Many years ago when I first started doing picture study, I felt a bit like a fish out of water. I had maybe heard of Monet (I pronounced it “mo-NET.”) but didn’t know anything about him or his pictures. Happily, one day in the discount section of a local bookstore, I found several large books of artists’ works, each book focusing on one artist. I snatched up those “finds” and have been using them ever since. Sadly, those bargain books are few and far between these days.
But I still couldn’t find good living biographies about most of the artists—biographies that were short enough and interesting enough for my children. And sometimes my girls would ask questions about a picture we were studying, and I wouldn’t have an answer.
Picture Study Portfolios
After talking with hundreds of moms about their struggles with doing picture study, I began to dream of Picture Study Portfolios. Each portfolio would contain everything a mom needs to do picture study for one artist: several full-color works of art to choose from, a short living biography, a step-by-step reminder of how to do picture study, and some additional interesting information about each picture that would add to our discussions.
Well, we started doing the research to create such a product and found that it was a lot of work! Then we got to know Emily Cottrill. Emily helps her mother teach others about Charlotte Mason and run a homeschool lending library with thousands of out-of-print living books. Emily also has a passion for and knowledge of art and art history! It was a perfect match. Emily grabbed the project and ran with it. And we are thrilled to announce that Picture Study Portfolios are now available!
Finally, everything you need to do picture study, all gathered into one beautiful package! Each portfolio comes with eight 8.5″ x 11″ full-color art prints to choose from, printed on coated card stock for durability; a picture of the artist himself and a short, living biography of the artist to help your child form a relation with him; step-by-step instructions to remind you how to do picture study; Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on picture study to inspire you; a list of other living resources on that artist for optional further study; and leading thoughts on each picture to enhance your discussions. All of this comes in an attractive, artist-specific storage portfolio, printed on heavy card stock with a closable flap, to keep everything organized and at your finger tips.
The Picture Study Portfolios are available in either printed or electronic form. You can see all the details and download a free sample on our website.
We’re excited about Picture Study Portfolios—a picture study resource that is true to how Charlotte Mason encouraged us to enjoy looking at great art, to form relations with other ideas, and to cultivate our children’s tastes for what is good, noble, and beautiful!
New Series on I am, I can, I ought, I will
Next week we will begin a new series that will look at Charlotte’s motto for students: I am, I can, I ought, I will. What did Charlotte mean by those four powerful phrases, and what is the parent’s role in reinforcing that motto? Let’s think about it together.