Category Archives: Artists

Spicing Up Your Legal Tender

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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.

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Filed under Andre Levy, coins, painting

Painted Eggs II

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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.

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Filed under Andy warhol, eggs, painting, Pop Art

Picasso Pops

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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.

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Filed under Pablo Picasso, styrofoam crafts

The Clock Craft

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.

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Filed under Artists, Christian Marclay, clock, recycling

Gerhard Richter Inspired Plexiglass Painting

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.

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Pointillism

Back in the late 1800′s, artists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed a method of painting called pointillism. It involves applying distinct strokes or dots of colour which, when viewed from a distance, blend together to create solid forms. Continue reading

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Filed under Art Movements, Artists, Georges Seurat, Pointillism

Painted Eggs

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.

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Filed under Artists, eggs, painting, Pop Art, Roy Lichtenstein

Textured 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.

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Movies, Artists, Madness

After all your hard work entertaining, cooking and putting up with varying levels of dysfunction and joy, you’ll surely be in need of a much deserved break. Here’s a list of some of my favourite films about artists, which you may want to watch as an antidote to all the holiday excess. Be prepared to be taken on some passionate and turbulent journeys which explore the transformative power of art, and often seem to end in some form of madness. What is it with art and madness anyway? Not all of these are suitable for children, but some are definitely worth sharing with them. Happy viewing and Happy Holidays! Continue reading

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Filed under Artists, movies

The Virtual Canvas

Back in 2008, Apple dramatically changed our fingerpainting options by offering a painting application called Brushes for the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. No more drop sheets, no more gooey paint, no more cleanup. Its popularity has surged, particularly since Jorge Colombo’s painting landed on the cover of The New Yorker magazine.

That same year, David Hockney got his first iPhone, began working with this App, and the rest is history. His current exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, called Fresh Flowers, shows what he created using Brushes. Needless to say, I left the show very excited about trying out this medium for myself.

While I found Brushes a bit pricey compared to other drawing Apps, it was cheaper than a bottle of wine, and got the most favourable reviews. Purchase made. It’s been a lot of fun to use even if you can’t draw for toffee. And if you head to YouTube, you’ll find an amazing selection of paintings to inspire you.

The coolest thing about this App? Watching your drawing being created in playback mode, the fact that you can use it anywhere, and of course seeing how much kids enjoy it.

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Filed under Artists, David Hockney, virtual art