The American artist Jackson Pollock is one of the most recognizable painters of our time. His drip, splatter and pour technique is now so iconic, there is probably not an art teacher in the world who hasn’t adapted his action-centered art making in their classes at some point. But although his style in now ubiquitous, his techniques were very new and revolutionary at the time and he became a leader in the abstract expressionist movement.
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Over the summer (this was actually many summers ago), I decided to take an old canvas tarp outside, set out some IKEA paints and rollers, and invite my art campers to channel their innate Jackson Pollock.
The supplies are so simple, the trickiest part (for some) is letting the children go and make whatever painty, explorative mess they please!
Supplies Need for Jackson Pollock Collaborative Painting:
~ An old sheet or tarp (ours was so old it had years wort of painty mess already on it)
~ Or you can buy a paper drop cloth like this one, which works just as well
Instructions for Jackson Pollock Collaborative Painting:
1. Start by showing the kids some Jackson Pollock painting, either from a book or on the internet. Discuss his use of paint and how he set his canvases up on the floor and used his whole body.
2. Find a spot outside that you don’t mind getting messy. We chose our driveway (the bumpy paving added some unique texture when using the rollers) and washed down the paint afterwards with a hose. But you can do this on the grass, too.
3. Set out your tarp, the paints, and the rollers and let the kids go! They will figure out what to do and discover their own ideas. At first they will just test out the materials and see what they can do.
4. Soon they will stumble upon new and interesting discoveries, and test the boundaries of the materials.
5. Some will stay constrained and careful, which might be their personality, while others will jump right in the middle and see how far they can go with the materials.
6. Eventually, of course, someone will start painting their body. Make sure to dress for mess and have a bucket of water nearby!
There is always one who will stay to the bitter end, making sure every last drop of paint has been used!
This is such a wonderful, playful, action art experience that honestly every age, including teenagers, will love. It would also be a wonderful creative family canvas idea for a party!
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