Who doesn’t love a painting grandma? This Grandma Moses artist study will help you get to know the sweet lady who didn’t begin painting until she was 77 years old. What an inspiration!
In our homeschool, we study one artist for a month at a time, typically working on it one day per week during that month. We focus on the biography of an artist through books, videos, and websites. We also study a new piece of art each week, making comparisons between other works by the same artist and works of other artists we’ve studied in the past.
Of course, we always spend some time working on our own artist-inspired art projects, too! Sometimes, we try to replicate a specific piece of artwork or simply work on a style of art. Either way, we always have the most fun working at the table together creating beautiful things.
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Grandma Moses Artist Study Biography
Grandma Moses, formally known as Anna Mary Robertson Moses, was a folk artist from the early 1900s. As I mentioned earlier, she didn’t begin painting until her late 70s after her husband died. She often said she painted as something to do to “keep herself from mischief”. When she died at 101, she had been painting for more than 20 years!
Many of her paintings shared the story of her life and scenes from the landscapes around her. They are bright and happy with plenty of action to keep your eyes busy.
Her art fits into the folk art category, which is a style of art that depicts the life of a culture. Her depictions are of small-town and country life of the early 1900s. We had never studied a folk artist before, so we were excited to jump into “new territory” in theme and art techniques!
Grandma Moses Picture Books
One of our favorite ways to study any artist’s work and learn at least a bit about the artist’s life and motivations is to read picture books. They are quick, fairly thorough, and fun to read. Here are a few picture books about Grandma Moses.
If you’re interested in a unique biography about Grandma Moses, My Audio School has a fun one to listen to!
Grandma Moses Art to Study
Because Grandma Moses only died in 1961, all of her artwork and images of her art are copyrighted. That means I cannot post any images of the paintings we studied here on my blog. I will link to the specific pieces we studied, though!
Remember, we typically study one new piece of art from an artist each week for a month. This month, I wanted to focus on the art technique of perspective, so we used the following four examples to study:
I prefer to have hand-held art to study, but it’s not easy to find inexpensive art prints or postcards of Grandma Moses’ paintings. Using online images works just as well.
When looking at her artwork each week, we attempted to notice, compare, and discuss several things:
Grandma Moses Art Lessons
This month, we only had time to complete two art projects. Each time, we focused on a different style of drawing perspective. It’s quite common in Grandma Moses’ art. Perspective is an art skill that makes the foreground look closer than the farther-away background.
One-Point Perspective Art Project
Using the directions found at Deep Space Sparkle, I introduced the concept of drawing perspective with the “X” method. Watercolors and permanent markers finished off the pictures. The finished products are fabulous! The technique is really very easy to teach!
I love when our art is pretty enough to frame. Our one-point perspective art was definitely frameable! Look at this beautiful finished product.
Grandma Moses Perspective Art Project
Our second project was inspired by a perspective lesson from Art Projects for Kids. We replaced her straight roads and mountain landscapes with curvy roads and folk art landscapes.
I just love how these turned out! They were frameable, too. Both of these projects were so helpful in teaching my children to draw perspective better!
We had so much fun during our month studying Grandma Moses. Her late-in-life hobby is an inspiration that it’s never too late to try something new!
Find More Artist Studies
Be sure to check out more of the Our Journey Westward Artist Studies!