Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Museum Visit Project: Howard Hodgkin's Brushstrokes

Here is a great project that will show you how to do paintings using brushstrokes. 

Did you know that you can create shapes with your brush?. See how the artist Howard Hodgkin creates shapes with his brushes.

Tape down a piece of paper. Dip your brush in some paint. Wipe it on the side of the jar. Press it on your paper. Then splash, slap, splash, slap. 

Just look at these lush prints of Howard Hodgkin, the contemporary British painter.  I discovered them online at  the Metropolitan Museum of Art's fabulous web site. (Imagine being able to visit an exhibition online.) The original prints were on view in the Print Collection galleries.

I like the "marks" Hodgkin makes using a thick brush and short stubby strokes. His brushstrokes often run right onto the frames. His paintings sometimes look like brightly-colored landscapes; sometimes pure abstract bursts of color. His paintings seem naïve, but they are actually highly sophisticated, strong statements of simple ("minimalist") ideas. After all, they are "purely" brushstrokes.

A terrific Hodgkin-inspired painting project that explores the shapes brushes make.
Buy some brushes in different sizes and shapes at the hardware store. Buy two 2 inch wide foam brushes. Buy two 1 inch bristle(?) paint brushes. Buy some large sheets of colored construction paper at the art supply store.

Tape down a sheet of construction paper. Pour some tempera paint into a saucer. Dip the front edge of your 2" foam brush in the paint. Drag it across part of the paper. Dip it again. Take a little more paint this time. Try painting a curve. Try painting small dashes. Do the same thing with your bristle brushes. Tape your painting to the wall and let it dry. Wash your brushes and dry them.

Tape down a new paper. Pour another color into a saucer. Dip the tip of your 1" brush in the paint. Drag it across part of the paper. Dip it again and try painting curves and circles. See what your brush will do. Let your painting dry. Add another color. When your painting is dry, you can add another color. You can do this with up to four colors. Remember to let each color dry before you go on to the next one. Make sure you wash and dry your brushes between colors.

You can put your artwork in pre-cut white mats and mount them on the wall. (You'll find them at the art store.) Or you can mount your paintings directly on the wall. Use the picture-hanging goop. Invite your friends and family into your "studio" to see your new art work. Arrange a playdate with a friend and do some Hodgkin-inspired paintings.

A link to the Howard Hodgkin prints at the Metropolitan Museum{5A77FEEC-17F1-47FA-95B6-5EEA279A349B}

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Museum Visit Project: MoMA: Alberto Giacometti

A 3 year old Uma discovered a Giacometti sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. She thought the thinny thin Giacometti was terrific. We asked her how she knew this thin figure was a woman, and she answered, "she has bobos."

Alberto Giacometti b. 10 October 1901- 11 January 1966, Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, printmaker) Giacometti was a well-known sculptor. His father was an artist. As a young man, Alberto worked at his father's studio, and learned about painting. In 1922, he moved to Paris, to study sculpture and painting. He experimented with some of the new styles of cubism and surrealism, but he preferred to draw exactly what he saw when he sat in front of a model.

From 1936 to 1940, his figures became more and more stretched out and long, and he began the unique artistic phase that made him famous.

Giacometti said that the final result represented the sensation he felt when he looked at a woman. He created very minimalist figures, but you could tell their gender and sometimes even their age.

In 1962 Alberto Giacometti received the Grand Prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale.

Here is a project inspired by the sculpture of Giacometti

You'll need some play doh or clay to use as a base, some pipecleaners to use as the armatures (structure) for figures, some tissue paper to wrap around the pipecleaners to give them some detail, some library paste to dip the tissue paper in, to make it stick to the pipecleaners. It will dry hard.

Twist the pipecleaners into figure shapes. They can walk, or run, or stand still. Make a pancake of clay and cut it into a rectangle. It will be the base for your figures. Press the ends of the pipecleaners into the clay to hold them upright. Dip strips of tissue paper into the paste and press them around the pipecleaners. Let them dry overnight. You can combine several figures on one base. You can paint your figure after it dries.

Museum Visit Project: Jackson Pollock

“Pollock's technique of pouring and dripping paint is one of the origins of "action" painting. The paint flowed from a brush or a stick right onto the canvas. He placed his canvas on the floor and was able to work on it from all directions.

"Splashy Splashy" is a Pollack-inspired, dip and splash art-making project. Brush in, brush out, splash and dribble. You might want your child to do this "nudie" or in a large old shirt. Make sure you spread a large plastic drop-cloth across the floor. Put on some jazzy music. It's super fun if you make some ground rules.

Materials you will need
Table or floor
A roll of paper 18” x 20 ‘
Tape to hold paper down
Jars of non-toxic tempera paints
Sticks or brushes

The drip technique requires paint with a fluid viscosity like thin cream. Use non-toxic water-based paints tempera or gouache paint. Expect a mess. Don’t be surprised if there are footprints and hand prints along with the drips. Have fun.

“Splashy Splashy” will teach children there are many ways to create paintings. They will learn that even the most casual drip or blob, can be seen as a form. Parents and children will discover the fun of “messing around” together.