Art Series: Sister Wendy's Story of Painting

It is my total delight to introduce DoodleMom to you, also known as Kirsten to the blog today. I put a call out for people to do an art book post for the blog and Kirsten stepped up to the challenge. :)

Kirsten blogs at  DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life and is a new to me blogger this year.  Let me tell you...she is a gal who makes me think and ponder in a way I sometimes don't expect and that is a good thing eh?  :)  Keeps me from being stagnant and who wants that eh?

 Sister Wendy's Story of Painting

I did not notice until recently that a very proper and very, very smart nun with a history of teaching English and Art was also a master of polite sarcasm. 

My kids and I were watching Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting (available free on Docuwatch) and reading another chapter in her book of the same name. Art history with Sister Wendy reinforces and makes additional connections to the events and people of the history the kids are learning, as well as helping them to understand composition and technique. And Sister Wendy is also teaching my kids the fine art of polite sarcasm. 

My children sat on either side of me, magnifying glasses in hand so they could investigate each tiny detail of the paintings discussed in the text. We were looking over Sister Wendy’s comparison of illuminations from England, France, Ireland, and Spain, all from the same rough time period. And we came to this statement, “Like the Irish monks, the British also produced manuscripts of great beauty, this being one of the very few periods in which the least visual of national groups, the English speakers, attained international fame as artists.” “Hmmm,” I thought to myself. As we continued, my children began to pick up on the sarcasm as well. 

We got to the section discussing the Bayeux Tapestry and Sister Wendy wrote, “It displays the same jerky animation that we find in English manuscripts. A sort of Anglo-Saxon glorified comic strip…” Finally we read through the section on French illumination in which Sister Wendy wrote, “A lovely missal survives…,” and “…with a magnificent pictorial “O” and…” “OK,” said my son. “She definitely likes the French best and the English least.”  While her sarcasm stings and is quite apparent, it is also exceedingly polite. A grand way to show her preferences and dislikes. 

And, once my children recognized her sarcasm, the whole activity of studying art became an interactive one. First understanding Sister Wendy’s preferences, the reasons behind them, enjoying her wit, and finally forming their own opinions on the art or artist in question. All in all, a perfect way to study art.

Where to Find More

Book: Sister Wendy's Story of Painting Sister Wendy's Story of Painting

Documentary: Sister Wendy`s Story of Painting (6 episodes)



About Kirsten

Kirsten West is a Christian Homeschooling Mom who blogs at DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life

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  1. Interesting. I have a kid that would definitely enjoy sarcasm and wit in his schooling. :)

    1. I know, sounds like an interesting book eh?

  2. Sounds quite different. Thanks for the share, both to you and to Kirsten.

    1. Yes it does, thanks for stopping by

  3. Sister Wendy is quite fun to study art with, isn't she? Thanks for sharing this resource on the Virtual Fridge!

    1. I need to check her out, I haven't done so yet.


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