A Homeschool Artist Study – Piet Mondrian
In our homeschool we did an artist study, learning about different artists and then creating a piece in the likeness of that artist. Piet Mondrian was an artist my girls had learned about in preschool and LOVED, so we decided to add to what they already knew and study him again!
Check out books from your local library, and use the Internet to find appropriate images of as many examples of his art, so your child can be familiar with the artist and their work. This will help them when they are ready to create their own inspired work, in Mondrian’s likeness.
We kept a journal, to write a few facts about each artist. We wrote a few simple facts about when they lived, where they were from, their style of art, and facts specific to their art. For example, Mondrian mainly painted using lines, and only used the colors red, blue, yellow, black, and white. I gave the girls Washi tape so they could create their own “Mondrian inspired picture” using the information they learned. They tore the tape to create a picture in their journal in his likeness.
Next we decided to make Mondrian inspired tote bags, using fabric lines and squares. We made a trip to the fabric store and found red, blue, yellow, black and white fabric. We purchased about a half yard of red, blue, and yellow, and had plenty extra. I purchased a full yard of the black fabric since that was going to be the base and strap of the bags. I also purchased the basic cheap fabric, nothing fancy, and nothing with stretch, to make the sewing easier for the kids!
The next step was my favorite! Lay out the black fabric. This serves as the background, and let them arrange and create their fabric art. My girls decided to layer their fabric pieces to “double up” a few colors on top of each other. Both totes turned out in Mondrian’s likeness, but also completely different from each other! Using straight pins, pin each fabric square to the black fabric, so that it is ready for sewing!
We used a sewing machine, and they girls practiced making straight stitches to sew each piece of fabric onto the background black fabric. Again, be patient, this takes time! I wanted them to own this project, and feel successful so we did not fold the edges of the fabric, but rather just sewed them on “raw.” The finished colored squared have frayed edges and I think it makes it look really cool, but it allowed them to sew more independently than having me sew the edges under. Next, fold the black fabric together and sew the edges to create a tote. Use leftover fabric scrapes to create a strap.
Written by Anne