Surrealism is a strange or wacky view of life that often resembles dreams. In real life, René Magritte spent his days in Brussels, Belgium painting in his apartment. He dressed like an everyday man, wearing a black suit and bowler hat. Many of Magritte’s paintings feature a bowler hat.
One of Magritte’s most famous paintings, pictured above, shows a man’s face covered by an apple. He enjoyed making these types of strange portraits and used different everyday objects to cover or partially cover the subject’s face in each one.
We talked about what came to mind when they looked at thr artwork and I got a variety of different and interesting answers, among them...maybe he just doesnt want to show his face, he is hiding, he is saying something about forbidden fruit.
The children could place any object over thr face of the man and I got to highlight how interesting it is that the time we live in reflects our art and our experience of life.
Franz Marc was born in 1880 in Germany. With a father who was a professional landscape painter, he was exposed to art at a young age.
His unique approach to painting animals from “the inside out to show their soul” resulted in unusual and bright colours. He sought out to provide a spiritual connection between the animals he painted and the viewer through the colours that he used.
In 1911 Marc, along with other artists formed a group
called Der Blaue Reiter which means The Blue Rider in
German. They set out to create paintings that expressed color in new ways.Their art style was called Expressionism.
Marc’s artistic career continued even after he was drafted to fight in World War I. He painted large canvas covers in pointillistic camouflage to disguise artillery on the ground from aircrafts flying above. In 1916, Marc was killed in action during the Battle of Verdun.
Picasso is not known for his paintings of animals but a few emerged - The Rooster (Le Coq) in 1938 and Cat Catching a Bird in 1939.
Many students are familiar with the way Picasso showed both the profile and frontal face views in his portrait paintings and the
same is true for The Rooster (Le Coq). The beak and eyes are drawn in this familiar way. Which, of course, is what makes this rooster project different and a lot more fun than drawing a regular rooster.
Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881. He had trouble in school but his father, an art teacher, didn’t mind as Pablo preferred to draw instead.
He moved to Paris to attend art school when he was 23. He was
quite poor and painted sad scenes. This was called his
Picasso experimented with his art and along with a friend, he
created CUBISM. Cubists painted objects from many
angles and ignored round shapes and the rules of perspective.
Did you know…
• When Picasso fell in love, he painted happier events like circuses and children. This was called his ROSE period.
• Picasso created more than 20,000 pieces of art in his lifetime.
• Picasso achieved much fame in his lifetime
• He put a date on every piece of artwork he created because he wanted to create a timeline of his art
Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in a small town in France. His parents owned a general store and wanted Henri to take over the family business but Henri decided to become a lawyer instead. At 20, he got very sick and had to be admitted to the hospital. His mother bought him a box of paints and from that day on, Henri decided to be an artist.
Matisse was called the “King of Color”. He recognized that color played a big part in how we perceive life. Later in life, Matisse developed cancer and was bed ridden. He still created art in his
bed by using a bamboo stick tipped with chalk. He drew on the ceiling!
He also started cutting out shapes with scissors and called this art form, “drawing with scissors.”
Did you know…
• That Matisse and Picasso were both friends and rivals?
• That Matisse joined a group of painters and because of their
wild colors, they were known as “Fauves” which means
• Matisse painted with a few colors and a few lines at a time.
Van Gogh's Sunflowers is one of his most famous paintings and to capture the characteristic lively brushstrokes the Picassos used a unique technique! They mixed drywall compound into the paint and applied it using a pallet stick.
They really enjoyed manipulating the paste onto the cardboard andvseeing the effect it created. I have to say I love the texture!
Vincent Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853. He had two bothers and three sisters but was closest to his younger brother, Theo. Vincent loved to draw as a child and by the time he was 27 years old, he devoted his whole life to painting.
When Vincent first began painting, he painted images from his surroundings which were a bit
gloomy. He used dark, sad colors. When he moved to France, he started to paint sunflowers.
The colors he used became brighter and his iconic short brushstroke was developed. He painted
portraits, streets, cafes and countrysides.
Vincent painted hundreds of pictures, sometimes finishing a single painting in a day. But then,
Vincent became unwell and he moved into a hospital so others could take care of him.
In this lesson, students will learn about one of the few
female Impressionist artists: Mary Cassatt. The way that Cassatt captures light in her painting Summertime is magical. I am jealous of the women on the boat leisurely watching the ducks! Those ducks are the inspiration for this painting that features texture, value and movement.
ABOUT MARY CASSATT
Mary Cassatt was an American artist. She also
lived in France for part of her life. Impressionist artist
Edgar Degas became her friend and influenced her to
take a place in the Impressionist movement. Cassatt
liked painting scenes of family, specifically mothers
with their children.
It’s interesting to occasionally mix things up and have students create a painting that is not on white paper. This floral still life project is done on black paper. The trick is to paint the drawing white first so that the other paint colors will really pop on the black. Chalk pastel accents are added to give the bowl and plate form.
ABOUT BERTHE MORISOT:
Berthe Morisot was a French painter who was part of the Impressionist art movement. She enjoyed painting scenes from everyday life, such as family, children and flowers. Like other Impressionists, Morisot painted using short brush strokes with a focus on capturing light in her artwork.
A mosaic is art that is made up of many small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials such as paper or ceramics. During Medieval times in the Byzantine Empire, mosaics were a popular art form. Mosaics made of stone, glass, pearls and gold commonly decorated the interiors of churches all over the empire.
Early mosaics were made out of available materials, like pebbles and shells. As technology evolved, artists were able to cut squares of glass and marble because of the hammering and chiseling tools that allowed them to cut materials into small squares.
My older kids adapted this concept using a painting technique that is done to look like a mosaic. They drew from an image of a popular Byzantine Mosaic and painted using some bright and attractive colours! The end result is quite striking!
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)