History of Art #29 – Jackson Pollock

The next artist in our History of Art project was Jackson Pollock.  I must admit that I found teaching the boys about Pollock to be quite challenging because I don’t really “get” Pollock myself.  I appreciate that what he did to the art world was shake it up by being innovative, by placing the emphasis on the act of applying medium to substrate rather than on creating any preconceived image.  I, therefore, spoke to the boys about the dynamism of Pollock’s art work, the transference of his physical energy and the motion of the liquid media into the energy of his “action paintings”.  We also spoke about how Pollock moved away from traditional modes of painting by placing his canvases on the floor so that gravity assisted him rather than using an easel and working upright.

My original plan for getting the kids to have a go at “action painting” had been to place a large piece of paper outdoors and get them to splatter and throw and drip paint all over it.  However, we had two days of sub-zero weather this week so our arting had to be done indoors and I wasn’t about to let four boys throw paint around inside the house.  We, therefore, used the back up plan which was to use marbles and blobs of paint to move the paint around.  It still gave them the idea of using kinetic energy in a less controlled way to construct a painting.  They had an absolute blast dripping paint onto the paper and then rolling the marbles around.  It was good messy fun.

29 - Pollock - AB1

29 - Pollock - E1

29 - Pollock - Trio

My oldest cut up his Pollocked paper in order to continue with his Minecraft theme.  He turned it into a Creeper.

29 - Pollock - AB2

I decided to follow his lead and so I cut up the papers I made as demonstration pieces with the kids and turned them into a simple collage of a female head in my art journal.  Unlike Jackson Pollock, it seems I have to impose some sort of order on my art work.

29 - Pollock - Laura


9 thoughts on “History of Art #29 – Jackson Pollock

  1. My son is fascinated by Pollock and has been making his own versions of number 1 Lavender Mist and number 2 🙂 he likes that book called Action Jackson which is a short story book on how Jackson Pollock started to paint this way… The narration gives you some insight on what and why… Although no one can say it ‘s completely accurate as no one else than him knows what was going on in his head at the time 🙂

    • That’s great! I love that he read a book and it inspired him to create. The process of painting in the way he did is certainly great fun and I can see why it would appeal to kids. I find that I appreciate Pollock’s paintings but they don’t quite engage me in the way that the work of many of his contemporaries does. Horses for courses!

  2. Everyone created such masterpieces! The abstractness of all your paintings will receive a pat on the back from Pollock for a job well done. I love how you helped assisted the kids to use paints with marbles to create their painting. The final pieces resembles marbling.

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