Famous Artists II: Mondrian

Mondrian was fabous for his black grid work filled with squares and rectangles in bold primary colors. We had a blast recreating his work in our own way. I created a human size Mondrian coloring page with black masking tape on my reusable plexiglass walls. We colored in areas with washable tempera paint in the primary colors. This was an open-ended project and open for interpretation. Not every child stayed with in the lines and several mixed colors creating a secondary palette.
This was a wonderful collaborative effort and the results changed with each age-range and class.
Our individual art project started with a color sorting activity. To add an extra twist we experimented with tweezers and tongs. Each child was give a small tray with an assigned primary color: red, yellow or blue. The task was to pick out goodies from the large bin that matched the primary color. Children worked together helping each other and also switched around trays to work on colors. The bin was filled with foam shapes, stickers, card stock shapes, and cut up recycled art scraps.Mondrian15
I also had bins of rectangles and squares pre-cut in various sizes in the colors: red, yellow and blue.
After choosing small pieces of primary goodies along with a few squares and rectangles of construction paper in each of the primary colors we set about to create our grid work. For the background we used heavy weight white card stock. If students made diagonals or were a little askew we worked with it. Most, even my youngest toddlers, with minimal help from the adults managed to glue down several strips of perpendicular overlapping black strips to create really fun and unique frameworks.
We then worked the grid-work like a puzzle, playing around with our rectangles and squares and making the best fit possible. When necessary we trimmed both black strips or primary shapes, or even overlapped rectangles and squares to fill in a space.
Some students were so absorbed by placing their shapes that they filled in all the negative space which was a fun take on Mondrian and absolutely authentic to their artistic voice.
After placing our filler shapes we embellished goodies from the trays of sorted at the beginning of class. The idea was to match small paper and foam objects with background squares in the same color range.
Some of my older students were really interested in creating clean borders with no over hang. I love any reason to practice scissors so I happily encouraged this meticulous attention to detail.
The finished Mondrian projects were soooo fun and colorful and full of both organization and whimsy. This was hands down a winner of a project!

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