Inspire and create… Jackson Pollock
31 December 2016Add to My Folder
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Forget pretty pictures! Give children paper, paint and a place to create and just let them be spontaneous
American artist Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is well known for his large-scale ‘drip’ paintings in which he dripped, poured or splattered paint onto canvases on the floor. He was a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, belonging to the group of so-called ‘action painters’. Painting in this style liberates children and gives them freedom to just enjoy the painting experience, working spontaneously and without worrying about creating realistic images.
Splat attack: children will love painting in the style of Jackson Pollock!
- Make a collection of objects that children could use to apply paint to paper. Include straws, brushes, squeezy bottles, a watering can and plant misters.
- Look at images of Jackson Pollock’s work, such as Number 6 or Blue Poles (Number 11, 1952). Explain that Jackson Pollock’s paintings were often very large – big enough to cover a wall – and so he painted the canvases on the floor.
- Ask the children to try and work out how the artist created his paintings. Did he draw a picture and paint it with a brush? Invite them to think of items that they could use to create drip paintings without using a brush in the conventional manner. Pool your ideas and show the children the selection of objects you have already collected.
- Explain that you want the children to use Jackson Pollock’s work to inspire them to create their own paintings. Give them time to try out their ideas on A3-sized paper, using ready-mixed paints or powder paints, mixed to a runny consistency.
- Encourage the children to look at each others’ work and talk about what they achieved. Which methods of applying paint were most successful? Which effects do they like the best?
- Explain that now they have all experimented on a small scale, the children can work on a large scale. Cover an area outside with plastic sheeting, and on it place several sheets of A1-sized cartridge paper stuck together. Provide plenty of paints, and let three or four children work on the painting at a time.