Abstract Art by Kids inspired by Arthur Dove
The art of Arthur Dove (August 2, 1880 – November 23, 1946) at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is child-like, is it not? Ok, maybe a really talented child. He is considered the first American abstract painter. The girls and I found him on the third floor of the new American wing’s Modernist collection. We hunt down PickyKidPix‘s favorite artist, Jackson Pollock, whose No. 10, 1949 hangs there too.
Modernist Artist Arthur Dove (a little art history)
This is the painting that caught my eye. With just simple shapes and a few colors, Dove conveys a nature scene. I love the colors and its simplicity.
There were more!
Dancing Willows, about 1944. Dove explored the problem of representing motion, dance, and music throughout his career. In his latest work, the artist used planes of color to evoke the shifting, intersecting patterns of light and shade, as a group of willow trees sways in the breeze. Museum of Fine Arts Plate
That Red One, 1944. Around 1910 Dove began to experiment with abstraction — one of the very first Americans to do so. He continued to explore non-representational styles throughout his career, but his images always retained some grounding in nature. Near the end of his life, he painted this simple, compelling image, possibly based on sunrise over the water. Dove spoke of wanting to show “the point where reality and abstraction meet.” Museum of Fine Arts Plate
Abstract Art Project for Kids Based on Arthur Dove
I wanted to use seashells as the focal point of an art project based on the art of Arthur Dove. Use any seashell you want. Here are some we have in our house. Now, imagine a beach scene and draw or paint in the style of Arthur Dove.
Can you imagine a beach scene or would you prefer to have a photo? Here are some images.
Can you combine a sea shell and a beach scene into your own composition? You can make it up or use these photos.
Now, let’s try making a drawing or painting in the style of Arthur Dove using his ideas like:
- Simple shapes
- Strong colors
- Different shades of one color
Try using just a few colors. We are going to try this with crayons but oil pastel or paint would work well too!
Use any medium you like!
You could also just cut shapes out of construction paper.
Use what you have and what inspires you.
There are no rules here except one: Have Fun!
Here’s what we came up with:
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15 thoughts on “Arthur Dove Abstract Art Project for Kids”
Beautiful pictures–what a nice project!
Thanks Asian Mommy,
I had not heard of Arthur Dove before but I love his work and I hope he gets more recognition. We did that project using crayon but any kind of paint would be great too.
What a fun idea! Love that piece by Pollock. They made such lovely art and best of all, they had fun. Start them early at the museums and they will enjoy them for a lifetime.
It’s funny but my kids don’t like the Contemporary Art museum in Boston, just the Museum of Fine Arts. The more contemporary art was too strange for them. My youngest, age 8, has the least patience for art museums. We are hoping that will change because he’s so bored and annoying at art museums that he cuts the trip short for everyone else.
Love these! What a great idea, and I wasn’t really familiar with his work, but I’m kinda liking it. Abstract art is my fav. We’ll try this approach- I just have to dig out some shells from somewhere.
You can use the photos of the shells if you like. Or omit them altogether. Or add in a piece of wood or a leaf (or anything). The idea for the shell was just to have the kid use it to compose his or her own composition and have an interesting shape to work with. But, some of the beach images might work too as is.
Beautiful pictures, I love impressionism and I always doodled at school. I wish I’d dared to paint abstracts, that would be a heavenly life!
Thanks so much! I’m hoping to give Arthur Dove some attention! He’s our new discovery from the Museum of Fine Arts. Abstract painting is surprisingly a challenge but I think kids have a leg up on that! They seem to be more versatile at art than us adults.
I’ll have to show this post to my six-year-old – I bet she would enjoy this activity!
Please let me know if your daughter likes the art project. I’d love to include her art here if she does end up doing it!
Another wonderful and beautiful art project. Do love the bright simple colours the kids chose.
Thanks for joining in with Kids Get Arty.
Thanks for hosting the link up Maggy! I’m so glad you like Arthur Dove too! He’s the U.S.’s first Abstract Impressionist artist.
My pleasure. So lovely seeing everyone’s projects. I really do LOVE Kids Get Arty, thanks to all your contributions!
Discovered Arthur Dove too at the MFA! I think it is a great idea to start with shells to crate an abstract piece!
He’s not well known, don’t you think? But he should be! I think his work is so wonderful! How often do you make it to the MFA? We are lucky to go 2 to 3 times a year.