After working with Impasto last week and experiencing the properties of thicker paint, today we looked at the artist Jackson Pollock and discussed his painting technique; which varied greatly from that of van Gogh. Pollock is best known for his action paintings and just like it sounds there is a great deal of movement and action as he would paint on his large canvases. We first looked at his painting Full Fathom Five:
While looking at this painting we talked about how he would make the marks on the page by flinging, splattering, and dripping paint onto the canvas; much different than the more controlled method of Impasto painting. However, I didn’t want the students to get a sense that the marks were purely accidental or that there wasn’t meaning behind these abstract works. So we watched a video of the artist where he described his process in his own words, which is better than I could ever do.
Then we went outside and started our painting. The students worked on canvas sheets in order to have a hearty surface to work on. Unlike Pollock who used ordinary house paint, I watered down acrylic so that it could be placed in spray bottles and squirt bottles for the students to use in their works. This would give them the feeling of drip painting with a little less of the mess.
Each student had their own unique way of working. Some were more purposeful in their addition and subtraction of paint, while others were more carefree and just enjoyed the experience of painting this way. Whatever their intent, the works turned out fantastic.
After they were done working, we did a gallery walk. All of the works were laid on the table and we talked about how they enjoyed the experience and to describe the emotions they were trying to express. I really enjoyed allowing the students to get messy with their creativity and introduce them to an artist that had a unique way of leaving his mark on the world.
Next week we will learn about Cubism and Pablo Picasso, but instead of painting we will be making a soft sculpture. Stay tuned.