Splash it about

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By Robert Watts Programme Convener for the MA in Art and Design Education at Roehampton University.

Take a look at how children can create wonderful works of art inspired by homemade resources

Jackson Pollock’s drips and dribbles may not be everyone’s idea of great art, but one of his abstract paintings recently sold for a world record, $140 million! While the works of art created in your setting are unlikely to command quite the same prices, young artists can still be inspired to carry out exciting experiments with their first paintings.

The secret of Pollock’s success lies in the way he abandons conventional ways of picture making. Young children may be happy producing paintings of Mummy, Daddy, baby and dog, but can sometimes be reluctant to abandon their paintbrushes and experiment with paint for its own sake. Working with materials in much the same way that Pollock did, with no pressure to create any recognisable images, can be a liberating experience for children.

The following suggestions for various activities are to encourage all the children to explore and experiment with colour and paint using a wide range of everyday home-made resources. Keeping a selection of these resources at your art table should encourage the children to be able to reflect on new and different ways of making paintings – and, who knows, might one day help to produce a wonderful masterpiece!

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