It was on this day in 1852, that Spanish Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi, was born. His unique and imaginative style can be seen in the magnificent church, the Sagrada Família, and Parc Güell, where mosaics cover benches and ceilings throughout the property. It was amazing to see his work on a visit to Barcelona several years ago, and interesting to see how his designs were inspired by the things he was most passionate about, like nature. Children can easily incorporate meaningful objects they’ve gathered, along with mosaic tiles, to truly personalize this project. So gather up your bits and bobs, so we can celebrate the wonderful world of Gaudi.
Category Archives: Artists
Hungarian born artist, Simon Hantaï, was an important figure in European art until his death in 2008. He spent most of his life in France, and was best known for his abstract work. His desire to move away from conventional methods of painting, lead to a process called pliage. Hantaï invented this technique, which involved folding and crumpling unstretched canvas, before adding bold and vibrant colours to it. This enabled him to continue exploring patterns and repetitiveness, present in his earlier work, while focussing on the importance of white space and the idea of chance.
This project is inspired by Hantaï’s pliage work, and very simply explores the idea of painting and creating art in a non conventional way, by scrunching canvasses and having fun.
Brazilian artist and designer, Andre Levy, will change the way you look at coins. His creative interventions in Tales You Lose, involve embellishing and transforming heads of state into popular characters and people, leaving you wondering why you never thought of doing that yourself! It may also leave you curious about who is chosen to be on a coin, and about the legalities of altering money, even for non-fraudulent purposes like art. In this case, the acrylic paint you’ll be using can easily be scraped away, allowing you to continue using your coins as legitimate currency. But if you prefer to save the Queen of England sporting a new, hot pink coiffe, you can do that too.
Egg painting season is upon us, and this year, my daughter decided Andy Warhol was the way to go. Warhol was born in Pittsburgh in 1928, and like Roy Lichtenstein, who inspired these eggs, became an important figure in the Pop Art movement. His use of everyday objects, and popular images from celebrity culture and the world of advertising, took art in a new direction, making it less elitist and more of a celebration of “consumerism and mass culture.” Warhol left us with unforgettable images of Campbell’s Soup cans, Brillo boxes, and plenty of famous faces to use as inspiration for this year’s batch of eggs.
Have you ever wondered who first thought of skewering small bits of beautifully decorated cake? Turns out the cake pop queen is Bakerella, and the idea first came to her back in 2008. It’s been a few years since I’ve been admiring (and eating) them, and finally got around to making an arts and crafts project inspired by them. Fake pops are easy to make, and adapt well to any theme. The only down side is that they’re not edible.
You may have heard of a film called The Clock by artist Christian Marclay. It’s been showing in galleries and museums around the world for the past two years, and is now in Toronto. It’s the result of an ambitious two year project involving collaging and remixing thousands of images of film and TV footage, to represent every minute of a twenty- four hour period. The film is edited to be shown in real time, which means it’s 24 hours long. Crazy! I recently saw it, loved it, and found myself wanting to stay much longer than I could but…no time. In fact it was really interesting to be so engaged in something, yet constantly aware of the time, and in my case, when the parking meter would expire.
There are plenty of clips on YouTube which will give you an idea of what the film looks like. Naturally, a clock project had to come out of this, since at some point we all have to learn how to tell time.
Gerhardt Richter recently had a phenomenal show at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This German artist has explored and mastered many styles including abstract, pop art, minimalism and photo-realism, where he creates paintings derived from photographs and adds his trademark blur. His work sells for prices higher than any other living artist, and is considered by many to be the most important working artist today. I loved his series of lacquer-on-glass paintings, and thought it would be interesting for kids to explore the idea of creating layers on plexiglass.
Painting eggs is a popular activity and tradition this time of year, and there’s no shortage of styles to explore. Think of intricate and detailed designs on Ukrainian Easter eggs, experiments with marbling, speckling and layering, wonderful little characters emerging from creative minds, and of course the unexpected. Artists provide inspiration for so many things, so why not for eggs?
The American artist, Roy Lichtenstein, was born in 1923 and was well known for his work in the Pop Art style. For a number of years, he adapted images from comic books and turned them into large-scale paintings filled with thick black outlines, primary colours, and lots and lots of dots. Dots, comics, and bright colours? Sounds like a winning combination to entice children into a little egg painting.
Jean Dubuffet was a French artist whose work included paintings and large-scale sculptures. He used a range of unconventional materials such as sand, pebbles, and butterfly wings, and was often inspired by found objects, patterns, and textures. He was also drawn to the powerful work created by children, prisoners and psychiatric patients, who had received no formal training in art. This prompted him to coin the term Art Brut to refer to their art, which was filled with a spontaneity and freedom he greatly admired and was inspired by. Let’s celebrate that spontaneity and freedom children have by playing with plaster and creating some textures.