Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Artist Mash-up with Pollock and Mondrian

I am wrapping up this lesson with my 3rd graders and I love it!!  This past summer, I started dreaming up possibilities for artist mash up lessons. This seemed to be the best pair up, of the options I came up with.  While I am still going to try out the others, I went ahead with this one, and it's a keeper for sure.  

We looked at art works from both artist Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian.  We had some great discussions about the two artist.  And of course, I love the responses to both artist.  I CAN do that!  
Enthusiasm is always welcome.  

We started by using primary color blocks and painting them up Pollock style.  And, if you haven't tried this with your kids, you must.  Although it can be very messy and yes, sometimes marbles get air time....small price to pay for an engaging lesson.  If you are very stuctured with the lesson, every one can paint all three colors, with minimal mess.  I used my online timer.  Students were paired up with a tray.  I would give them one minute to prep their supplies.  Then, they had a two minute roll time.  When the timer sounded, those students walked their work to the drying rack, while the other partner put the used marbles back, got their paper ready, and added their marbles. It worked beautifully for all classes and we had around 10 minutes clean up time (50 minute class time).

Day two, we got out our rulers and talked about vertical and horizontal lines.  I had them start by making one line on the first color, two lines on the 2nd and 3 on the third.  They cut these apart and this gave them a variety of sizes.  They picked out their favorite 6-9 pieces and start to arrange their colors.  

Once they evaluate their arrangement, glue was applied. 

Day three, we use the black strips to outline the shapes.  I ask that where they could, find places where they can stretch the black lines between shapes to create white space shapes.

I think they turned out lovely and all the kids were successful!  They are already asking to do it again.  Win for me, because I got to talk to them about two great artist in one lesson.








  1. What a great twist on the traditional Mondrian project! Who doesn't love some fancy Pollock inspired painted paper? :)