But now, I am the everything teacher, and I need to confront these demons so that I give my girls a fair shot. So far, they seem like performing artists as well, but if I don't give them the opportunity to experiment, they might have a passion or a talent that goes undiscovered. But needless to say, art is something I find difficult to teach, so I am happy that things like the Monthly Plan from Creating a Masterpiece are out there.
This online program is created by an artist who teaches at a fine arts school, and has expanded into virtual lessons. It's meant for all ages, and all skill levels, with materials that can easily be obtained at craft stores or online. Theoretically, you can start from the beginner level and work your way through the program, moving through mediums and getting into projects that are more and more difficult. Or you can focus on different styles and periods or fine art (Impressionism, Romanticism, etc.) Or, as my family chose, you can skip around, looking for projects that spark your creative spirit.
Madison had gotten to use oil pastels in a library workshop a few months ago, and she was itching to try them again, so we found a beginning project that used them. Once Reagan saw what Madison was doing, she wanted to experiment too.
I anticipated watching the videos and creating the project together, step by step. Although, again, I am not a visual artist, I have really enjoyed those wine/painting parties that have become popular for mom's night out, and I figured this would be similar. It was ok that I didn't feel confident, because I had a teacher who would take me (and the girls!) through, step by step.
And that is what the artist intended. She is clear, she is detailed, she is easy to follow, and the camera work is excellent. In the beginner level, she speaks like she is speaking to young children, and it is absolutely possible that a focused child, even as young as five, could complete a project successfully.
Our issue was that my girls (who, remember, are five and six) didn't want to follow her lead and create the exact masterpiece she created. They wanted to use the techniques and materials she was using, but they had their own ideas of what do, what colors to use, and how they wanted their final products to look. They did not want to create a winter cabin. They wanted to experiment.
Masterpieces that would land them a scholarship to an art program, or an exhibit in a museum? Masterpieces like the one below, which impresses me to my bones? No.
But they were watching. They were learning. They were creating. And both girls were exceedingly proud of what they accomplished, and are begging to use the pastels again. Which, as a reluctant artist myself, I count as success. I am happy to have this program take over the art instruction, even if my girls don't follow it exactly.