Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Art History Lesson with the help of Vincent van Gogh's Cat

We devoted three sessions studying the work of famous artists.
The book Vincent van Gogh's Cat was used as an inspiration for this mini art history lesson.
This book was illustrated by the Second Grade Students of East Washington Academy in Muncie, Indiana.

The adventurous cat in the book is exploring the paintings of famous artists as he travels from one famous painting to another.

The students chose their favorite work from the book and did a mini research on the artist. 
The chosen works were: "Four Cut Sunflowers" 1887; Vincent van Gogh. "Waterlilies" 1908; Claude Monet.
"Exotic Landscape" 1908; Henri Rousseau. "Hermitage" 1918; Paul Klee. "Tree of Life" 1905-1909; Gustav Klimt. "Woman in Front of the Sun" 1950; Joan Miro. "Green Dancer" 1880; Edgar Degas. "Three Musicians" 1921; Pablo Picasso. "The starry Night" 1889; Vincent van Gogh.

We made copies of the chosen works, and every student had the opportunity to discuss the different elements found in the work. We looked for details, discussed colors, inspiration, and brushstroke. We looked for similarities and differences among the different artworks. We finally discussed what elements contributed to the "mood" of each artwork. 

Each student created a template for her/his cat.
We used black sharpies, markers, oil pastels and water colors.

The Starry Night Vincent van Gogh

Tree of Life Gustav Klimt

Waterlilies Claude Monet 

Exotic Landscape Henri Rousseau 

Green Dancer Edgar Degas

Three Musicians Pablo Picasso

Hermitage Paul Klee

Four Cut Flowers Vincent van Gogh 

Woman in Front of the Sun Joan Miro


  1. Really it is a very interesting Art History Lesson with the help of the Great Master Vincent Van Gogh . And of course very beautiful and colourful works !!!
    H ave a nice weekend !!!

  2. ¡Son unas obras alucinates! ¡Cuánta creatividad! Enhorabuena.

  3. Very nice, wonderful creative works with these cats, they are all wonderful.

  4. What a clever idea! I love these!!!!!

  5. I LOVE that book, too! This has got to be one of the most creative uses for a children's art history story that I have ever seen. You created a wonderful lesson for your students and I think I'll try it with my kids, with your blessing!


  6. Brilliant idea!! This is a fantastic way to explore the work of great artists, and to then create individual art.

  7. I love how these all came out! Your students all learned something about the artists and their styles and had fun doing it! Great results! :)

  8. A very original idea. I was delighted to see these cats are imitating the works of artists. I know the book "Van Gogh's Cat" but I think it was a good element of motivation. Try to find him to make him a look. Thanks for sharing this work.

  9. Uauuuu! A job is simply spectacular! Imprecidible consider the work of great artists to inspire creativity.

  10. Lovely cat starry night, I also like the background used. I wish you a happy Sunday.

  11. So much fun with a cat...great starting point and such colourful results..:)

  12. Your vision to expose young minds to the the immense "possibilities" in understanding and pursuing their interest in art will prepare them in a way that public education rarely does!Bravo!

    Wish that I had been so fortunate in my early years... but then again... I did have individuals mentor and encourage me all along my journey.

    Good Painting and Playing!
    Warmest regards,

  13. marvelous paintings.. i just love the colours!!!! very good!

  14. Just popped back again to say thank you for your lovely comment and to say your students have inspired me to have a go at a VVG cat. I have his Roses on my bedroom wall:)

  15. Hello, Chesterbrook Academy Elementary.

      Your exquisite work leads my impression.
      The passion for the art.  It is universal.

      Thank you visit to my garden.
      The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma❃