Modern Art at Home

We’re here, at home, in quarantine for an indefinite period of time. All of a sudden I have been thrust into the role of a teacher and am now expected to carry out our child’s education (this is also where I’m laughing maniacally).

So what do you do when you went to college and majored in Communication and minored in Visual Arts. You teach your kid the basic stuff he needs to know, BUT also you rub your hands together like an evil with because the past six years have been nothing but tractors and agriculture and it’s now time to get artsy and especially very farsty.

After we tackle our e-learning materials and before lunch, Lincoln and I explore an art movement and an artist and then make our own piece of art from the movement inspired by a particular artist.

Each art lesson has a basic structure: watch a few videos, look at examples of artists work online, and then make our own artwork. I create a piece with him each day and it’s been a cool thing to do together. I’ve pulled together a list of artists I want to cover by referencing my Modern Art History book from college. I’ve listed below what we’ve done so far so you can replicate it too. I’ll update this each day as we keep going.

Here’s what we’ve done so far and I have included the links for you to use too.


We first watched this video about pointillism and George Seurat. We then took a look at how other children have interpreted pointillism through this website.

We then created our own paintings by using watercolor paper, acrylic paints, and q-tips. I first sketched out a few drawings and then Lincoln went in with a q-tip to make all the dots. NO SWIPING THE Q-TIP AROUND THE PAPER! Make the dots, dammit!

We had a bunch of old acrylic paints around the house from craft projects. I have not gone out to get any of our supplies (#CVOID-19).

De Stijl

We took a look at this video to understand De Stijl and Piet Mondrian better. We also took a look at some of his early artwork here to learn how he made abstract art with extremely simple lines and only with primary colors: red, blue, and yellow.

Before hand, I cut out different shapes out of red, blue, yellow, and black construction paper with our paper cutter. We made our own artwork based off of what we were feeling but just glued the pieces of paper down onto a white sheet of paper. I think Lincoln’s looks like a cable car riding through the mountains.

Pop Art

This was a very half-assed day. We started with this video that explained Pop Art and Andy Warhol. We then just colored the following image and called it a day:

Abstract Art/Cubism

This lesson began with this video that really broke down cubist portraits in a cool way. We then looked at this website to see Pablo Picasso’s collage technique and talked a lot about the painting “The Three Musicians” and discussed what shapes are used to communicate different ideas and different materials he used. We also watched the video about how Picasso just slapped what he could find to make art. We then used different scrapbook paper to make collage portraits of our cats. Again – just using what we have around the house, paper, glue sticks, and scissors.

The coolest part about this was Lincoln understood after watching the videos that we could make the cats do things that weren’t real. So he made the sun a square and gave Sasses (the cat he drew) glasses, a shirt, and a walker (those are the sticks on the side).

Blind Contour Drawing

Today started out with Lincoln complaining about how boring home school is and it’s not as good as real school. Our spirits are a bit deflated today. We plan on trying to fry a bunch of food later for dinner to replicate eating out….and that my friends is called eating your feelings.

Blind contour drawing isn’t really an art movement. It’s a practice artists use to understand, form, shape and line. We watched this video about blind contour artist Allison Kunath. We also took a look at other blind contour drawings here.

We just got white card stock and used black pens to do continuous shapes and lines to do portraits of each other.


Ok, so I slept like COMPLETE garbage last night. My anxiety is on threat level midnight. So school at home today felt sloggy and sluggish. I had to do our art lesson on the fly. We just googled Robert and Sonia Delaunay. They were these painters that spent a lot of time staring at the sun and then closed their eyes and tried to paint the orbs onto canvas as quickly as possible so they didn’t forget how colors and shapes played with each other.

Similar to another super genius we’re all familiar with.

I did like how Simultanism was explained “contrasting colors brought together enhance each other.” Kinda like people or cheese.

We traced circles onto our page, used a ruler to divide the circles into different shapes and then colored in the shapes. Yet again, I can’t believe how relaxing it is to just make art for art’s sake.

Blue Dogs

After a quick google search, I can’t find what art movement this would fit into, nor can I remember from my painting class in college. Today we studied George Rodrigue who is famous for his blue dog paintings. I didn’t learn about Rodrigue in my Modern Art History course, but I did learn about him in my painting course. We had to choose a famous painter, recreate one of their paintings and then make two other paintings based off the style of the painting we recreated. Here’s the paining I did in college that currently hangs in my office. You may have seen it over on our Instagram stories.

The two other painting I made off this painting currently reside with my mom and I don’t have pictures of them.

We first watched this video about George Rodrigue and how the blue dog came to be. I then found this awesome website on how to draw a blue dog.

I really wished we had the canvases around to paint the blue dog, but we’re a limited on our crafting supplies and we aren’t able to run out and get what we need, so we stuck with drawing and coloring our blue dogs with markers. We talked about how the blue dog isn’t real so we can make it be in any setting doing anything that it wants to.

Keith Haring

Keith Haring created really simple artwork that conveyed influential messages about current issues. Relying on cookie cutter men and black lines he made graffiti, museum quality artwork, and was hired by companies to create advertising campaigns. We watched this video about him. We then looked at his artwork and talked about what we saw, who the people were, and we we think he was trying to say.

We first colored Keith Haring people and then cut them out. We used the following template.

We then used construction paper as our colorful, solid background and placed the people and made them move how we wanted to.

Carmela Gross

We’ve come to the point of our art history lessons where we have to address something that’s bugging me. When studying art history, where in the hell are women and minorities in this history? My college book when you thumb through it – stay with me here – can easily be mistaken for a creepy white guys’ porn stash. I can’t leave my college text book out for Lincoln to find, it’s highly inappropriate. Art tackles tough subjects, but my text book can do a hell of a lot better.

I know, the human form is extremely important to study and some representations of the female human form in my text book are done well, but page after page is clearly some guys sexual fantasies played out and women artists in my textbook are basically non-existent. Here’s a great article about women painters that were flat out over looked by their male counterparts. Which makes me think we’ll be talking about Guerrilla Girls soon. If you think the world is going to shit, remember there are moms out there teaching their boys about equality.

Carmela Gross made custom stamps and produced unusual patterns with her work. We couldn’t find any videos about her or really any of her work anywhere online. We used scrap wood blocks and scrap craft foam to create our own stamps and patterns.

We were both feeling pretty off and emotional today, so this art project was great for today.