Honesty and Art (Autism and Learning)

Hey y’all.

I spent the weekend doing nature art stuff over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and am now exhausted from being semi-social all weekend.


my picnic lunch on the way home- twas nommy.

I have to say the weekend was a lesson in how differently people feel about art.

I think it would be a good day to talk about art and honesty.

My first try at college did not go well.  My mother died of a stroke at forty-eight and I was left with overseeing her estate.  Combine that with college, a two year old, husband, apartment and everything that goes with attempting to be financially independent, it was tough.

Many four year colleges and universities in the United States require  “art appreciation” class.

My class was on tuesday evenings, and we had the regular assignment of memorizing over twenty paintings (name, artist, and date) that we would be tested on before moving on to the next set.

One test night, I had not looked at the paintings.

Not one.

I got out a sheet of paper, put my name and the date on it, and walked down the steps  to the professor.

“I’m sorry, this is the only thing I know tonight. ”

“Oh! Well, why didn’t you study?  Did you have something to do with the estate?” I had informed them there might be times I was unable to attend class.

“No. I just didn’t study.”

The look on her face was interesting. Perhaps she was expecting to hear something different.

“Tell you what, why don’t you come to my other class in two days and give it a try.”


Honesty gets you places sometimes.

Lets be honest with ourselves.

Creativity isn’t something you can teach, it’s something that needs nourished.

I make art projects, drawing, painting, and other expression,  voluntary.

The same thing goes for “appreciating” other artist’s work. You cannot force a love of fine art.

Yet it does need to be encouraged.

We have some art appreciation incorporated into our hands on work.

On our artist’s shelf  at the moment:

Dover Art Postcards

 Used for matching, memory, and sorting activities, these cards are just a few dollars (I buy two sets each artist) and Dover has many artists available. I leave out three artists at a time and switch them out.



Tessa is matching the Van Gogh cards.


“Smart About Art” Artist Biography Series – Independent reading for the big kids


(4th grade and up, it does not mince word about the struggles most famous artists faced)


Artist board books – Shared with the littles at story time:




ART Masterpiece Mysteries (Books one and two)


These include short biographies on the artists featured. The big kids  look at these independently.

I discuss different pictures with the other children at story time. 

I also take the big kids to the free art museum.

Now, will these activities turn the kids into high art connoisseurs? Maybe, maybe not, but at least they’ll have a nice relaxed exposure and maybe the ability to make it through an “appreciation” course with, perhaps, some appreciation.



2 thoughts on “Honesty and Art (Autism and Learning)

  1. Chavva says:

    Thanks for sharing all those great resources and ideas! I’m definitely going to check out the “Smart About Art” series.

  2. Chrys Jordan says:

    I thought I’d share with you that my brother and I have opposite views on art. He’s interested in the history behind it, and I’m interested in art for its own sake.

    I found it interesting that the kids seem to like van Gogh. I prefer him much to Rembrandt van Rijn. I respect Rembrandt’s masterful artwork, but that’s not the kind of art I would ever want to do. I think Vincent van Gogh had more soul.

    With family, I got to visit a museum in the Netherlands that many people have never heard of and that has van Gogh paintings that many people don’t know exist. This is because the lady who once owned the collection was one of the first people to actually buy his work.

    Sorry that distractions have kept me from sending E-mails. (Having American family visiting the Netherlands was very distracting.) But i thought I’d share those tidbits. I thought you would like those.

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