ARTistic Pursuits: {Review}

By 9:00 PM ,

I would definitely describe myself as a "Crafty" mom-- I love pulling out paints and papers to create a craft.  Crafting is a type of art, but the word "Art" in and of itself, makes me a bit nervous.  I begin to think of Monet, Picasso, paintings and sculptures in a museum.  The word "Art" sends me into some sort of internal panic.  What is it exactly?  What am I supposed to see? Feel?  How do I explain it? ....

PhotobucketFor such reasons, I tend to skip over some art lessons in our current curriculum because I am so unsure of myself in this area.  So I was definitely thrilled that we were able to review one of the the revised and expanded Early Elementary art programs by ARTistic Pursuits.  This was as much for my son as it was for me! 

ARTistic Pursuits goal is to "help children become visually aware of the wonderful world we live in, and [to] be able to work within creative ways within this world."  With the belief that "children are curious and expressive from the start," this program was created to "teach them to observe more closely" in an age appropriate manner.  ARTistic Pursuits is a complete study of art.  It encompasses the elements of art, composition, art history, media, and techniques in each lesson.  To fully understand what you will find in ARTistic Pursuits, you must realize what you will not find:
  • Lessons that have no connections to the student's environment/ experiences.
  • Step-by-step/ "How-To" instructions.
  • Tiny boxes that the student must cram his/her creativity into.  ARTistic Pursuits recommends using a 9x12 or 11x14 sketchbook so that whole hand/ arm movements are involved.
  • Passiveness of your student in the form of "tuning out".  ARTistic Pursuits encourages students to be a part of their environment by pondering, observing, and focusing on his/her surroundings.
ARTistic Pursuits art program has several books to choose from for your homeschool and/or independent PreK-12 student.  
The Way They See It was designed for PreK ages 3-5
Early Elementary K-3
Intro to Visual Arts
Stories of Artists & their Art
Modern Panting and Sculpture
Elementary 4-5
The Elements of Art & Composition
Color & Composition
Middle School 6-8
The Elements of Art & Composition
Color & Composition
High School 9-12
The Elements of Art & Composition
Color & Composition

To do away with all my fears regarding art, and to NOT instill those into my son I chose to review ARTisitic Pursuits, Early Elementary K-3 Book One: Introduction to the Visual Arts.  

Introduction to the Visual Arts is broken into three sections for a total of 36 lessons and "over 185 colorful illustrations."  It retails for $47.95.  You will find a complete supply list in the beginning of the book.
Your student will learn:
  • What Artists Do
  • What Artists See (introduction to the Elements of Art)
  • Where we find Art (introduction to Ancient Art)
The first page of each lesson introduces you and your student to the concept.  The second page of the lesson shares an actual work of art and includes questions to ask your student about the picture.  There are no answers given for the questions; their purpose is to engage your child's ability to see and think.  Finally, the third page of the lesson is a project for your student to complete; a student example and a supply list is included on that page as well.

For your convenience, ARTistic Pursuits has Art Supply Packs for each book that can be purchased through their site.  They have also created discounted supply packs that may be ordered from Blick Art Materials.  Or, you can simply walk into any art supply store with the list in hand and purchase what you need.

 Artist Imagine
We found the ARTistic Pursuits art curriculum to be very easy to implement.  The concepts were explained in a very simplistic, easy-to-follow language.  We started in the first section of the book and have been exploring What Artists Do. For the past few weeks we read about the concept being introduced, looked at the concept then Tyler did the concept.  Tyler has completed five lessons thus far and has enjoyed getting to use a few art materials that we have not explored before like watercolor crayons and oil pastels.

We packed everything into one sitting.  Because of that, I think I lost him a bit while introducing the topic and exploring it through a picture.  He was more concerned about actually getting to do art. But since the concept introductions are so short, at most 10 minutes, it was easy to do a quick review before we moved on to something new.   We've explored that Artists Compose, Imagine, Look, Communicate, & Use Photographs thus far....
Artists Look

We have both enjoyed our time with the ARTistic Pursuits curriculum.  Tyler very much enjoyed being able to create his own works of art.  And since it is not a "How-to" curriculum, there is no right or wrong way to complete a lesson.  The way in which the material is presented pushes any "art fears" you may have aside so that you may just learn and create. 
Artists Use Photographs
ARTistic Pursuits is a great solution for your art curriculum needs.  


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the SchoolHouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in anyway.  All opinions i have expresses are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC Regulations.

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