Art Really Shapes Up this Month

This “Art Smart” series was created for people who love learning about art in bite-sized pieces. Using these articles, you can learn together as a family and explore art-related topics with engaging information and useful online resources that are practical and fun! In this first mini-series we are exploring the 7 “Elements of Art,” which are the "building blocks" of art. This is the vocabulary we use to describe works of art. Not every piece of art contains all these elements, but at least two are always present.  In the past six months we have explored, “Color”, “Value” “Texture”, “Line”, “Space”, and “Form”.  

 The elements of art are really “shaping up” this month! That’s right. This month is all about “shapes” in art. Everything has a shape, right? But what exactly is a shape? Shape is a flat area surrounded by edges or an outline. Artists use all kinds of shapes. Geometric shapes are precise and regular, like squares, rectangles, and triangles. They are often found in human-made things, like buildings and machines.  Biomorphic shapes are found in nature, and may look like leaves, flowers, clouds—things that grow, flow, and move. Biomorphic shapes are often rounded and irregular, unlike most geometric shapes.

An artist that loved to explore the possibilities of mixing geometric and biomorphic shapes was Henri Matisse. When he became ill and was unable to leave his bed, Matisse developed a new form of art-making: the paper cut-out. Matisse was drawing shapes with scissors!

Online Resources:

*At “MrP Studios” students will be inspired and excited by this cool art teacher when he takes them step-by-step through the process of making their very own Matisse collage with nothing more than construction paper!

*Travel through time with Mati and Dada using a magical portal to visit Henri Matisse in France. 

*Most children think Wassily Kandinski is a very cool artist. Kandinsky felt that he could express feelings and music through colors and shapes in his paintings. For example, he thought that yellow had the crisp sound of a brass trumpet and that certain colors placed together could harmonize like chords on a piano. The shapes he was most interested in were the circle, triangle, and the square. He thought the triangle would cause aggressive feelings, the square calm feelings, and the circle spiritual feelings.

Art teacher, Kathy Barbro in California has a fabulous collection of Kandinski inspired projects that use inexpensive and commonly found supplies here:

*Wassily Kandinski was a pretty incredible guy for his time; he and others like him changed the face of art forever. He broke the rules without apologies or regrets and spent his life making abstract art with shapes. The provided link is a rare video of Kandinski drawing with paint and ink creating one of his “shape” masterpieces.


*Our very own Hardin County Public library has many wonderful books about artists and art! Click the link below to see all the cool “Artsy” resources you can borrow for FREE when you have a library card!

I have thoroughly enjoyed presenting this mini-series to you and your family! Next month begins a new art series entitled; “Let’s Meet the Masters” where you will have the opportunity to meet great artists such as; Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Cassett, Dr. Suess, Andy Warhol and even Walt Disney and as always, I will provide you with quality online resources to explore each artist at home!

Until then, remember, “Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse