In the fall, I pretty much chose artists for this program based on how quickly I could think of a way to emulate their art and its level of difficulty. Thus, we started with Calder, moved to Pollock, and finished the fall with Georges Seurat.
As before, I showed a short presentation on Seurat's life and work. The kids were astounded by Seurat's paintings - they couldn't believe that they were composed of dots of colors and how long it took him to finish a work. I explained how Seurat believed viewer's eyes would put the dots together to form the larger picture and how he used colors to express certain emotions.
After our presentation, we got down to creating our own works of art. I gave them all a small canvas to work with (I use watercolor paper as a stand-in for actual canvas in this program) and acrylic paints. We used the erasers of new pencils to create our dots, cleaning them off between colors (and actually managing to keep them clean enough that the pencils were still usable afterwards!). I encouraged the kids to sketch the picture they wanted in pencil first and then fill it in with their dots of color. One of the kids remarked that I must have been sad, as I was using a lot of black and brown in my painting (I was trying to make a beach scene and used those colors for the rocks and sand). I was pleased that they had made the connection between what I'd told them in the presentation and our own art, as I'm never sure if they actually absorb what I teach them.
The kids really liked seeing their paintings come together even though they were only using dots of color. I find myself really enjoying this program, despite not considering myself an artist at all. It's been fun to see the kids creating art.