What kid doesn’t love a good mess? Mine certainly do.
They revel in it.
As part of our homeschool, we study famous artists and try to emulate their work in some way. Jackson Pollock was a highlight for our kids for all the messy reasons.
I try to incorporate children’s books about the artists whenever possible. I find that they really help bring the person to life for them and explain their artistic techniques on their level. For Pollock, I found Action Jackson, which is a great book describing his everyday life and the way he created his works.
We also watched this video about Pollock from the Mati and Dada series on YouTube. If you haven’t discovered these yet, they are awesome! The creators do such a great job cultivating an appreciate for the artists and their works in their viewers.
Then we went outside to get painting. Jackson Pollock called his paintings “action paintings” and he did them on unstretched canvas laying on the floor of his studio. We did our best to recreate the experience for some action paintings of our own.
We put on music, just like Pollock did, and started slinging paint. As you can see from the photos, they LOVED this activity.
Emma Grace invented a clapping painting technique.
And after they finished painting on their canvases, the older kids decided to take things one step further and paint themselves. They were very pleased with the results. ;)
I didn’t get a chance to photograph the other girls’ paintings before they left, but here are Seven’s and Serai’s so that you can see the final results.
Seven still asks regularly to do action paintings and both kids remember who Jackson Pollock is, even though it’s been almost a year since we did this project. I love it when things sink in! :)
If you want to do this project with your kids, here’s what you need:
- Small, cheap household paintbrushes
- Unstretched Canvas or Muslin (These drop cloths would work nicely, cut into smaller pieces)
- Paint in assorted colors. Any kind will do. Pollock used house paint. We used tempera paints for our project.
- paper plates for paint pallets
- And of course, smocks or t-shirts, unless you just want to send them out in their underwear. No judgement. ;)
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