Nicole Arnold

Crazy about Art

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Stuff to help you

Hi, Modern Art Masters!

Getting started can be intimidating, so I thought I'd help you out with some quick links and suggestions. (You will find these links in our videos.)

This is where you find the art supply list, along with other helpful resources.

Needing a creative jolt of inspiration?  Watch this beautiful video of actress Helen Mirren discussing her love affairs with Kandinsky's work.

Today, take a moment for yourself:  to enjoy Kandinsky's work.  Write down a couple of words to guide you through your project.  I chose the words below.  Please share what you want to communicate and keep these stickies at your workstation, desk, or easel through the week.

Happy art-making, my awesome artists!

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Hello, Modern Art Masters!  I wanted to tell you about the music I listen to when I'm painting.  I find this to be an essential ingredient in feeling like I've accomplished some measures of artistic success in each painting session.

How about this guy?

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I know, right?  :)

J.S. Bach may not look like the most inspirational fellow, but his Baroque music (think:  always churning, always moving forward) makes me feel 100% smarter just by listening to it.  

The musical score in my first video is "Invention no. 1" and "Invention no. 8" by guess who?  Old J.S.!

In the Helen Mirren video I shared above, guess who is the composer?  Again, it's J.S. Bach.  But this time, the piece is a very poignant and lovely "Aria de Capo."

Please feel free to share with me your musical influences.  If at all possible, I suggest that you listen to whatever music makes you excited and happy, or peaceful and stress-free, while you paint.

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Step-by-step tips

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Step 1:  Slather that square canvas with yellow paint.  Get excited and paint all over it!  As a reminder, here are the colors I'd suggest below.  For this part, you need Cadmium Yellow.  If you want more information about prepping for the class, here you go.

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Step 2:  Time for Carmine Red.

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If you are like me, you won't make a pencil sketch prior to painting directly on to the canvas.  Of course, if you want to sketch first, please do so.  But use the lightest touch of a light pencil (2H, for instance) so you won't have to paint multiple layers on top to cover up your pencil marks.

Step 3:  In the pink

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Remember in grade school when your art teacher taught you that white + red = pink?  We will summon all the spirits of long art lessons gone by to help us mix the perfect pink.  (Hint:  If you want it warmer, insert a bit of yellow.)

Stay tuned for more steps to come... happy art-making, everyone!

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When you have finished your Kandinsky square and are ready to paint your personal stamp, how will you know what to paint?  

Please check out my blog post here to see my process.  

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Ask yourself these questions:

What am I currently obsessed with?  Cats, frogs, leaves, flowers, mechanical parts, cars, music... ?

How can I incorporate my interests into my art?

Then, begin sketching to your heart's content.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I'm happy to guide you along this step.  (It is possibly the most fun part of the project.)  

The personal stamp part is also optional, so please do not feel as if you need to do this to complete the class.  Happy art-making!

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I'm really proud of you all for taking this artistic journey and allowing yourselves to be open to your own instictive color and shape choices in your work.  If you are interested in what Kandinsky thought about which colors go with certain shapes, check out my blog post on his theories.  It will direct you to further resources.

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Kandinsky thought that circles should be blue, and triangles should be yellow.  Crazy, right?  (Even he did not follow all his rules, but still, it's fun to stretch your brain to think about these theories.)

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Just wanted to add a resource that will teach you about Kandinsky's combination of senses (called synaesthesia) in a quick format.

The children's picture book The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock introduces you to Kandinsky's early love for color and the aunt who gave him his first set of paints -- all in a colorful and beautiful format.  It also explains how Kandinsky could hear color and see sound.

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The illustrations refer to his aristocratic upbringing in his opulent home.  It is important to remember that later in life, Kandinsky lost everything he owned, through the horrors of war.  

If you want to read a book encompassing his adult life, my favorite biography of him and his contemporaries, friends, and fellow teachers is The Bauhaus Group:  Six Masters of Modernism by Nicholas Fox Weber.  

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To learn more about this book, please check out my blog post.  Here you will learn about the joys and camaraderie of teaching artists leading up to World War II, before the S.S. eventually shut down the school.

If you have questions about these books or suggestions for better books to read about Kandinsky or other artists, or if you just want to talk books -- please feel free to reach out!  (I am a book nerd and love to read new material on great artists.)

Happy art-making!

XOXO,
Nicole

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