October 12, 2011

Wassily Kandinsky Lesson

 We love making knock off art and Kandinsky is perhaps the easiest guy to knock off!  We spent some time looking at his artwork on Google images and discussed the elements that were generally consistent throughout his work and then the kids made a plan for their knock offs. 

Hannah Jane took it a step farther and researched how much his original pieces most recently sold for at an auction at Christie's. She was floored!  Her aspirations in life temporarily shifted and she wanted to be an artist because, according to her, "You can just do kindergarten art on a fancy canvas and people will pay you millions!"  I will admit that I don't see the real skill involved in Kandinsky's art, but I do love it and I've had prints of his paintings on my walls at different points in my life.  So...what do you say to that?  Yes, you could probably do what he did, but somehow the odds are not in your favor for getting paid millions for doing so. 

 We talked about layers of a piece of art and how you must do the background first and then build on top of it.  The kids assessed that the backgrounds in Kandinsky's work looked a little like water color, so off they went.

 Then, rather than painting, they chose to cut out of construction paper the shapes that they would layer on top.  This was mostly because I was too lazy to run to the van and get the acrylics that are still in the trunk from children's classes at Unit Convention and they thought water color on water color just wouldn't quite work.

The final step, as determined by the kiddos, was to take a Sharpie and make random black marks.  I could totally tell whose was whose here even if I hadn't watched them do it.  Haven's, on the bottom, has a few places where he did that preschool thing where they grip their marker in a clenched fist and go nuts on one small space.  Then clearly he looked up and saw that Hannah Jane and Hunter were making longer lines and decided that's what he should have been doing.  Haha!  Hunters, in the middle, looks like little motorcycles drove around the shapes, being careful not to drive on them.  That's totally Hunter.  I'm sure he was pretending that his marker was a vehicle!  Hannah Jane's had long and loopy marks that looked a little like the pre-cursive practice the was doing a few weeks ago.  The boys don't loop very well, so I suspect that the nice curvy mark on Haven's art was a little assistance from his sister :)

It's really fun when the kids can make something that, in their estimation, is just as good as something that someone in England just spent millions on.  This makes them legit professionals. 

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