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Channeling Cy Twombly: An Art Project for the Wee ones

Who likes chalkboards? Who likes easy projects for kids? If you raised your hand to both of these questions, you will love this project.

Cy Twombly was an American artists whose work in the late 60’s resembled chalk scribbles on chalkboards. I’ve always been a big fan of his work and been drawing to the energy of his lines.

cy_twombly_painting

 

cy

 

I thought it would be fun for kids to look at the chalkboard and chalk as an art medium – away from the traditional way of using it to write and draw temporary doodly things. In this project, they’ll use an extremely familiar medium but in a way that they’re really thinking about the finished product. Even though the finished product will look pretty scribbly.

Get all that? Good.

Show them these Cy Twombly paintings, and feel free to explore more of his paintings if they want more inspiration. Explain to them that these paintings were huge, and he looked at his canvases and planned out where he was going to put the marks before he started painting.

You can tell them he started out painting recognizable forms, but then decided to switch to abstract lines and smudges because he was more interested in these.

Materials:

Thick white paper- we used watercolor paper

Black tempera paint and fat brush

White chalk

Paint the tempera on the paper- we chose to leave a border of white showing around the outside. Once it dries, go to town with squiggles, loops and lines. You’ll probably want to paint up a bunch of paper to begin with, as this is a fast-moving, energetic project. Kids will want to make more than one. Encourage them to look at the lines on the paper and see what happens when they smudge some or all of them.

Cy Twombly Art Project for kids

 

Cy Twombly Art Project for kids

My line is childlike but not childish. It is very difficult to fake.. to get that quality you need to project yourself into the child’s line. It has to be felt. -Cy Twombly

 

Cy Twombly bookCheck out this book of Cy Twombly’s work on Amazon if you’re a fan.

What do you think?

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  1. My kids like the Abstract Expressionists at the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts in Boston). It’s their second favorite after Impressionists but sadly we don’t have a Cy Twombly painting in the collection (or at least on display). I love his work and kids will definitely be able to connect with his art! What a great project!

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