April 24, 2014

Wood Artwork Inspired by Karel Appel

Karel Appel is a fantastic Dutch artist. I came across his work when researching about Dutch artists as I had Dutch students in my class. I was doing an art unit and wanted every student to see the work of at least four different artists of their nationality. I had 12 different nationalities represented in my class and that was fascinating. Well, it was an international school after all. I was lucky that the art teacher already had lots (really a lot) of prints of most of the artists. Some were just postcards that the teacher had from her own collection. Now guess what I buy when I go to an art museum?

This post is also at my new blog http://demelloteaching.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/wood-artwork-inspired-by-karel-appel/

The minute I saw Karel Appel's work I fell in love with it. I loved the themes, the colors, the textures and how they made me think about the superficiality of the western society I live. Of course I did some reading about the meaning of his work.

Here is a link to Karel Appel Foundation where you can see many of his works. You can use this link to show his work to the students.

I made a Power Point presentation of his artwork and showed it to the kids to recently launch a mini art unit dedicated to Appel. In another school, where I did a a five weeks Art Unit, Karel Appel was one of four Dutch artists I introduced to the students.

Karel Appel painted inspired by children and now the children painted inspired by him.

The work we got inspired by is called 'Questioning Children'. It's made out of scraps of wood on a wooden base. The title in Dutch is 'Vragende Kinderen' and vragende means questioning but also begging, which makes you wonder. The Dutch title gives a more profound meaning to the artwork. Actually Appel painted three 'Vragende Kinderen' and below are two of them.

The wooden boards we used were roughly 21 x 21 inches. All the wood we used were scraps including the board bases.

We used acrylic paint and if you decide to do the same make sure the room is well ventilated. If using tempera I suggest you mix white glue to it so it won't peel off and the colors will be more vivid. I drill holes on the top corners and attached ribbons so the students have the option to hang their paintings at home.

Here are some of the most recent artwork created by my 5 and 6 year old students. They had to name their painting, measure them, talk about the process and medium they used.

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