Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Monday, April 26, 2010

an essay by my daugher on Johannes Vermeer

by karen #1965 third grade teacher so you see my daughter (15 year old) can write...i mean really write...and she was given the topic below and had to just start writing and had a couple of hours to complete the essay...and she decided to write on the artist, johannes vermeer...now of course, i am a proud mama, but i thought this might be something you high school art teachers might use to share with your students about vermeer...maybe this essay could kick-off your study...and for you elementary teachers...well, i will get to you later...here is the topic question...

 If you could have a conversation with a person of historical prominence (deceased or one who is still living) whom would you choose, what would you ask them and why would you choose that person?


Johannes Vermeer by 1965's daughter-


Looking back at History and thinking of all the important figures that made our world what it is today, one person comes into my mind. Not only have I always been interested in this character, but I can relate in his talents and characteristics. His life has been studied by many historical scholars to this day, and many parts of his life are still misunderstood. As a brilliant artist and beholder of a fascinating biography, Johannes Vermeer is the person of historical prominence that I would choose to have a conversation with.


Johannes Vermeer was an artist living in Europe in the years of a growing trade and naval system. The small towns, such as the one he resided in, were growing rapidly with their important locations and rapidly growing populations. These cities were becoming a place of trade, and Vermeer’s artistry and paintings were falling into a period where art was bought and sold just as much as meet and vegetables were. His paintings were unique and different from any other artist at his time. In his studio, he would introduce blank canvas with themes that greatly represented the time period he lived in. Vermeer usually painted pictures of mostly women and men that could be found doing daily activities, such as simply pouring water out of a vase or sitting at leisure with fellow friends. His mastery was found in his use of light and colors and making the canvas come alive with realistic details. Vermeer also was believed to use the camera obscura to help him achieve this work of near perfection. After his death was when all of his works became popular. While he was alive, the fascination that people have for him nowday was not found in people he lived around. In fact, he struggled to make ends meet for his family. But today, many other artists and scholars of the arts look to Vermeer as a fantastic artist who should continue to receive attention.


Being in the presence of such an interesting artist would not only humble me, but there would be too many questions that I would want to ask. First, I would ask Vermeer about his life as an artist. Questions I would ask him could be: “Was it difficult to find an object to paint? Were you always thinking about the customer when you painted?” But the most important question I would want to ask him would be the following: “Did every one of your paintings have a story or personal experience behind it?” Whenever looking at Vermeer’s paintings, I am always fascinated by not only his skill, but I wonder what truly inspired him. Was it his family or friends, or was it something completely random he saw while taking a walk down the cobblestone streets? I would hope his answers could help me further understand his life and the meaning behind all of his beautiful paintings. Maybe, he would even help me as an artist to see the world from his point of view so I could try to achieve the mastery he reached in his lifetime.


I can personally relate to Johannes Vermeer as we both share our love of painting. Starting young with watercolor and producing meaningless blobs of color, I became fascinated with the ability to create colorful pictures. Now, I continue to have this love for art and still am fascinated with the artists who contributed to the history of art. But the most interesting and skilled artist I personally look up to is Johannes Vermeer. I have read many books about him and learning about his interesting life helps me to understand his paintings. In the novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier, I learned of Vermeer’s painting of the young girl with the mysterious look on her face and the one pearl earring in her ear. This is a perfect example of a painting that I was extremely curious to know the story behind, and although the book is a work of fiction, it still presents a fascinating theory and gives me an idea of Vermeer’s difficult life. It does accurately show his methods of painting and his distinct style, and I continue to study the book along with many other writings about this interesting man.


Johannes Vermeer is a pioneer of the history of art as he used new techniques to show his abilities as an artist. While his subjects and themes perfectly represented the period and place in which he lived, he gave people an accurate pictures of hard-working way of life in the seventeenth century. Interviewing and conversing with Vermeer has always been a dream of mine because of my curiosity towards his work. I hope someday to better understand his meanings behind certain paintings, and a chance to talk to him would give me the perfect opportunity to do so. Although I would never achieve the skill and brilliance Vermeer reached in his lifetime, I would hope he could give me some advice and hints on how to be the best artist possible. After this interview with Johannes Vermeer, I would continue to be mesmerized by his life and amazing abilities, but mostly, I would never forget Vermeer’s important contribution to the history of art. -The End


check out some of vermeer's paintings...
there is tons of interesting stuff about johannas vermeer...at first i thought, how could you get kids interested in this?...i even thought...how can i get me interested in this?...so i started googling and wow...wayyyyyy cool!

high school students...show the movie if you can watch PG-13...

go to Essential Vermeer website...very detailed information...
or study camera obscura...many think that johannes vermeer used it in his work...it was really interesting...What is camera obscura?
now...as i promised...elementary teachers...here is some action for you...
read the book...Chasing Vermeer...
visit these cool places...
Scholastic
Kids' Wings
Kids Off The Couch: If A Vermeer is Near
National Gallery of Art
Garden of Praise
Ms. Julie's Art School

so...my daughter wrote this at 15...at 15, she has dreams and aspirations...she grabs at chances to experience things...she sinks in every moment...at 15, i think she realizes that life is only a few moments...i think johannes vermeer was kinda like that...he lived in the 1600s...lived to be 43 years old...a short time really...he only had 35 to 40 paintings...but...even with that small number, they stuck...and we are still studying him and his amazing work today...we all will go one day...hopefully, to the pearly gates...and when we reach the pearly gates, most of us will not have left behind famous paintings behind like "the girl with a pearl earring"...but...we can live a life that leaves behind little pearls for others...pearls symbolize purity, spiritual transformation, charity, honesty, wisdom, and integrity...all the best within us...so leave little pearls along the way...for others to find...and hold in their hearts forever...

15 there's still time for you

Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

(five for fighting, 2006)
"100 Years" by Five for Fighting on You Tube

Happy April 26, 2010!

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