Dripping Paint with Pollock

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Artist Study Week 5
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)

Art quote of the Day
“It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess” –Pollock

Fun Facts:

  1. Pollock was one of the first artists who enjoyed fame during his life. He was one of the founding artists of the abstract movement. His style is known as “drip painting.” He painted by laying a canvas down on the floor, and doing what has been described as a “dance” around it- dripping and flicking paint at the canvas. He experimented using different tools to pour and drip the paint, and rarely used a brush.
  2.  Pollock sometimes “hide” things in his art, by starting with numbers, letters, words, or even figures on the canvas before covering them with layer upon layer of paint. A few people have claimed to find messages in his art, but this would be very difficult to prove due to the nature of his painting.
  3. Even though Pollock’s art appears to be completely random, many of his works have complex patterns to them, called fractals. Fractals are patterns that appear in nature, repeating themselves over and over again on smaller and smaller scales. The fractals in Pollock’s work make them appealing to the eye because they include patterns similar to what we see in nature. Pollock didn’t paint what he saw in nature, he put nature itself on a canvas.

To paint like Pollock: We did this art project as a group outside. We used poster board instead of regular art paper because it needed to be thick enough to stand up to a lot of heavy paint. I brought many different objects to use to splatter paint, most of them from my kitchen. The kids each picked out one tool, and then practiced moving it around in the air. I wanted them to each pick one movement, either shaking it, waving it back and forth, up and down, in a figure 8…. anything, as long as it could be repeated many times. Once they had this picked out, we took turns “dancing” while splattering paint on the poster boards.

It was messy, too messy for me to be taking pictures! I was busy trying to keep kids from splattering each other, and helping wipe off hands and shoes, so you’ll just have to enjoy the finished art!

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  1. I love to show my kids pictures of contemporary artists’ work when their friends accuse them of “scribble scrabbling.” It’s ok to color outside the lines. I love your Pollock study.

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