Thursday, December 29, 2011

Henri Matisse

The artist I have chosen for this December is Henri Matisse.

His full name was Henri Emile Benoît Matisse. He was born on December 31st, 1869 in the town of Le Cateau-Cambrésis in northern France.
He went to Paris to study law in 1887.

When Matisse suffered appendicitis in 1889, his mother bought him some art supplies. He was hooked on art. His father was not happy that Matisse gave up practicing law to become an artist.

In 1891 he moved to Paris to study art.

Matisse’s paintings were expressive and really emphasized colors and shapes. He is associated with Fauvism.

Matisse made paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, and collages.

In the 1940's Matisse suffered major health issues and began to “paint with scissors.”

He created large cut paper collages. He called this new technique "painting with scissors."

These cut paper collages continued to use bright colors and shapes.

He died at the age of 84 in 1954.

If you are interested in learning about Matisse and his art, please click on the link from the Baltimore Museum of Art at the bottom of this information (Click on the artist's name).

You will need Flash on your computer to run this interactive bio.
It is a lot of fun and you will meet a dog who will help you understand what to do.
Henri Matisse

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud is a living American painter who was born on November 15, 1920. He was born in Arizona. His family moved to California soon after his birth.

I chose him for our November artist because he is associated with Pop Art and we study this art period this year. His pies and desserts only represent a part of his work, but those are what most of us remember first.

During the summer months while he was in high school, he worked for Walt Disney Pictures at Walt Disney Studio. He made $14 a week. He worked as a cartoonist for several years, even while he was in the Army Air Force during WWII.

He graduated from college and began working as an art professor. He has taught students in college ever since. I guess his art work just makes me feel good and sometimes makes me feel hungry. Take a look at some of his art work of objects found in cafeterias and diners, such as pies, cupcakes and pastries. Do they make you feel good?

Below is a link to a video on YouTube about Wayne Thiebaud.
If you are interested in learning more about him, just highlight it and open link.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Art Education

I found this poster by Jeremy Deller, Scott King and William Morris that I really like.
It pretty much sums up my feelings about art, education and freedom.

I also found this video about Art Education:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Fox Lichtenstein is our artist for October. Since we study Pop Art I wanted to add another artist from that period.

Roy was born on October 27, 1923 in Manhattan, NY. He is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker. He attended public and private schools and went to Ohio State University. His education was interrupted by WWII. He was in the U.S. Army for three years. After the war, he went back to Ohio State and finished his degree (BFA) in 1946.

He is best known for his comic strip subject matter.
He was a big part of the American Pop Art movement.

His industrial paintings and comic book cartoons made him famous.

Two such paintings are BLAM, painted in 1962 and HAPPY TEARS, painted in 1964.
HAPPY TEARS sold for $7.1 million in 2002 to a private collector.

Roy Lichtenstein passed away on September 29, 1997 at the age of 73.

If you would like to make a Pop Art composition like Roy Lichtenstein highlight the URL below, open link and follow the instructions.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence was an African American painter born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 7, 1917.
When his parents split, his mom moved he and his siblings to Harlem, in New York City. Jacob was 13.
He loved the shapes and colors of Harlem.

I picked him for our artist this month because I love the colors and shapes in his paintings. Look at the ones I put here and see if you don’t agree that they have vibrant colors. The first one is called "The Ironers."

Jacob Lawrence studied art in Harlem and painted the history and struggles of African Americans.
He was part of a movement called the Harlem Renaissance.
This was a cultural movement during the 1920s and 1930s.
Creative expression was a major part of this movement.

Here is a painting he did in 1967 entitled "Dream Series #5: The Library."

He was a painter and a teacher.

Here is a self portrait painted in 1977.

Below is "Munich Olympic Games 1971."

Here are two sites where you can learn more about the art of Jacob Lawrence.
The Whitney Museum of Art

If you want to explore his Migrations Series, click on the link below.
The Migration Series
This was a collection of paintings depicting the black movement from the south to the north.

Jacob Lawrence was a storyteller. He painted important periods in African American history. He died June 9, 2000 at the age of 82.

Monday, August 29, 2011

George Wesley Bellows

I chose George Bellows as our August artist because I like his painting style and especially his paintings of fighters.

"Dempsey and Firpo"

George Bellows was an American realist painter often of urban life. Realism means it looks exactly as it appears. He was born on August 19, 1882 (and raised) in Columbus, Ohio.

He loved baseball and art. He played college baseball at Ohio State (1901-1904). He was a talented ball player but loved art. Right before he was about to graduate from college, he moved to New York City to study art there.

"A Stag at Sharkey's"

He became involved with the Ashcan School which was a group of artists who advocated painting contemporary American society in all its forms. Contemporary means living or occurring at the same time.

Unfortunately he died at age 42 in New York City from acute appendicitis. He leaves behind a collection of paintings that have a distinct style.

"Both Members of This Club" (1909)

Do you think you could paint some action figures or a landscape that you know? Maybe it would be soccer players, or swimmers or a favorite place you like to visit. Your ideas and imagination can take you wherever you want to be.

"The Picket Fence"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marc Chagall

The artist I have chosen for July is Marc Chagall.

He was born July 7, 1887 in Russia (which is now Belarus). He was the oldest of 9 children in a poor Jewish family. He had a happy childhood and studies art against his father’s wishes.

He is one of the most well known Jewish artists of our times. I think when you look at some examples of his art work you will see he liked bright colors. He spent some time in Paris and eventually went back there to live. The only time he left Paris was during WWII. He stayed in the United States until the end of the war. He died on March 28, 1985 at the age of 97 in France.

He lived through many art periods, but I think his use of strong bold colors and his dream like compositions put him strongly in the Surrealism period. He combined fantasy, nostalgia and religion in his paintings. He painted images from his childhood and his faith.

This painting is called "The Green Fiddler." Play the movie below to see how someone took this painting and the music from "Fiddler on the Roof" and combined technology with Chagall's painting.

Also one of my most favorite paintings is called "I and the Village."

This painting is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This shows that both the animals and people were important to village life. Look at the seeds flying out from the plant or tree at the bottom. This may depict one of Chagall's childhood memories.

Chagall did all kinds of paintings, drawings, stained glass windows, etc. But the paintings above are some of my favorites. Could you paint a memory from your childhood as if it were a dream? Would you use bright colors? Why don't you create one now?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Our June artists are Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

They are contemporary artists who met and married and worked as a team until Jeanne-Claude’s death on November 18, 2009. They met in Paris, France in October 1958.

They both were born on the same day - June 13, 1935.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. Jeanne Claude Denat de Guillebon was born in Casablanca, Morocco to French parents. They decided to just use their first names as artists.

I guess you would say they were environmental artists. They lived in New York City for many years of their lives. They are considered American artists. They wrapped things. That is the best way I can describe most of their work. By things, I mean motorcycles, buildings, bridges, islands, etc. They did large installations in public places that took years to plan, finance, and construct. After a short period of time then their art is gone.

Think about everything involved in planning an art piece of this nature. First you should know that they don’t accept sponsorships for their projects. So they raise all the money themselves selling sketches, souvenirs, etc. To give you an idea of the scope of their work consider the following. They created “The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005.” It cost $21 million to construct 7, 503 saffron colored fabric gates in Central Park in N.Y.C. It took from 1979 to 2005 to raise the funds, get the workers necessary, get the correct permits, build the exhibit, etc. The project was up from Feb. 12th to the 27th in 2005. Then it was taken down.

We only have sketches, pictures, or videos of their work.

What do you think? Could we make a similar project at school? What could we wrap? Christo and Jeanne-Claude wanted the viewer to have a new way of seeing a familiar landscape. Do you think they succeeded?

Click here to see a short video of several of their projects.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Keith Haring - 1958 - 1990

Keith Haring is our artist for May. He is one of our own Pennsylvania artists.
He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on May 4, 1958.

Keith was raised in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania where he developed a love for drawing at a very early age. His bio page on his official website states that he learned basic cartooning skills from his father and from popular artists such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.

After high school he went to art school in Pennsylvania, but dropped out.
He moved to New York City and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts there.
While in NYC, Keith became very interested in public art - art for everyone.

He soon found a medium that allowed him to communicate with the public audience he desired. He figured out how to make art work that everyone would be able to see.
While in the subway one day, he noticed the many unused advertising panels covered with matte black paper.

He decided to start drawing on these and created hundreds of drawings in white chalk throughout the subway system.
These public drawings in rapid rhythmic lines became what he was known for in the art world. The subway travelers would stop and talk with him while he worked.
He had his first solo exhibit in NYC in 1981.

Dancing Dogs
Through out his career, he devoted much of his art to public works.
You can look at some of his art ideas and coloring sheets by clicking on HaringKids and see if you like them or not. He died at a very young age, 31 but his art lives on with us forever.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Victor Vasarely

Since we study Op art in 4th grade, I thought it would be good to explore the art of Victor Vasarely. So I have chosen him as our April artist. He was born on April 9, 1906 in Hungary. He moved to Paris, France in 1930. He created many geometric abstract paintings, prints, and sculptures during his lifetime. He lived to be 90 years old.

He is considered the founder of Op art. If you forgot the definition of Op art, it is a style of abstract art that was popular in the 1960s that used positive and negative space and/or colors and contrasts to create visual effects that fooled the viewer's eyes.

Take a look at some of his art that I really like.
This is one of his earlier pieces of art. Can you tell what they are?

They are Zebras. Do you see them both?

This one really causes my eyes problems. No color - just positive and negative space and lines. It looks very simple to make, but it is harder than you think.

I love this one - just black and white shapes reversed. It is called Cassiopee II and was painted in 1958. I think I could come up with a simple design using just shapes in black and white. Do you think you could too?

I think we could definitely make an op art projects using just circles and squares. See this one by Vasarely. Is it simple or complicated? I think we would have to study color and the color wheel to make a composition just using squares and circles that was also an optical illusion.

This final example is also in color and really makes you think it is coming up off the surface. Do you see the sphere? Is it coming toward or away from you?

Click on the video to see a nice collection of Op art by Vasarely and some other Op artists.