not transform this lesson into a winter theme. To create the background for your project, use white and cool color pastels and this lesson as inspiration. For a little contrast, add a brown oil pastel fence. You could also brainstorm winter birds and add one or more into the composition as a center of interest. Use cool colored watercolors to create the sky, shadows (another science concept)  and possibly a frozen pond at the bottom. The addition of salt and white spatter, as suggested, would also be fun.  If you are studying the four seasons, students can choose which season to transform the fence landscape into. They can adjust the medium and use of color accordingly.

Whether studying seasons, weather or shadows in your science curriculum, one can always switch out textbook photographs or illustrations for famous paintings. The use of this simple tactic can enrich your lesson nicely.

Once again, “Keep Warm and Stop by Again Soon!”

Winter Weather?

Possible Classroom Concepts: Science – Seasons/ Weather (Winter, Snow, Ice)

Language Arts – Writing (Poetry)

Social Studies -Communities, American and European History (The Little Ice Age)

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Hendrick Avercamp, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Grandma Moses, Agnes Tait

Landscapes, Horizon Line, Bird’s Eye View, People In Action


Hendrick Avercamp’s  “A Winter Scene with Skaters near a Castle”

It’s been a very strange winter so far. Places that are supposed to be warm are cold and places that are supposed to be cold are warm. Oddly enough, from 1550 to 1850, the Netherlands had some unusually cold winters. They dubbed this time period “The Little Ice Age”.  Hendrick Avercamp’s paintings recorded the work, play and fashion of this frozen time. Read more about Avercamp, his winter landscapes and a poetry lesson here. For more in depth information and lesson ideas for older students check out this post.

As you can see, Avercamp tended to paint from a “bird’s eye” point of view and included many people in each work. Over time, Pieter BrueghelGrandma Moses and Agnes Tait  painted ice skating with these same characteristics. Share all four winter scenes with your students. Explain that these artists depicted life from their own particular time periods. Discuss the clothing and activities the students see. How are they the same or different from ice skating today? Ask students to share personal ice skating or winter experiences. You could also ask students to arrange these landscapes in chronological order.

If you are studying communities and/or seasons (winter), a mural would be a GREAT option! Students could include community buildings and illustrate personal ice skating experiences. You might want to include some of the ideas from this mural by one of my favorite bloggers, Cassie Stephens.

If you’d like for your students to create an individual ice skater project, check out this project. Note, students can always incorporate community buildings in their backgrounds. This blogger’s idea for creating moving people found here  is also very helpful.

I hope you’ve found something you can use.

This is a platform to help teachers. So, if you have some helpful ideas or suggestions, please share with us. Simply click on this post’s title and scroll down to the comment section.

KEEP WARM! And stop by again real soon!