Wednesday, July 13

Visiting the Netherlands

Today Froggy got her passport for her Summer Art Adventure in the Netherlands, a country Froggy knew nothing about prior to today. The flight over (aka trip to the museum) took only 45 minutes and was amazingly easy. 

We arrived at the travel bureau (aka Information Desk), received our passports and began exploring.  The passport was chock full of information about the country as a whole and our tour in specific.  Unlike last year we are not visiting specific destinations but touring the country looking at general features.   Today we looked at windmills and the general landscape.  
 Before the tour guide arrived, Froggy and I got acquainted with our destination on our own.  We visited several sites (paintings) from our tour book (passport).  Our first stop was Lady and Gentleman on Horseback by Aelbert Cuyp.  It was not a destination on our tour but caught Froggy's eye and interest.  We came back to several times as I explained why it was not on our tour and the characteristics of a landscape.
 Our next stop was A View on the High Road by Hobbema "one of the premiere Dutch landscape painters, known for his wooded landscapes with winding roads, craggy trees, and billowing clouds."  It was neat watching Froggy interact with the paintings. The changes since last year are amazing.
 Our next stop was River Landscape with Ferry by van Ruysdael.  Both the painting and artist created a great opportunity to explain that landscapes do not only include land. We also got to talk about how much water and canals there are in the Netherlands and the general geography of the area.
 Finally we got around to visiting the Aelbert Cuyp painting, Horsemen and Herdsmen with Cattle which had been our original destination.  We compared it to Lady and Gentleman on Horseback  looking specifically at the people and their placement/size in the painting.


 And then we visited several seascapes.  Froggy loved the stormy ones the best.  We did not dwell on them since I know that is a later destination.  Froggy was positively fascinated with them though looking at the shape of the waves and the dark colors.
 And then we actually began our tour. Our official stop was Rembrandt's The Mill.  The tour guide (docent) explained how windmills work as well as how important they are to the Netherlands.  
 The children were captivated and very eager to participate.

 After we studied the painting came story time.  She read  A Hole in the Dike. While I was familiar with the tale (it is a classic Dutch folktale), I had not seen the book before. It was perfect.  The drawings in the book were wonderful landscapes.  There was one page where they introduce the dike that shows clearly what a dike is and how it works.
 And then came art time.  The children got to make their own landscapes. 

The focus clearly was supposed to be the windmill.  I liked that the windmill was already created for the children.  The vanes on the mill even turn.  
Froggy was the last one to leave working very diligently the entire time.  She did not finish at the museum but came home and actually went back and worked on it more.

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