Saturday, August 8, 2009

a little Jackson Pollock

I walked into my daughter's home 2 weeks ago and spied this painting above her fireplace. Admiring its flow and colors, I was surprised to hear that her 3 1/2 year old son had painted it.

She prepared him by showing him some Pollock paintings at . Click on Shimmering Substance 1946, Autumn Rhythm 1950, Number 7 1951, and Convergence 1952. They are good examples of his drip style. Then she showed him a video of Jackson Pollock painting at . Do a search for Jackson Pollock action painting, then click on Pollock Painting (1950). I must warn you, though, the video shows Pollock with a cigarette in his mouth. There doesn't seem to be one of him without it. But the video is important to stress the free style. In it he tells of using no preliminary sketches and the freedom to let the painting evolve and change. Nothing is regarded as a mistake. Just the way a young child naturally paints.

Then, just as Pollock worked outside, my daughter laid a fresh canvas out on the lawn. She dressed little Matty in an apron and old rain boots. Using little plastic flip top bottles of craft acrylics, she showed him how to drip and squeeze and spray out the paint. He chose colors and got to work. At a moment when her attention was directed away, he swooshed his hand through the paint, creating what artists call a "happy accident". Then he placed some dried bits of flowers on the wet paint and declared his work completed.