I am so excited to introduce our guest blogger Sandra Meadows again with another fantastic art lesson for the little ones. Sandra has an amazing food blog, Meadows Cooks where she shares her love for food with healthy, unique recipes. I love this one on Brussels Sprouts and this one of Pistachio Lime Cookies is absolutely delicious! Sandra works at the Whitney Museum and we are so happy to have her expertise here on our blog. Here we go!

Last week I had the opportunity to do another art lesson at my son's school, this time for the 3rd grade. Anna suggested I talk about Wassily Kandinsky and have the students duplicate one of his works. I thought this was a great idea and chose Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913 for its simplicity and beauty. Also, placing these paintings together on a wall makes an impressive display.

Background: Kandinsky was born in Russia in 1866. He studied law and economics and became a successful professor at University. While teaching he began studying art at the age of 30. He pursued an art career moving from Russia to Berlin, Germany, when during World War I, the Communist official theories on art did not agree with his own. In Germany he joined the Bauhaus movement and taught at their school of art, until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He fled to France, which is where he remained, becoming a French citizen. He died in 1944.

Materials you will need: Classical CD (I used Vivaldi's Four Seasons) Watercolor paints Brushes of various widths Watercolor paper Pencil Ruler Cups for water Paper towels for blotting and cleaning brushes Do ahead: Line each watercolor sheet with 12 equal sized boxes in pencil 

Introduction: Who knows what Abstract Art is? Kandinsky is considered the father of Abstract Art in the 20th Century Western art world. Originally, his paintings were mostly representational landscapes, until he attended an exhibit of Claude Monet's Haystacks. He was amazed at how they didn't really look like haystacks, but were so beautiful just as shapes of color. That was when he began painting abstractly. Abstract Art is when we use colors and shapes without making them look like real things. Do you see colors when you hear music? Kandinsky believed that colors and shapes were the expression of music and music was the expression of colors and shapes. He tried to paint the music he heard.

Lesson: Have the students write their names on the back of their papers (the side without the squares). Have them hold the paper horizontally and show them Kandinsky's painting. Ask them to listen to the music and paint circles in each square, like targets, making sure to paint in the triangles that occur in the corners of the squares. Ask them to interpret the music they are hearing. Once they are finished, hang the paintings together on a wall.

*All photos by Sandra of Meadows Cooks. Image of Kandinsky's painting was found here.

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