When I was no more than five, Mom gave me a wonderful book of Masterpieces. I often examined my favorites and wondered about these people painted in time. How were we different? How were we the same? Because I love so many Masterpieces, I have crafted a fun art history project for 2021: Monday MousterWorks.
For this project, I’ve preselected 52 Masterpieces to render in my children’s book style. Each rendition will be posted every Monday on Instagram, Facebook, and this blog – along with thoughts I have while recreating them. (Make sure to look for two mice in each illustration!) Many of these pieces are childhood favorites (Las Meninas by Diego Velasquez being my absolute favorite), but I also looked for lesser-known artists from various cultures. I mostly wanted subject matter kids can appreciate. Hopefully this project will encourage kids – and adults – who follow along to ask the same questions I did – and more!
I invite illustrators of all ages to join in the fun! Here are The Rules:
Render each Masterpiece in your style (look for the schedule below), making sure to include two mice somewhere in the illustration. You are allowed to play around with various elements (dimensions, ages, species, expressions, medium, color, etc) – but it must contain elements from the original so that it is recognizable as a variation. If you’d like others to see your illustration, post to social media and include the hashtag #MousterWorks2021. Although I plan to do all 52 Masterwork reproductions, I’m not expecting anyone to do the same – just participate when you can!
See a MousterWork you like and want to own a print? Take a look in my Etsy shop (I will be adding the best ones as the year goes on). If you don’t see the piece you’re looking for, feel free to email me: email@example.com and I’ll add it to the shop.
Here is the full MousterWorks schedule, with links to reproductions of the originals (you can also find a compilation of these Masterpieces on my website):
January 4: Shen Zhou – Chinese Watercolor Children (1427-1509)
January 11: Jan van Eyck – Arnolfini Portrait (1434)
March 22: Rembrandt – The Holy Family with Angels (1645)
March 29: Diego Velasquez – Las Meninas (1656)
April 12: Gabriel Metsu – The Sick Child (1663-4)
April 19: Johannes Vermeer – Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665)
April 26: Johannes Vermeer – The Milkmaid (1657-58)
May 3: Johannes Vermeer – The Lacemaker (1669-70)
May10: Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders – Christ and John the Baptist as children and two angels (1615-20)