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Geometric Neighborhoods Inspired by Paul Kleé

Kelli Sacher | 19 November, 2019

            Geometric Neighborhoods Inspired by Paul Kleé

"Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.” – Paul Klee

In visual art, a cityscape is an artistic picture or representation of a city or urban area, and is usually created by first considering the lines, shapes, and colors that are needed to convey an accurate representation. An artist can choose to depict a cityscape using exact details and very specific mark-making, or focus on the general idea of the cityscape, and create a more "abstract" representation simplifying the image to its essence.

In abstract art, the world is not rendered exactly as one sees it, but is instead conveyed through the artist's thoughts or feelings about the world as they know it, and is achieved through the use of composition and form, in addition to line, shape, and color. 

When we do an artist-study in class, we begin with a group discussion about what we notice about the colors, shapes, and composition in a scene. For this project we considered two of modern artist, Paul Klee's artworks:  "Jardín De Rosas", 1920 and "Castle and Sun" 1928; see both on this Pinterest board I made: https://pin.it/32qqJsa. 

Young artists, ages 6-9, looked closely and recognized shapes that reminded them of neighborhoods with houses and buildings. They also noticed Klee's use of warmer colors in both pieces, and similar shades of the same hue in "Jardín De Rosas." I liked the comparison made with local neighborhoods, so that is where we began.

Artists used black oil pasted to draw a variety of squares, rectangles and connecting lines to draft their own abstracted neighborhoods, real or imaginary. Since any depth or perspective was not part of this project, I suggested they think of the buildings as being compactly stacked together, and try to work up their way up the sheet of 9"x12" black construction paper. Some children chose to add an arch or some curved lines. 

Once the coloring began, I noticed some of the more zealous artists in the group changed their minds about the number of black lines they wanted. A discovery was made as they began coloring over the oil pastel with chalk and realized the that the lines were not going away, they just now had a new color on them. The compositions remained very interesting, none the less, and each artist was proud of their work. Discoveries like this are always special in the art room, because they give the artists a moment of clarity before entering into problem solving mode.  Often times they realize that a technique or skill did not work the way the intended. In my studio artists are encouraged to work through the part they don't like and stick with it. In the end, they can choose to redo the project, but they usually discover an even better solution while working through the problem. We think these neighborhoods turned out beautiful! 

©2019 Art House Lab




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