Paul Klee Sample “Artist Chat”

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PAUL KLEE
SURREALIST PAINTER
KLEE’S PATH TO BECOMING AN ARTIST
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Born in Switzerland in 1879.
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Loved music and dreamed of becoming a musician.
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Often drew with chalk and began to love art as well as music.
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As a teenager, decided he enjoyed drawing more than playing the violin.
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Went to school at the Munich Academy in Germany to study his art, but did
not think he was a very good painter and struggled at school.
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Throughout his life, Klee met many great painters, including Wassily
Kandinsky, and each helped him improve a little.
•
Klee’s early works were colorless, mostly pen-and-ink drawings and etchings
(early 1900s). He thought that color was just decoration and not essential.
(From Artsmarts4Kids.com)
(My Room, 1896)
• Klee visited Tunisia in 1914 and was deeply affected by the color and light there. His artistic style
changed forever as he embraced color.
• Wrote in his diary that “Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know
that it has hold of me forever... Color and I are one. I am a painter.”
• Most of his paintings were very small and used a lot of color.
• Klee’s style was a blend of surrealism, cubism, and
expressionism – abstract paintings. (Red Balloon,
1922)
• He also loved the drawings of kids and tried to mix
that energy and simplicity into his own work. (Castle
and Sun)
(from ArtSmarts4Kids.com)
WHAT IS SURREALISM?
• Movement in art and literature that began in the 1920s
• Surrealist works often show surprising or unexpected things.
• May feature an artist’s dreams or show things that could not
possibly happen.
• Expression of the unconscious
CUBISM AND EXPRESSIONISM
• Cubism: art movement in which objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstract form;
instead of showing objects from one viewpoint, the artist shows the subject from many viewpoints to
represent the subject in a greater context. (Think Pablo Picasso) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubism)
• Expressionism: modernist art movement that showed the world from a subjective perspective,
“distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas.” Artists tried to express
meaning or emotional experience, rather than reality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressionism)
Klee worked in many different media— oil paint, watercolor, ink, pastel,
etching and others – often combining them into one work.
(From Wikipedia)
KLEE PAINTED MANY GEOMETRIC GRID PAINTINGS
PAUL KLEE’S LATER YEARS
• During World War I, Klee was drafted as a soldier and
painted camouflage on German planes.
• After the war, he taught at the Bauhaus School then at
the Dusseldorf Academy.
• In the years leading up to World War II, he was
targeted by the Nazis and had to leave his teaching
job.
• When Klee died in 1940, he had painted nearly 9000
works.
(From ArtSmarts4Kids.com)
GAME: DID PAUL KLEE PAINT THIS PAINTING?
OUR PROJECT: CHALK PASTEL GEOMETRIC GRID
PAINTINGS IN THE STYLE OF PAUL KLEE
• Now YOU get to make abstract geometric grid paintings like Paul Klee’s!
• What FEELING do you want to convey?
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Happiness? Calm? Sadness?
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Location: Being at the beach, or out in the rain, or in the desert, or swimming in the ocean, or watching the sun rise?
• Choose 5 to 8 colors that will convey that FEELING (including different shades of the same color)
• Quickly draw your grid design
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Use pencil to make grids of rectangles and squares that fill up the page
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Add some triangles inside your squares and rectangles if you want
• Add color
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Think about balancing colors throughout your work and moving the colors around
• Write your name and title in the white border after removing masking tape

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