Friday, January 29, 2010

Fantastic Friday with the Arts - Pollock/Jazz

Hi there fellow art lovers! It's time for our weekly art activity! This week I chose the American artist Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956.) His birthday was just yesterday! Studying this artist gives us the perfect opportunity to learn about action painting and abstract expressionism. Pollock called his paintings action paintings because it took a lot of action to make them, and because they have a lot of eye movement and action in them. The paintings were later given the official title of abstract expressionism, meaning they are non-figurative and painted with intense emotions.

While planning this lesson, I really wanted the kids to be able experience "action painting." However, because my art class is inside in a room where mess must be kept to a minimum, I ruled out splatter and drip painting. I did though, find this very cool activity using marbles as a way to apply the paint to paper. The paper is put in a pan or box (something with sides), a marble is dipped in paint, and then the student simply rolls (here's the action part) the marble back and forth on the paper. This action is repeated using different colors. The result is an action painting created with very little mess! I loved it and so did the kids! Here is the link where I found this great lesson - Jackson Pollock Lesson Plan: Introduction to Abstract Expressionism. This website also has some cute little paper frames the kids can put around their paintings when they are done.

As for music during Pollock's time period, I went with jazz. We used one of my favorite music for kid websites, Classics for Kids. There you can find a description of the genre and many great links to jazz sites. I especially liked the link to pbskids Jazz | PBS KIDS GO!.

Kids love creating abstract expressionism. Anytime I give a class of kids free time to paint anything, there are always a few splattering and dripping the paint, creating "action painting" without even knowing it!

Have fun creating! See you next week for a new exciting art activity!


  1. I love what you've done! You might enjoy this Jackson Pollock site. You can create some pretty cool art online. Give it a try!

    Melanie at Finally Homeschooling

  2. Just stopped by from Weekly Wrap-up and wanted to say what a neat blog! This project reminded me of our own marble painting when my kids were younger- neat project!:)