Friday miscellany: The scream

As an end-of-year art project, our local elementary school has the fifth graders copy a famous work of art. Three years ago, my now 8th grader did Frieda Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. We bought canvases and oil paints. I coached him through sketching first with pencil, and really looking at shapes and colors abstractly, rather than thinking “this is a face” (which makes you think about what you think is a face…rather than copying what the artist did). I think his Kahlo copy came out well — I still have it hanging in the mudroom.

My current 5th grader chose Edvard Munch’s The Scream. He was a little less interested in my coaching, but I think it turned out well too. It was fun to have oil paints going again, and as an upside of having lots of canvases and oil paints, other children have gotten the serious art bug. The 6-year-old made a sign declaring the basement a museum with lots of paintings on display (he also decided there should be a crime scene in this museum, and put a lot of plaster from one of those “find the dinosaur fossils” kits all over the floor…but this is a different matter). The 6-year-old and I are now coloring at night in lieu of reading stories, and it’s a pleasant change of pace.

Unfortunately, speaking of “serious bugs,” Max the dog got some sort of stomach bug and, wow. Let’s just say a certain rug will not be joining us at the new house.

The 14-year-old and I have set a goal to run together two times a week or so this summer. We went on a run this morning around our neighborhood, and it was nice. I went on a 7.5 mile run with my running buddy last weekend and really enjoyed all the honeysuckle that is perfuming the trails. I’ve made a point of taking a few walks this week where I stop to take in the scent. After all, that’s on the summer fun list! I ordered a Mrs. Meyer’s honeysuckle scented soap bar but it doesn’t smell the same. So I just have to enjoy the real thing for these few days while I can.

(If anyone knows of any soaps/candles/etc. that really nailed the honeysuckle scent…let me know).

I took all five kids to the beach on Memorial Day (solo) – it was cold, but we lasted about an hour playing on the sand and then we got our ice cream at Day’s. So that’s now crossed off the summer fun list too (though we will do it again, many times!). I’m hoping to go strawberry picking this weekend, so that will be another item. It will need to happen early in the day since the temperatures will hit 90 after being in the 40s last weekend. You never know what you’re going to get in May and June around here.

Now, my public service announcement: Remember, the berry season is short*…so if strawberry picking is on your list, that needs to happen in the next week or two!

*Bonus points if you know where I used that line…

9 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: The scream

  1. When my daughter was in kindergarten, they had to pick an art piece to “research” and tell their classmates about. The Scream was in the news because it had been stolen recently and she wanted to do that one. I showed her all kinds of other pictures trying to convince her to do something else (because I thought some of the other kids might be scared of The Scream). She absolutely refused and did the Scream and the other kids loved it. One of my first lessons in just letting my kids be themselves.

    She’s now studying art history.

    1. Love this – what a touching memory and quite the case of foreshadowing!

      I remember reading an article years ago where the author described his exhaustion one night at bedtime; his daughter was full of energy and jumped up on a coffee table to do some gymnastics. He was about to cut the athletic performance short when he decided against it, rolled up a magazine, and used it as a pretend megaphone to “commentate” her routine.

      That story has always stuck with me (both making me feel guilty when I stop fun activities before I need to, but also as a reminder that childhood sparks of creativity can set off life-long passions).

    2. That is great. The way this is painted, I see a blue heart shape in the background. When I went back to the original, I can’t unsee it. Interesting what you observe when you look at things with a different perspective.

  2. I think it’s from the beginning of “I Know How She Does It.” One of the most memorable passages from your books for me – I also love the Berry season!!

      1. And yes it is from I know how she does it. It’s either from the introduction or the first chapter

  3. Once I was reading fast enough to prefer reading alone, my dad and I did puzzle books at bedtime – mostly logic puzzles. I still have fond memories now, decades later. My youngest loves audiobooks and listens at bedtime. She’s growing out of wanting me there while she’s falling asleep but occasionally she does. Last night we had a great conversation about the story we were listening to (which we’ve heard many times before).

  4. The honeysuckle hand cream from Fresh is amazing. It is pricey but hands down the best honeysuckle scented lotion I’ve found. I believe Nordstrom and Sephora both carry it. I highly recommend (and hope you like it if you try it!)

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