Monday, March 18, 2013

Artist/Picture Study - John James Audubon

We are continuing our art/artist study during this homeschooling year by studying John James Audubon. 
Audubon, a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter, was born on April 26, 1785, and lived until January 27, 1851.

He was noted for his comprehensive studies to document all types of American birds and for his beautifully-detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America, is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.

For the art/artist study,  Sophia and Olivia looked at six different paintings that Audubon created. They looked at each image for some time and then orally recalled things that they remembered about the painting. The images they looked at as well as their comments are below.

Wild Turkey.

Sophia remembered:
=> The turkey had very vibrant colors and it isn't normally the kind of turkey you'd see around here.
=> It had a red wattle. It looked swollen and long and bigger than a chicken's wattle. It had splotches on it.
=> I'm fairly sure it was a male because of all the colors and patterns. 
=> It looked like autumn because of the corn stalks.
=> He was a very tall bird. John James Audubon got close to him or he had very good eyesight.
=> There's a feather that was on its back that had exquisite detail.  
=> It had a horn or spiky thing on its head covered with fuzz.
=> It had a long neck.

Olivia remembered: 
=> I thought the turkey's leg was more pink.
=> I liked how the brown feathers had black on them towards the end.
=> Looks like the turkey was from Asia because there was a stick that looked like bamboo by it.
=> The center leaves were kind of lime green.
=> There was a small red patch towards the bottom of the turkey - right above the leg. There were squigglies by it.
=> On the face there were long, black feathery stuff. It looked like a horse's tail.
=> The ground was a darkish green. There were leaves on it.


Baltimore Orioles.

Sophia remembered:
=> There were three orioles and I think there was one female. She isn't like the ones we see here - she was darker in some places and lighter in others; and not quite as detailed.
=> The nest looked like a weaver bird's nest and it was longish.
=> One of the birds had its head tilted up towards the female because it was on a lower branch. It looked like it was going to sing.
=> Around the leaves it was goldish and it went around them.
=> There was some grass woven in it. It was the same darkish blue that the birds had on them.
=> The background was a simple creamish color. The detail was in the birds and picture itself.
=> The flowers were large with softish edges. There were colors within the flowers - like a reddish color.

Olivia remembered: 
=> The oriole's feet and beak were lightish blue.
=> The male oriole had its tail feathers spread out. It was kinda cool.
=> The leaves were very large. They were dark green and the rim around them was paler.
=> The branches were brown.
=> The birds were bright orange.
=> All of them were standing on branches.
=> The birds also had black and white on them.
=> The rest was made out of string-like vines - like grape vines. They were brown.


House Wrens.

Sophia remembered:
=> There's a family of two adult wrens and three babies; and the babies are inside a black top hat.
=> The black hat was impaled in the center and there was a stick poking out of it. That's how they got it to stick up.
=> The parents are brown, black, and a dark burnish-orange color.
=> In the mouth of one of the parents, there's an insect; and it didn't look very appetizing to me.
=> On the top of the hat there were pools of water - like it had recently rained.
=> The babies weren't very colorful. There were ash-gray, white, and maybe a little orange around their beaks.
=> The branch is sitting straight up and there are other ones that are sticking out.

Olivia remembered: 
=> The mother wren had a spider in her mouth.
=> The hat had some white stuff on it.
=> The one with the babies had its wing hanging out a bit.
=> The parents' tail feathers look like a pheasant's tail feathers.
=> The father who was sitting on top of the hat was the guardian.
=> The branch had blueish moss.
=> The babies looked like they were crying out.
=> The babies were pale in color. Most of their bodies were inside the nest - except their heads.


Great Horned Owls.

Sophia remembered:
=> The back of the smaller owl's ears looked like orange flames so it gave the impression the ears were on fire.
=> The talons are extremely sharp. One looked longer than it should be (the upper one).
=> They look very majestic but I don't see any like the great horned owl like I see in this area.
=> The beaks look two-dimensional.
=> The colors aren't very bright. The colors are more subtle and don't jump out at you.
=> There are browns, grays, and reds used in the picture.
=> The feathers on their chest are a tawny-goldish color.
=> The beak is black and shiny.
=> On the big owl, there are two holes in the beak - like little nostrils.
=> They are big owls. You can see why they are called "great."

Olivia remembered: 
=> The owls' feet were super bushy.
=> The owls' talons were really long.
=> The owl on the lower branch - on the top of the forehead is black. It's jet black up there.
=> The beaks seem more diamond shaped.
=>  I saw gold, black, and a tinge of white on the owls.
=> The eyes are gold.
=>  The branch had blueish moss on it.
=> The feathers down by its legs got pale. You couldn't really see them.
=> I wonder why they are called "horned" when they have any.


Pileated Woodpeckers.

Sophia remembered:
=> There were four pileated woodpeckers and they were black, white, and red. One of them had a blue tinge around its beak.
=> The tree/bush that they were sitting on had black berries.
=> Two of the pileated woodpeckers had their beaks open like they were having an argument or talking.
=> One of the pileated woodpeckers has a worm that has a dark splotch for its head.
=> Their talons are very sharp and pointy; and they are black. A few of them have a blueish tinge to them.
=> The leaves are a pale green in some spots. Other spots are light yellow. All have dark splotches on them.
=> Their feet look like they were meant to grab trees - because two of the claws were facing up and two were facing down.

Olivia remembered: 
=> One of the pileated woodpeckers had a worm in its mouth.
=> The pileated woodpeckers had blue on their beaks.
=> One of the pileated woodpeckers had its red part all puffed up.
=>The pileated woodpeckers' feet are blue with black claws or talons...or whatever you call them.
=> The berries looked more like wine grapes to me.
=> The two birds at the bottom were squabbling. They had their mouths open.
=> The wings had black with white on them.
=> The leaves look like they were dying because they were brownish.
=> There was a lot of bark on the trees.
=> They had black and white feathers.


Wood Ducks.

Sophia remembered:
=> There are four wood ducks and one is in a hollowed-out log and laying on a bunch of white downy feathers. A few of the feathers have fallen out.
=> The third duck is the most colorful - dark green, black, orange, white, blue, and a little bit of purple. He has his wings half spread.
=> The leaves are a light green with darkish veins.
=> Two of the ducks have their mouth open like they are having a conversation.
=> The female ducks aren't quite as vibrant as a male duck. The males have more vibrant colors.
=> The feet are orange in color. Because they are sitting on branches, they are splayed wide since they aren't made for that.
=> I like this picture. You don't normally see these kinds of ducks.

Olivia remembered: 
=> One of the wood ducks is in a log and there are a bunch of white feathers.
=> Two of the wood ducks look like they are talking with one another.
=> One of the male ducks has its beak open to the female in the log nest; and you can see its pink tongue.
=> The colors of the male wood duck are very pretty - green, purple, pinkish, brown, white, black, and pink around the eyes.
=> The feet are kind of ribbed and they have tiny claws.
=> Some of the leaves look like web feet too.
=> The female has a pale, brownish-grayish chest.
=> Looks like dead grass growing out of the top of the log nest.



Willow said...

I think that is marvelous that you are having an art study about James Audubon. Very interesting what the girls remember about each picture.

walking said...

I had not considered doing picture study on Audubon. Thanks for sharing their narrations.