Friday, March 29, 2013

2nd Grade Connoisseurs, 2013

A Norman Rockwell painting that involves an art expert studying a Jackson Pollock style drip painting at the museum... This is a fantastic lesson that compares and contrasts two famous American artists from the same era, and includes a technology/photography element. What more could my 2nd grade curriculum ask for?
Last year, this was one of my favorite projects and we made real drip paintings (see them here) - this year, we created and printed our digital drip paintings from the website for a modern twist. Action Jackson would not have had that opportunity in his lifetime.
The Connoisseur, Norman Rockwell

Blue Poles, Jackson Pollock

Rockwell in his tidy studio, working at an easel

Pollock in his barn studio, paint cans and sticks everywhere, canvas on the floor
Can you think of two artists that are more different than Norman Rockwell and Jackson Pollock? My 2nd graders are enjoying the styles of both artists, and trying out a little of each. After an informative PowerPoint showcasing both artists, we did discover a few similarities: both were American men born about 100 years ago, both had studios that were originally old barns, and both worked in the New England region of the USA.
Students enjoyed the skilled portraits of Rockwell, and many students shared that they thought his paintings were like scenes from a movie. We attempted a "Triple Self-Portrait," as seen on the iconic magazine cover, with the artist calmly sitting at his easel and studying his own reflection.
Pollock's work was intriguing to the kids, and they were especially excited about the photos of him working in his studio, splashing and dripping across the canvas on the floor in an artistic rhythm. They also liked that they could use their imaginations when looking at his art.
We produced our own versions of "The Connoisseur" by taking photos of each other in thinking poses, and creating backgrounds with collaged papers - I think they are so charming!


  1. I love these! They are so cool and I think I might attempt a project like this with my 2nd or 3rd graders.


    Hip, Hop Hurray! Tales in an Artroom

  2. so great! what a great way to use technology in the classroom--and who would have thought of using digital technology with two hands-on artists like pollack & rockwell. awesome!

  3. what a wonderful project....I think I might have to use your interpretation of this with my kindergarten class.

  4. Fabulous lesson comparing and contrasting two artists. Delightful finished products!

  5. What size picture did you print for the kids thinking image? Very fun project. I will soo be doing this!!

    1. It was the two per page size, and the whole project was 9x12. Good luck, fun project!

  6. meaningful content combined with engaging production activities for the kids...amazing lesson...thank you!


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