Our kids are surrounded by lots of things and plenty of opportunities. When they have an opportunity to draw, they draw lots of things. The more and the brighter, the better. Right?
This class we devoted to understanding the concept of being a minimalist in art and life.
Comparing two paintings: one done by an Australian artist Ashley Harkness, called Hot Horizon:
and a Still Life with Apples that I painted in 2006, we started our discussion about what Minimalism is.
Minimalism came right after the time when the public was tired and overwhelmed by “too many apples” in the picture. It started in New York in the 60s. Jackson Pollock was yesterday news and Frank Stella was “Wow!”
This is Frank Stella’s painting:
And this is an example of how minimalism art show looks like:
Of course, you can not go any further without showing them a picture of Kasimir Malevich’s Black Square:
Wait to hear what they say. My students were hilarious.
-Is this art?
-Is it like a famous painting?
– Why there is nothing there?
I tried to explain that sometimes there is nothing much left to say and artists are people, some of them like to “talk a lot” and some of them like to say very little.
“Look at these photographs” – I suggested. -“What is one word that comes to mind when you see them?”
Quiet, peaceful, winter, snow, grey, dull, empty… They found many and pretty much grasped the idea of what I wanted them to understand – when the world around you is hectic, Minimalism calms you down. You do not need a lot of words to portray silence.
For creating our masterpieces we used:
- titanium white acrylic paint for the background
- 9×12 canvas boards
- flat and medium round paint brushes
- acrylic paints, we only used black this time.
The process took a little longer then I planned only because watching the kids enjoying spreading the paint I let them do it again and again. That was also our “getting to know acrylic paint” lesson hence no time pressure at all. All in all the paintings were finished in a little under 50 minutes.
If you would like to learn more about Minimalism you can use the following link:
Information about Kazimir Malevich written in a kids friendly way is here.
While creating we listened to the winter forest sounds. Our class takes place in the evening and I believe parents were very happy to see their little geniuses calm and serene…
…Just kidding! They were as free spirited as usual. 🙂