Next in our History of Art project, we turned our attention to Wassily Kandinsky by way of introducing the kids to purely abstract works. I gave them an overview of Kandinsky’s view that art was all about point, line and plane and then we observed how he had applied his theory in a selection of his own paintings. Interestingly, the boys thought there was a musicality and rhythm in the paintings they were looking at and felt their was a connection between Kandinsky’s approach to the creative process and some of the segments of Disney’s ‘Fantasia’. It was fascinating to me that they saw that connection – even if it came by way of Disney animation – since Kandinsky himself used music as a metaphor for the act of creating art: “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul”.
When it came time to create something inspired by Kandinsky, I think it is fair to say that my middle two sons did not apply themselves, distracted as they were by a desire to play with a new Disney Infinity figure. The 8 year old borrowed Kandinsky’s use of concentric circles and extended it to triangles and squares but abandoned the drawing before he had done much more than the line work. The 9 year old drew some concentric rings and a line of stars but was exceptionally scribbly with his colouring.
The 6 year old opted to use watercolour to create his concentric circles. I love the colours he chose. He also realised that he could wet the paper and then add pigment to the wet area to see how it spread and it was fun to see him make that discovery.
Inspired by my Kandinsky Crazy Critter, the 12 year old decided to use shapes and lines in the style of Kandinsky to suggest the form of a penguin. I think the result is really pleasing.
I created a grid of imperfect concentric circles in my art journal and painted them with watercolour. I worked on the page while cooking dinner which was a little chaotic but stopped me getting too uptight about it.