Inspiration from ‘The Greats’

Happy New Year to you all from Brain Popcorn!

I hope these first few weeks of 2014 find you well and happy and looking forward to all kinds of new ideas and things to learn and explore in 2014.  Looking back at how I spent some of my Christmas vacation, and forward to some of what’s coming up at the museum, I decided the year’s first post ought to be about inspiration.

picasso inspirationOver the break, I went to the always rewarding Museum of Fine Arts, and spent an uplifting and intimidating 2+ hours in the Sargent watercolors show.  It’s up for a few more days, and if you have the chance to see it and have *any* interest in anything from painting to color theory to cool images from interesting places to travel, it’s more than worth the effort to get there (preferably in the early morning before it’s positively swamped).

Underside of the Rialto Bridge, Venice, by JS Sargent

Underside of the Rialto Bridge, Venice, by JS Sargent

It takes a lot to convince me to buy the catalogue for an art exhibition–pretty as they are, they take up a lot of space and I am seriously short of bookshelves these days.  (Books under the coffee table, in the night stand, on the top shelf of the closet, in my pocketbook, on my desk…)  However, this was a knockout of a show and there was absolutely no question that it was worth it–especially when I can prop the catalogue up near my easel and try some of that ‘learning from the masters’ method of self-pedagogy.  Maybe it will knock a few original compositions loose, too.

In the spirit of art forms that are a little more accessible than insanely intricate paintings of moored sailboats and the graceful facades of Venetian palazzos, however, here is a collection of some of my favorite art activities inspired by some big-name artists:

Mondrian

A perennial favorite for transformative works due to his simplicity, Mondrian has always been a personal favorite of mine as well.  I can’t explain it, because generally squares of primary colors aren’t exactly my taste, but there’s something reassuring about the rules his paintings follow.  (I was a kid who liked coloring inside the lines.)

Here are a few fun examples of people who took Mondrian’s squares to another level (click the pictures for links to the sources):

Mondrian Owl on Artsonia, drawn by a fourth grade student

Mondrian Owl on Artsonia, drawn by a fourth grade student

Mondrian mobile, from a French elementary classroom

Mondrian mobile, from a French elementary classroom

"Mondrian's squares have lost a side!" Triangle paintings from a French elementary classroom

“Mondrian’s squares have lost a side!” Triangle paintings from a French elementary classroom

Klimt

I really love the projects that go from 2D inspirations to 3D transformations.

Inspired by the Tree of Life, 5th grade project

Inspired by the Tree of Life, 5th grade project

Chihuly

Coffee filter 'Macchia' (and a version for older kids on the same site)

Coffee filter ‘Macchia’ (and a version for older kids on the same site)

Sharpie on spiral-cut plastic bottles for the chandelier look

Sharpie on spiral-cut plastic bottles for the chandelier look

 

Also, be sure to check out the assorted very cool inspirational posters over at Masterclass Minis! (see example below)

calder poster

Finally, check back for a second round in “Inspiration from the Greats: Female Artists” coming in a few weeks!

 

2 thoughts on “Inspiration from ‘The Greats’

  1. Pingback: Inspiration from the Greats: Women Artists | Brain Popcorn

  2. Pingback: Weird and Wonderful Watercolors | Brain Popcorn

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