Last year we dipped our toes into the work of Mondrian, a Dutch painter and one of the founders of the De Stijl movement.
The kids really loved trying to say “De Stijl” with a Dutch accent that has already been butchered by an American teacher. Ha.
The project we chose was a hit with the kids and is something that scales well for multiple age groups.
We started by talking about Piet Mondrian and his life and works. When studying any artist with our little group, I typically start by googling “(Artist’s Name) facts for kids” and pull some interesting highlights to tell them about while we look at the artist’s work and maybe a few photos of the artists themselves.
I like to show the kids painting out of art books I have at home, or from the library, because they really love being to touch the pages and get close to the works. That said, pulling things up on the internet is great too. Google images is our friend.
For Mondrian, we started with his earlier works…
…and then how they evolved as he was influenced by Cubism.
Then we looked at the paintings he is most famous for from his De Stijl period. De Stijl is all about art in it’s purest, simplest form, and Mondrian believed that was achieved with straight lines and primary colors.
This short video animates Mondrian’s work and is a fun little addition: Broadway Boogie-Woogie
Next we got to work! In advance, I cut out felt squares and rectangles in primary colors and felt strips of black. Each kid was given a bottle of glue and a big white felt square. They used these to create their own Mondrian-inspired artwork.
Only a few of us believe in wearing actual clothes to school. Homeschool perks! ;)
The end result turned out really cool and it was so simple! Now that we’re redoing the kids’ bedrooms, I’ve got to dig these back out and frame them. :)
I hope this inspires you to share Piet Mondrian with your kids! If you do, please share it with me. I’d love to see what your group comes up with. :)