For Triple Shot Friday – I noticed that da Vinci died on this date, May 2nd, back in 1519, when he was 67. So my post today has three parts about this genius: 3 of my favorite works, a short video of some da Vinci works, and 3 Quotes. Also, side note – taking the weekend off and so I will be back to “me blog” on Monday! And you can read more about da Vinci the Renaissance Man HERE!
A: MY three favorite Leonardo da Vinci works:
1. Detail of Drapery Study, Leonardo da Vinci -1496.
2. Study for the Head of Leda, Leonardo da Vinci, 1505–07
3. Self-Portrait, Leonardo da Vinci -1512.
B: A short Video:
Just for fun, I threw a handful of Leonardo works into a slideshow. By the way, I do it all on my Mac (which used to be cool to say back in the day), but if you are looking for an online option for making videos – check out Animoto. Also, in this collage video I made – I have included Warhol’s take on the Mona Lisa and a few sheets from Tuesday Art lessons. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is on the list of 100 paintings that I think all students should study.
C: 3 Leonardo da Vinci QUOTES:
(more quotes HERE). I added my take with some “bottom line” comments.
1. Leonardo said, “Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
Bottom line: Keep growing and developing. Find ways to broaden your outlook –not just for art or coming up with novel ideas – for life contentment. Your outlook changes everything.
Also, all things do overlap and the little things add up – and it helps to “see” that! Get around people that can offer you needed accountability and get your hands on helpful resources – a better “you” impacts everyone you come into contact with – and your effort will have a positive rippling effect!
2. Leonardo said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.”
Bottom line: Work is good for us.
I believe in the value of work so much that this is the area all of my post graduate work is on! Work – Beautiful WORK!
Work is the essence of human health!!!! Whether it be volunteer work, structured job work, domestic work, or temp. work – and whether it be technical, managerial, entrepreneurial, or visionary roles – the INHERENT VALUE OF WORK IS OFTEN MINIMIZED – and overlooked – IN OUR CULTURE. Someone once said that “work is the natural response to being alive” and I agree!!
If possible, do work that you enjoy for the most part- and make sure you find simple things that refresh you – because as Leonardo noted – “a little relaxation” is essential to keep you fresh for work!
3. Leonardo said, “As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.”
Bottom line: Live your life! Use your days! Make the most of what you have. Do a few risky things- and other times learn how to be still! Keep growing and enjoy this very hour! Sometimes we have to adjust our expectations and adjust ALL of our plans (really) – but it really can “work together FOR good.”
And this is not to suggest Pollyanna thinking, it is straight up wisdom my friend – making the most of what you have – and BEING determined to “use” and live your life – can change so much for the better – and it will leave you with less (or NO!) regret when you’re older….
Have a nice weekend – be back on Monday!
Update with a few Teaching Tips:
For elementary art lessons, Leonardo is the ideal artist for the following:
First: Leonardo da Vinci can be a featured artist for teaching a bit of art history. May teach about the Early Renaissance, Age of Exploration during the 15th century, what the term “Renaissance man” means, realism, horizontal staging, and explore art museums like the MET or Louvre.
Second: Leonardo’s Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda) can be used to teach about under drawings or preliminary sketches. The Mona Lisa can actually be used to cover MANY topics – like sometimes we talk about the fantasy background, the ambiguous smile, portrait art, Warhol’s 30, the history of what has happened to Mona Lisa through the years or the history of the name or how the artist carried it with him and was never quite done. This piece is also great to introduce students to sfumato (derived from Latin word for smoke) and refers to a smoky effects from transitions between colors – and chiaroscuro (derived from Latin clarus) refers to using light and shadow for dramatic impact. The Mona Lisa is also ideal to use to teach about the golden triangle/rectangle – and while we never got to this, some teachers expound on how the Fibonacci numbers fit into the world of art.
Anyhow, one of my favorite middle school lessons with the Mona Lisa is to talk about preliminary sketches and underdrawings. Leonardo has many detailed sketches to pull from – but recently we have access to infrared findings that found underdrawings beneath the paint in Mona Lisa – and it showed where Leonrado erased certain areas as he sketched it. That is cool.
Third: Human proportion. Middle school national standards have art students learn perspective and proportion! Leonardo’a drawings are great for body proportion and ratio! This is also a time when students connect math to art! But when it comes to science or math in art, try to be sensitive to some students who mentally cannot grasp certain things yet. The brain really does take time to develop and there are biological reasons for waiting to teach certain things, like algebra – and so just be sensitive to students who may feel overwhelmed if they do not “get” proportions or ratio! But students can still get a basic feel for how the size of the human head is in proportion to the entire body, and how long the arms and legs are in proportion to the trunk, etc. We use pipe cleaners for making little figures and I note that women usually have larger hips while men usually have broader shoulders – most of the time….)
For human proportion, I have used handouts of Vitruvian Man, and on my copies I blurred out certain areas – so if you use this – be prepared for some silly reactions – but I like to use the VV drawing to expose students to another famous piece.