Friday, August 14, 2009

Fine Arts Class #3

Piet Mondrian. What an interesting fellow. We started out the class with pictures of his work. Starting with the pictures when he was young and in Holland and then slowly moving to his more abstract works of his later years in New York. We had nice long conversations about what the words "abstract" and "realistic" meant when talking about art, and as we moved through his pictures for a second time, you could see his work get more and more simple and 'abstract'.

They had seen some of these paintings previously in this class, but only the ones that he was so famous for like this:

Classically titled New York City, this painting is one of his most famous. This painting, only using red, yellow, blue, and black, shows the movement of the city as it had never been seen before. I held up an aerial map of New York so the kids could see the streets and then showed them the picture again, and some of them actually could see it and describe to me what they saw as movement and what they saw as buildings, etc.

These pictures showed movement in yet another way in this class... and also showing the importance of a paintings title. We concentrated on this a little bit when we were talking about doing our own art work in this style. We also talked about his use of balance... I called him the 'master of balance' because each of his works are set up in such a way that your eyes never are drawn to one place alone, but constantly moving about the picture... trying to find what makes it work.

After this the kids were given squares of paper and black paper lines (which took FOREVER to cut out) and the put them together in the style of Mondrian.

The talk on 'abstract' and picture titles stuck with some, and the actual pictures of the art stuck with others. I found it VERY interesting to see what the kids all picked.

Emma's Butterfly Island

Cyan's Rainbow Garden

Hannah's 'Butterfly in Red and Yellow' (Good title!!)

Abbie's 'New York City'.

And Elais' 'The Tree'.

We had a break and a snack and then the kids settled down to put the ideas they worked out on paper, onto a cookie for them to take home. I got this idea from this site and I thought it was such an amazing one! They will never forget this lesson that was a mix of hands-on and happy tummies. :)

I could do these classes forever!


Sybille said...

Wow²!! What a super idea!! I love that!

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for these posts! I teach art for our homeschool co-op and this program seems really great! I need to look into it because I'd love to use something a bit more structured.

If you get time, I'd love a post critiquing the program, pros and cons, etc.

Bona Fide Mama said...

FABULOUS!!! I love it!