Since we began adding artworks to our Gathering in the last year, my kids have become more conversant with each artist. It gives me joy when one of my kids excitedly points out a work of art we have studied in a book or an unexpected place. And when they notice an artist’s style in a new-to-them painting I realize they are truly becoming art enthusiasts!
After I finished the Gathering Placemats for the 2019-2020 school year, I quickly realized I would like to create similar “mats” in other more specific genres. My interests in art and history sort of came together to create Artist Mats to go along with the Classical Conversations Cycle 2 artists.
Rembrandt van Rijn
Studying the master artist Rembrandt van Rijn is delightful! The reasons are many to admire his life and his artistry. During my deep-dive into his life, I have discovered a somewhat diminished part of his catalogue – his etchings!
They are breathtaking! One could spend hours pouring over the details of each etching. He truly was a master of the form. In fact, in my study, I discovered that there were other artists who thought he was so good he had invented a new technique and kept it a secret! Just look at this!
Discovering the details of Rembrandt’s life and work has only made me want to visit more museums housing his works and read more books about him.
There are so many things I learned about Rembrandt that I simply could not include on the Artist Mats. His influence on artists across all genres is something I found delightful. I discovered poets who wrote poems with shout-outs to Rembrandt, loving copy-cats of his paintings, and many other instances of Rembrandt’s influence.
I just have to share one:
What a course rugged Way of Painting’s here,
Stroaks upon Stroaks, Dabbs upon Dabbs appear,
The Work you’d think was huddled up in haste,
But mark how truly ev’ry Colour’s placed,
With such Oeconomy in such a sort,
That they each mutually support.
Rembrant! thy Pencil plays a subtil Part
This Roughness is contriv’d to hide thy Art.“An Old Man’s Head”
Artist Mats: Rembrandt van Rijn
Having enjoyed my time with Rembrandt and busting at the seams to share it with others, I am exceedingly happy to announce the latest product in our shop! They have been a long time in production, but they are finally ready for YOU!
What are Artist Mats?
The Artist Mats are a simple way to dive into art study of a particular artist. Currently I am working on the list of artists for Cycle 2 of Classical Conversations:
In each set of 8 Artist Mats, you will find:
- an extended biography of the artist
- a timeline
- portraits of the artists
- quotes from the artists
- eight selections from the artist’s catalogue
- four “Art Terms to Know”, and
- art study questions
Where do I use Artist Mats?
I created the Artist Mats to be used either in your home/homeschool or in community. A typical Classical Conversations class is limited to 8 students, so I created 8 distinct Artist Mats for each artist studied in Cycle 2. If you are not in community (or a co-op), they are perfect for longer studies of the artist with your students at home.
These Artist Mats have been lovingly prepared to be a resource to place art in its particular era, provide context for the art, and provoke interest in the art and artists. They are less concerned with providing art commentary or critique and more concerned with the facts of an artist’s life and work.
What Do I Do with Artist Mats?
At their most simple form, they are a print and go resource for your art study. I prefer to print them out on larger paper and have them laminated at the copy and print shop. They are spectacular when they are done this way.
Once you have them printed out, simply use them with your students to spark discussions. Art study questions are included to get your conversations started. But I have found that once the conversations are started, students just start making observations together and talking about the art in truly special ways!
Are there More Artist Mats?
Yes! They are in the works. I underestimated just how much work would go into creating these beauties! Please stay tuned as they will be coming out quickly.
Can I Get a Community Set?
Yes! You can! Due to the nature of digital files, I cannot prevent you from sharing these files with others. We work on the honor system around here and I assume the best for everyone involved.
With that said, I do want this to be a resource for communities and classrooms. So, I am offering a community/classroom set for a fair price. The community set would allow you to print a set to share with your community and print and keep another for yourself. It not a license to share it with people outside your community or homeschool.
Can I Get a Sample?
Yes! After fielding some questions about the Artist Mats, I decided it best to show you, instead of tell you. You can get a preview of the Artist Mats set when you subscribe to Simple.Home.Blessings. When you do, you will get instant access to the ever-growing Subscriber Exclusive Library. You can do that here: