CM 4 Episode #19 Alisha Gratehouse: Ways to Cultivate the Artist in Your Child

CM 4 Episode #19 Alisha Gratehouse: Ways to Cultivate the Artist in Your Child

Links and Resources:

Show Notes:

Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, minister’s wife, and veteran homeschool mom of three young adults. She is passionate about nurturing creativity and bringing the joy of art to others.

In 2014, she began creating online art courses to fill what she believed was a gaping void in the area of homeschool art. Now through her company, the Masterpiece Society, she offers a complete art curriculum, teaching kids and teens art expression through multiple art mediums and techniques, as well as art history and appreciation.

Alisha is the founder of the Beautiful Life Creative Community, where she encourages women to nourish their spirits, cultivate their creativity, and live a beautiful life (Psalm 16:11 Voice).


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Show Transcript:

CM EP 19

Julie –

Welcome to the Charlotte Mason Show, a podcast dedicated to discussing Miss Mason’s philosophy, principles, and methods. It is our hope that each episode will leave you inspired and offer practical wisdom on how to provide this rich living education in your modern homeschool. So, pull up a chair. We're glad you're here.

Today's episode of the Charlotte Mason Show was brought to you by Medi-Share. Find out more about this affordable Christian alternative to traditional health insurance at medicare.com.

In today's episode, I'm going to be talking to Alicia Greathouse of Masterpiece Society, and we're going to be talking about five ways to cultivate the artist in your child. Charlotte Mason said we cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life. He is enriched more than we know and having really looked at a single picture.

So, Alicia Greathouse is an artist, a minister's wife, and veteran homeschool mom of three young adults. She's passionate about nurturing creativity and bringing the joy of art to others. In 2014 she began creating online art courses to fill what she believed was a gaping void in the area of homeschool art. Now through our company, the Masterpiece Society, she offers a complete art curriculum, teaching kids and teens art expression through multiple art mediums and techniques as well as art history and appreciation.

Alicia is the founder of the Beautiful Life creative community where she encourages women to nurture their spirits, cultivates their creativity, and live a beautiful life. I think you're really going to enjoy this episode, especially if you might struggle in the area of teaching your kids art appreciation or just how to cultivate that love and that creativity. So, let's jump into today's conversation with Alicia.

Hello everyone. Alicia and I were just laughing because I told her I really don't know what I'm doing and this is just us having a good little chat, so I'm excited that you get to hear our conversation because if you're not watching this on video, she has the most amazing background with the most amazing works of art. So, you could just picture it. And she's really blonde and cute. ??? Yes, so fun. We're going to have such a blonde fun night. So, thank you so much for coming on today.

Alicia -

Thank you for inviting me, Julie.

J -

Yeah, I'm excited to talk to you. I've loved your stuff and your passion for art and the way that you kind of break this down and make it super easy for parents. So, before we jump into kind of how we can cultivate an artist in our child, can you just tell everyone a little bit about you, your journey as a homeschooling parent, and then kind of what you're doing now with your business?

A -

Yes. Well, we started homeschooling my daughter when she was four years old and this was back in the day where I'm sure everyone has heard of Ambleside Online, but it was known as the Parents Union online, so it was called PUO and all we had was like an email list. You'd like websites that you could see. Yeah, it was like, when the Internet was kinda new so. We, that's the, I, it just, the Charlotte Mason method just like jived with me and I love the nature studies and I love the poetry and the Shakespeare and the Latin. And of course, I thought I would love the artist studies, but that's a different story. We'll talk about that in a bit.

So basically, from the very beginning, we homeschooled all of our kids and they are now all young adults. We've got Olivia, my oldest daughter, who graduated from college, in, gosh, I think it was 2016. And my boys are both in Bible College right now so they're both, two out of three of them work for me, and so we're all doing the little artsy thing right now. But just to back up a bit, when we did Charlotte Mason, and I'm sorry to all of you purists, but I...

J -

No, that that's not me. I probably should...??? whatever you're about to say.

A -

We did not like picture study. It bored our children. I'm, you know, just showing them a picture and having them kind of tell me what they saw. It really bored them. And so, I was always trying to figure out how to make it better. But I didn't have time, you know to create anything, but when they were a little bit older, I got to thinking that you know, they're bored with all the curriculum that's out and there's nothing on video. Except there were like some VHS things that...something that you could click onto the Internet. So, I started creating a little course called the Art of Fall. And I think we have like 40 people who bought it the first time I ever put it out, and that was because I had some homeschool affiliate ladies who actually had helped me.

But so anyway, that kind of grew into where we were doing all kinds of art study, we were doing things like mixed media, watercolor, acrylics, pastels, collage, all kinds of things. And then we even do advanced high school stuff, learning the techniques of the Masters.

We've done art appreciation and our history, we have an Art History podcast now. So, we're basically, we're trying to like make it a one-stop-shop for parents so that they can get all their artsy needs.

J -

That's great, I love, and there are so many people I have on the podcast like they had a need in their homeschool with their children and they went and figured it out and created something that is accessible to other parents to bless them and kind of, I love that we're able to like help each other and find solutions to common problems. It's so cool that we have this community that wasn't available like, you know, in Charlotte Mason's time.

A -

Right and then you know, homeschooling moms know what their kids need better than corporations out there who are paying for what homeschool moms need. So, I like things that I can just open up and put the kid in front of and trust it's going to be good for them and not show them things that they don't, that they don't need to see, and stuff.

J -

Yeah, that's a good point. So how did you get involved then? Like were you an artist to kind of begin with and you really loved it and it kind of grew out of a passion for that?

A -

Well, I was artsy. I guess I was creative growing up. Just to let you know, like my mother was a, she was an accountant, but she was crafty. And then my sister worked in banking. Her kids are like CPAs and high school algebra teachers. And then I'm like this little, you know, just, right-brain floating along through life. But they always said, oh you can draw a really good or you're good at that and I think that's what helped me, and I believe what, and we'll talk about that later on, how we can encourage our kids, just you know to just validate them and encourage them. And so, I guess when my youngest son was about two, I was like done with just, you know, parenting and homeschooling and the Pastor of Church, and I just needed an outlet. And there was a little art studio around town in our tiny little town and I took some oil painting lessons. I mean, I've done like art in high school and some college stuff, but that's when it started opening up like a painting just really thrilled me so.

J -

And I love that too, cause that relates to kind of the whole concept of like mother culture, right? That if we're going to be inspiring to our children and we're living from a full heart, right? And not from a bookcase of burnout like we need to be doing things that feed our souls in our minds. And so, I love that you realize that need and then you took action, cause sometimes, especially with me at first, like, I mean I really burnt out with homeschooling as well. It's really, it's this like running a marathon thing, and if you're not filling yourself and taking care of yourself like it's really gonna hurt you later on. So, I love that ???

A -

I lived through that so I can attest to that fact.

J -

It's fun, right? It's a fun creative outlet you know, and I love that you're able to take those skills and kind of harness them into something else, so that's great.

So, let's jump in here kind of with your kind of vision. And I know, do you want to read that Charlotte Mason quote? I love that one so much.

A -

Yeah, I'm, I was trying to figure, I think this is from volume six?

J -

It is. Yes.

A -

Okay.

J -

I have it bookmarked.

A -

I couldn't find mine, so.

J -

Well, it's cause I was gonna read it and then I saw that you found it too and I was like oh, good minds think alike. But it's yeah...

A -

There's more to it if you want to read it, but my favorite part is there are few subjects regarded with more respect and less confidence in our schools than art. Of course, we say children should have their artistic powers cultivated, but how is the question.

J -

Yes. Right. So, let's dive in and kind of answer that question, like, how do we cultivate an artist in our child?

A -

Well, I have just, I guess that you actually heard of me through the Charlotte Mason conference last year when I talked about cultivating. Okay, so there are just like five simple steps and the first one... ???

J -

I love simple steps. Give me some steps girl and I'll follow them.

A -

The first one is that you just need to encourage their creativity because I've heard so many moms and I'm sure you've probably heard it. We might have said it ourselves. That I just don't have a creative bone in my body. And you know what, that's true because creativity doesn't come from our bones or budget, it comes from our spirit and we're made in the image of God and He's the Ultimate Creator. His DNA is in us, so if He's a Creator and we have Him inside of us, then we can create. So, you know you just have to start somewhere and I believe that if we just encourage our children and I have, I wanted to, I forgot to tell you this before, but I have a little list of creative affirmations for kids that I would love for you to be able to make available to your readers if you would like.

J -

Yeah, I'd love to put that in the show notes. I love affirmations, but I think parents can sometimes wonder like, what am I supposed to say, you know? So, I love that you kinda give people a tool and this little script if they want to...

A -

Well, like I was mentioning earlier. If my Mom or my sister who they're very brainy and left-brained, but encouraged me, instead of saying well, you know why aren't you as smart in math as we are something you know. But it's just encouraging cause we're all different. We're all made differently, so.

But then the second thing is to invest in their creativity. And that means, and Charlotte Mason actually talks about this in one of her books also, get them better quality art supplies. Don't just buy the cheapest but invest just five or ten extra dollars in a nice paint set, in better paper and in nicer brushes or whatever medium of your choice. If you give them the cheapest to work with, they're not going to get great results. They're going to have a wrinkled paper with, you know, just the pale watercolors. They want to probably produce something bright and beautiful, so invest in your creativity by just getting better art supplies for them.

J -

Now, do you have any resources for that, for parents as you know, I just get Crayola cause I don't even know what's what?

A -

You know what? Crayola watercolors are one of our favorites, and we use them a lot because they are very bright and vivid. If you, there's, you know certain ones. I like those semi-moist. But yeah, I get most of our art supplies from Amazon because it's just easier to have them delivered. But of course, and plus I get lost in Hobby Lobby quite often.

J -

Right? I went to Hobby Lobby this week to buy wooden eggs to paint. Just so you know they don't have any more left in stock. And I left with 85 dollars’ worth of other stuff that I didn't go into Hobby Lobby for and it's so...

A -

You have to guard your eyes. I just can't look at certain things at Hobby Lobby because I would want everything. ??? I'm going straight to the art department and I'm not going to look at all the pretty things but.

J -

Yeah, yeah, Amazon is definitely, you can restrain yourself a little bit better. That's hilarious, yeah. Is there anything other than the Crayola watercolors? Any particular brands?

A -

Oh yeah, we love, well number one like for acrylics, the folk art, and the deco. What is that Americana Deco art or something like that? Those are great. And I mean just, I just don't want parents to limit their kids to just one medium and have them bored out of their wits because there are certain ones I don't even like, but there are other ones I could just get lost in all day long, so.

J -

Yeah, experiment with different things. If they don't have charcoal drawing, they might like acrylics or something like that. Good point, yeah. Yeah, that's good.

A -

And so, the third tip that I have is to facilitate their creativity, and that is simply just setting aside one day a week or one day a month, just a certain date that we, the members of our Masterpiece Society studio, call it Fine Arts Friday. I love that.

J -

Yeah, I love alliterations.

A -

Do what?

J -

I love alliterations. It makes it easier to remember. Yeah.

A -

So, you know, set aside time, put it on your schedule, and then also create a place where you're doing basically just the kitchen table would be perfect. If you have a homeschool room and a desk, you know that could be for that as well, but just give them a place where they can experiment and explore.

This brings me to point four, real quick. I'm sorry I don't know how fast you want to go, but. Just give them the freedom to explore and experiment. And in our art, we have a lot of guided lessons but also just give your children the freedom to create whatever they want. And if it doesn't look like it's supposed to, maybe they just enjoy the process. It doesn't have to be a beautiful, perfect piece. It's all about enjoying the process and allowing them to explore the, you know, just what's inside them. Getting that out on paper. Anyway, I'm sorry?

J -

The balance then between like, like in the background here you have, you know, the Van Gogh sunflowers. In terms of reproducing versus creative exploration. Like...

A -

I think, yeah, I think that you need both because number one artists throughout the generations apprenticed themselves under the masters, and they had to learn to paint just like that master. They had to learn certain rules. And then once you learn how this certain paint feels then you know, go off and, you know, Picasso has a quote. It's one of my favorites. Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist. And so, that's where you know, learn, apprentice yourself to the masters, but then also take their techniques and make your own art and express what's within you, so. And I know that's harder for younger kids, but just let them, if they just want to paint like blobs, this is why, I think this is a Kandinsky, who was a modern artist and, I mean it's, I need to show it to you. It's crazy. I mean obviously, this is not his. This is when we were created but a lot of kids look like that. ??? And it's fun.

J -

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And those are easy cause it doesn't feel intimidating to a child cause there's not a lot of detail in one of those kinds of abstract paintings.

A -

Just letting them explore and experiment with the brush strokes or how colors combine and stuff. And so then the last step I have is to inspire their creativity by apprenticing them to the great masters. And obviously, we can't apprentice them today like we, they did 400 years ago. But you know, you can learn about them online. You can get books, you can copy their art and just go to museums. That's one of our favorite things to do. My husband and I go off, we go to art museums on dates and stuff, and I know it sounds probably boring to some people.

J -

No, I think it sounds...yes.

A -

And it's so inspirational. It's not just beautiful pictures. This is a moment in history. This was a real living person creating something either from their soul or cementing this moment of time in a painting. So anyway, we get all goose-bumpy over it.

J -

But I love that too because I think, you know, and Charlotte Mason talks about the picture gallery in their mind, right? And the importance of putting those pictures, you know from the picture study into their heads so they can see the art and they, you know, can study the kind of detail and they realize, okay, a table has four legs and here's how I might make that in an image you know. And they have this beautiful gallery. But we live in a time where we, well, maybe not now cause of covid, but hopefully, soon we live at a time where you could actually go look at these and looking at them in person and seeing like statues and looking at the thick painting on some of the paintings. Like it's so different than looking at it in a two-dimensional reproduction.

A -

We've gone all over the states this year. Still even with covid or, and last year. You just mask up and you know, keep your distance. But we went to the Saint Louis Museum and there was a Vincent van Gogh painting and the docent there said, we just found like last year that there was a grasshopper caught, and it's so cool thinking you know Vincent was painting away and there was a grasshopper that came and flew in and he just painted right over it. So, it's like these little connections you make, and it's like you know these painters, even though they lived hundreds of years ago, so.

J -

Yeah, and I love, you know, just kind of studying like you don't have to do like your dissertation on a certain artist. But giving your child just a little taste of, okay, here's this person. Here's what they were doing. Here's the kind of time period that they were living in and you know, just giving them an idea that they can connect to. Like I'm thinking of the ??? painting behind you. Like you know, we read just a little picture book biography. It took five minutes, you know? But having a better understanding of what she went through as a person and then the art that she was able to produce, you get so much more insight into the paintings and you would if you had no idea what her life was like.

A -

Yeah, you understand why they're a little odd.

J -

Yeah, all that pain medicine you know? Right? Yeah. For sure. And I think, yeah, she talks about that in the part that you were quoting there about, you know having the children you know, look at the paintings and then they get those in their mind. But then also kind of having an understanding of the artist and the sympathy behind it. She kind of goes on and on here so I won't, like, give it too much detail. But also, just to kind of give them an appreciation of that. And I love that it's developing that love for this, even if it's something that they don't do.

Today's episode is brought to you by A Gentle Feast. A Gentle Feast is a complete curriculum for grades one through twelve that is family-centered, inspired by Miss Mason's programs and philosophy, and rooted in books, beauty, and Biblical truth. You can find out how smooth and easy days are closer than you think at agentlefeast.com.

Can you talk a little bit about kind of, I love your steps, if a parent is still like, I don't know? I don't know if this is something I feel comfortable with. How to encourage them first? Kind of before they start...

A -

Encourage the parents?

J -

Yes.

A -

You know the number one thing that I have found is for the parents just to learn alongside their children. And obviously, go to the library or order them from the library and pick him up right now. And you know, just get maybe some kid's books. Especially there are certain artists that you don't want just to get a regular book and have your kids come through but learn you know, storybooks. And you could go like, we have gone through the Louvre in real life twice. But you can also go through that online. You can go online and just walk around, you know, click into different rooms. The Vatican. What is that? The Sistine Chapel. Yeah, you can see that online.

So, like explore these online galleries and art museums with your kids online and check out books. Learn about them through, some of them have their own online galleries like just one dedicated to Van Gogh or dedicated to Rembrandt. So, learning alongside. Just learning about them and then maybe playing around with copying one of their artworks and not expecting it to be a masterpiece since they train for years and years. But just give yourself some grace but realize that you can basically recreate what they've done if you just tap into that creativity.

J -

And I think it's good for parents to go through something like with their children. If it's something that they're like, I'm struggling with this, I'm struggling teaching it, for them to approach their children of, let's work on this together. You know this is an area that I might not be like an expert at, but I want to learn and grow. And like Charlotte Mason included these kinds of things in her program for a reason, right? And but I've noticed in my own life the things that I didn't feel like I was that great at, or that I really wasn't really interested in Shakespeare, when I first started it, I'm like what am I doing, you know?

Why am I reading Pilgrim's Progress to my eight-year-old, you know? But like, doing stuff that she said to do, once I do it, I see the value of it and I see how beautiful it is and it does change your heart and your mind as long as, as well as your children's, right?

A -

And kids love it, especially like the parents, the moms. We've got moms and dads and grandparents who will come and do art lessons with their kids and the kids eat that up because, you know you're making not only memories, but you're also making, like treasures. They're things that you can keep forever like keepsakes. So, it's good for both moms and kids I believe.

J -

So, parents wondering, okay, what is, what are some of the benefits of learning these artistic methods and creating with your kids, would you say? Well for them, and for them, we'll just talk about the parents, but for the kids especially.

A -

Well, for the kids, I believe art produces joy and that's the biggest thing. And you know, I mean, I could go on and on about how you just get into that state of creating and time just seems to, you know, just stop. That's really wonderful, but it's a way the kids can't, a lot of kids can't exactly put into words how they're feeling, so art helps them process their feelings. It helps them express what's inside them. It gives them the freedom to explore, you know, like what's in them? Not only is it self-expression, but you also get to explore other cultures by doing different types of art, and hopefully, you get to learn about their lives and the struggles and things that they've gone through.

I mean look, I have a list here, but. Oh yeah, like academic performance, art increases...

J -

Okay, now you're getting all the parent's attention, so let's...cause you're like, oh, this is kind of like maybe...??? This is really important, right? Yes..

A -

If you're constantly drilling into them Latin and math numbers, scientific facts, things that they need. You know they're going to need that other outlet to decompress and let go, and actually, there are, I have articles where there are studies that have shown how art and creativity do improve their academic abilities. And we've heard that. We've known that for years. But how have we actually given our kids that time to create and just see? I mean, you know, with boys, they've got to do something with their hands a lot of times. So that was one way I always had my kids, if they weren't folding clothes while I was reading aloud, I let the boy draw.

J -

Yeah, I love that. We are doing that tomorrow.

A -

That was our big, like, okay, get the laundry. Y'all were gonna fold while I read so.

J -

??? Right here on the podcast. Ah, you have just changed my life.

A -

Glad I could help. ???

J -

Okay. So, I'm sorry I interrupted. Other than folding laundry, would you have them do kind of paint or draw or something like that while you were reading?

A -

Yeah, just let them doodle. And while they're listening because they can definitely process it better and it gives them something to do with their hands and they're not as fidgety. I mean like one of my sons, bless him, he was like...

J -

Oh yeah, I got one of them.

A -

Before wild and free was a thing we had a forest in our backyard. We were like just, you know, don't get a snake bit.

J -

Yeah, I love that. And Charlotte Mason talks about that too, about letting the children draw or paint a scene from what you just read as an innovation, right? So, it doesn't always have to be this formal, tell me what happened, or write down your narration. You know, allowing kids to express themselves through this kind of like, they're not modeling something, they're taking the images that they were, that were in their head and putting them out on paper? I just, it's so fascinating sometimes when my kids do that to see like what they thought was important or like what image they got like so, I mean, we're all reading the same story, but all four of us have completely different images in our head of what actually happened, you know?

A -

Yeah.

J -

Which is so neat, yeah. So I, I love that point because I think Charlotte Mason gave the broad feast for a reason. And it's not like math or Latin. It should take the importance away from all the other beautiful things, including you know art as well. You know that they need to have that. And you don't know what your kid might latch onto. That if you didn't give them that feast and they never had the opportunity. You know, even if they don't grow up to be an art teacher or a formal artist, right? You've given them a creative outlet in a skill that they can have no matter what kind of work they end up doing, right?

A -

Exactly, and it's the same. You know, a lot of people feel like if they can't draw right away that they are not artistic, but it's the same with learning an instrument. You have to practice. You have to put in the time. The person doesn't normally pick up a violin and become, you know some great, what, who plays the violin? Bach, I don't know. But you know what I'm talking about. But so you practice it and so practicing your artistic skills, practicing drawing, practicing mixing colors. It's the same as music, so I feel like that's one area where people feel like, or where they kind of miss it when they feel like they can't draw, they just draw stick figures, you know? But that's still drawing. You can learn to write. You can learn to draw.

J -

Yeah, that's true. And the volume six that you were, started to read from, she says, like those Viennese children, they use their paper, whether for landscape or details in the room. They give you horses, leaping books, dogs running after cats, sheep on the road, always with a sense of motion. It is evident that the children studying the figures they see with due attention will give you a gardener sharpening his scythe? Scythe? Their mother sewing, a man rowing or driving or mowing, their chairs stand on four legs and their figures on two feet in a surprising way and they're always unwatched to correct errors by what they see. They have a delightful and courageous sense of color, and any child will convince you that he has in it himself to be an artist.

And I love that. Like you know, because they have these pictures in their head, right?

Their drawings become even better than you know if they wouldn't have seen all those wonderful paintings. And then she goes on to say their field studies give them great scope. The first buttercup in a child nature notebook is shockingly crude. The first thing to scandalize a teacher of brush drawing. She cracks me up. She's so funny. But by and by another buttercup will appear with delicate poise uplift in the radiance of a growing flower.

So, I love that cause it does tie into so many other subjects as well, like learning kind of these tools of drawing and, you know the watercolor will translate into their nature and into the other subjects that they're doing as well. And just being able to observe right? And look at the details. I mean, that's the thing you're going to do in biology someday, you know? We want the ability to observe something and replicate it. I mean, it's a skill that transcends so much more than just, okay, here's your art lesson.

Yeah, so, do you have any recommendations for parents who are kind of like, okay, I need help. I want to do this. I want to do it for myself, or for my kids. Where would they start?

A -

Well, YouTube and Pinterest are perfect for free. We have a few free lessons. I pulled this out just in case I have like a bird lesson that we do, and I think we do it in two parts or three parts. And we've had...??? I'm sorry?

J -

Is that on YouTube or on your website?

A -

No, this is on our website.

J -

Yeah, I'll link to it.

A -

But we also have a few lessons on Facebook that we do. But you know, if you have a place, I mean, I know right now is probably not the best time, but, when we can open up the world again, local art lessons are great. Finding online art lessons are great. But if you can't afford that then there is a lot of stuff on YouTube and Pinterest.

J -

I love that bird that you just showed. That'd be so pretty for, like a spring kind of painting or a gift or something like that too, you know?

A -

I love the birds.

J -

Yeah. Well, it's so pretty this time of year too, and I think I have one more question though. And I get this a lot. How do you deal with art supplies? Is it something like, okay, we create this artistic space, they can go whenever and create whenever? Or is it more like, this is our Friday, you said Friday fine art time. We will get out the supplies. Here's how we clean up the supplies. Here's how we put away the supplies. Or is it just whatever you want?

A -

Well, okay, so I am like chaotic, so my kids, you know, be all over the table but we had to also eat on that table. We lived in a small house at the time so there was a time where we were done, and we cleaned it back up. But now we've got all these options. The little carts from IKEA.

J -

Aren't those the best thing ever? I have like five of them.

A -

Roll them out. There you go.

J -

And I have a closet under my steps, so they all fit in. Like if people come to visit, I can put the carts away, but I'm like this is so amazing. Yeah?

A -

But a closet or a cabinet that you, in your kitchen that you could just put them and close the cabinet when they're done. But like if you saw my studio right now, you would know that I'm not that great at cleaning and putting things back. So, I can't really give good advice in that area. I don't want to be hypocritical.

J -

Oh, no, I think it's great. I think I asked that because I thought for years, I was kind of feeling guilty because I really type A and I'm a...I don't like a clean freak. There should be a better word. But I excel at organization. So, you can tell by my bookshelves behind, they're all organized by time period and subject. So, for me, it was like I would get very stressed leaving. I wanted my kids to be able to explore things, but like having paintbrushes that weren't cleaned properly or having scraps of paper on the floor, or glitter, you know, would give me a heart attack. So, then I always feel guilty that I wasn't like letting them explore and have their creative side because I wasn't leaving stuff out, you know? And then when I got the card idea, we actually did start doing that, you know, I could put the supplies on, okay, this is our art time. I will bring this stuff out. You can play around. You can explore these things and then in an hour we're done and we're going to clean it up and we're going to put it back. And then I just like feel guilty so I'm glad that you feel like that's okay.

A -

Well, you know what? Everybody is different. My husband is more type A and he would be the kind that would come and clean up after me. I'm like can I just like have my stuff out? I will clean up. But he just, after thirty years, he's cleaned up, you know, after me quite a bit so. Yeah, so if it bothers you, I would definitely put a time limit and a space limit on it, but.

J -

Okay, but I'm not like hindering my children if I do that? I want to know.

A -

Let them go outside if they need to do more or put them outside on a...we had one lady who does, you can get like a shower liner from the Dollar store, and she would just let her go outside on a beautiful day and...

J -

Yeah. Yeah, we do a lot of, I do let them take stuff outside. This is not in the house. In terms of things you had mentioned about picture study, do you have any recommendations for studying different artists or how you've incorporated that, either with your programs or in your homeschool when you did it with your kids?

A -

Well, when, back in the day we just would buy like go to Barnes and Noble and either buy a calendar that was outdated by Renoir or Monet and you have the bigger pictures. I have some still from that time over there, but and, or you know they would have the big coffee table books so that you could look at the paintings in a bigger way. We have the mixing with the Masters. We've got volumes one and two, and they are courses where we actually recreate the master artists' things. We study three different art things, art things, paintings from the artists, and we go into, you know, just we might use their technique, but we usually put a twist on it. And then we also have a corresponding art appreciation curriculum that goes deeper into their lives. It has no booking pages and stuff, but a free resource that Olivia, my daughter, and I have come out with. It started last year, but covid kind of cut that off. And also, we moved across the country during that. But we have a podcast called Masterpiece Makers. I've got too many masterpieces in my name, but basically that, we just talk about one artist each episode, and a lot of times we make fun of them. Or we make fun of their paintings. Or just kind of to bring them down to Earth, make art history a little more fun and not as dull as when I took it in college.

J -

Yeah, not so esoteric. Cause like some of the Khan Academy videos, I'm like, my eyes are glazing over people.

A -

But I do like those, I forgot about those. They have great videos.

J -

Yeah, yeah. So, we'll definitely link to your podcast too. I think that'd be really fun for parents to listen to and maybe look up some of the artists that they're studying at home and kind of get you know, a different perspective too. And it's kind of fun just to have a different medium too, rather than like them reading from a book. You can add a podcast or something like that, or even for older kids to kind of go off and listen to.

A -

Yeah. We keep it family-friendly. We don't talk about certain aspects cause there's a lot of art, you know, the artists you don't want your kids to know everything about their lives. So, we highlight the good things.

J -

Yeah, that's great so, just talk briefly if parents are interested in purchasing, I know you don't have things. Do you sell certain products all the time or is it just when a cart for your courses is open? Or how does that all work?

A -

Okay, we do have, you can purchase almost all of our art courses ala carte through our store, masterpiece society.com. I'll give you a link that you can put in the show notes. We also have a membership for the courses you have lifetime access to, but they're a little bit more expensive to buy straight out, but we have a membership. You can either pay monthly or yearly and you have access to everything plus a lot of exclusive member art courses and lessons. And we also have things for moms in there as well. So that only opens to the public twice a year and will be open in the first week of August this year.

J -

Okay. You can buy the different products, but if you want, like full access to everything, it's more affordable to buy the courses, I mean the membership, when it becomes open in August is that right? Okay. So, to make sure I was understanding it right so I could tell people as well. So yeah, we'll definitely link to that as well. I know you offer things for moms. I was just thinking in my head like that'd be so fun for a Charlotte Mason book study to kind of do a painting class like that together.

A -

Oh. That's an idea because I haven't done it like Charlotte Mason state. We just like to do things. Well, first of all, we have a monthly project painting project and then we started last year doing a virtual paint party. So...

J -

If you had a Charlotte Mason book club. You know, like these moms would benefit from the painting practice, right? So, they could use your materials.

A -

Yeah. Their mother culture time.

J -

Have a fun evening together away from my kids and paint, you know? Not that it's not great with the children, but sometimes Mama needs a little break. Do you know what I'm saying? I think that would be so fun.

Well, thank you so much. This has been so helpful and so fun, and I just love what you do. I really, you do an excellent job of taking a couple of your things, and just, I love watching kind of how you break things down. Very simple, but you also make it super fun. So, I've enjoyed it.

A -

Thank you for having me.

J -

Yeah, you're welcome.

Julie -

Thanks for listening to today's episode. Did you know that the Great Homeschool Conventions are back on? That's right, all seven locations will be back in person for 2021. Can't make it live? Don't worry. The online convention will still be taking place in August of 2021.

If you would like the show notes for today's episode, you can find those on homeschooling.mom. Until next time, may your days be filled with books, beauty, and Biblical truth.

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