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TOP 5 SEA CREATURES

Posted 23 July 2015 by Kat

As we dive into summer, let’s have a look at some creatures you might come across on your bucket and spade adventures!

1. FISH
If you have a look through that crystal clear water or in that little pond or quick river, we bet you can see some slippery fish splashing around!
Lots of artists have drawn, painted and made fish as artwork. We love these little doodles by Scottie Wilson. He must have drawn these when he was by the sea as you can really see the movement in his drawings! What are you waiting for? Grab a pen and some paper and get doodling!

Scottie Wilson, Blotting paper with doodles of fish date not known © The estate of Scottie Wilson/The Marie Levy Gift

Scottie Wilson, Blotting paper with doodles of fish date not known © The estate of Scottie Wilson/The Marie Levy Gift

2. SEA MONSTERS
What’s that in the distance?! Can you just about make out the shape of that big creature?
How about looking at Pierre Alechinsky’s monster below. Have you ever seen one before? Not many people have! If you were to draw a sea monster what would it look like? Would it be big, thin and blue or would it have lots of legs with suckers on?

Pierre Alechinsky, In the Process of Vanishing, 1978, © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Pierre Alechinsky, In the Process of Vanishing, 1978, © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

3. SHELLS
Have you ever spent hours and hours on the beach looking down at your feet trying to find the best, shiniest shell?
Here are some of Frances Hodgkins’ shells on his table.

Frances Hodgkins, Wings over Water 1930, © Tate

Frances Hodgkins, Wings over Water 1930, © Tate

He’s painted them to look like are shimmering in the light! Artists have great imaginations! This was actually painted in London, but looks like it was painted by the sea!

4. WHALES
Is that a whale with a paint brush?! That is a bit funny!

William Roberts, Study for ‘The Vorticist Whale’ frontispiece to ‘The Resurrection of Vorticism’ by William Roberts 1956 © The estate of William Roberts

William Roberts, Study for ‘The Vorticist Whale’ frontispiece to ‘The Resurrection of Vorticism’ by William Roberts 1956 © The estate of William Roberts

Maybe you won’t stumble across a whale painting on the beach! But it’s interesting to think about what could be the weirdest thing a sea creature could do! How about a sea turtle playing basketball or a seahorse in a real horse race? Maybe you could draw your weird sea creature on the Tate Kids Games

5. LOBSTERS
You shouldn’t put your hand too near a lobster’s pincher because pretty soon they will go…SNAP!

John Craxton, Still Life with Cat and Child 1959 © Estate of John Craxton/DACS 2015

John Craxton, Still Life with Cat and Child 1959 © Estate of John Craxton/DACS 2015

John Craxton was staying in Greece when he painted this artwork. He was inspired by the colour and feel of the coastline there.

What sea creatures have you seen (or imagined!) this summer holidays? Have you come across any fantastic beasts or beautiful shells? Draw, paint and create – we would love to see them on My Gallery!

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HOMEWORK HELP: KAREL APPEL

Posted 15 July 2015 by Kat

It’s nearly the summer holidays so this is your last homework help for the term! So let’s end on a fun one!

This picture is called ‘Hip, Hip Hoorah!’ and the Dutch artist Karel Appel painted it.

Karel Appel, Hip, Hip, Hoorah! 1949, © Karel Appel Foundation

Karel Appel, Hip, Hip, Hoorah! 1949, © Karel Appel Foundation

But it looks like it might have been painted by a child, and that’s the idea. Appel liked children’s paintings. He liked that children didn’t spend too long thinking about how a picture looked, or what colours they use and just use their instincts.

He thought adults should try using their instincts more too. What do you think of the funny creatures he has painted? They are from his imagination and he thought they were the kind of strange beings you might dream about in the night. So he has painted the background black.

Appel was part of an artist group called CoBrA. CoBrA stands for the first letters of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. These are the cities that the artists of the CoBrA group came from. These artists liked to experiment with different types of canvases. Sometimes they painted on wood, and sometimes they included bits of cork or timber in their works. Like in this painting here called ‘Questioning Children’.

Karel Appel, Questioning Children 1949, © Karel Appel Foundation

Karel Appel, Questioning Children 1949, © Karel Appel Foundation

You can see that Appel has nailed bits of wood to an old window shutter, and then painted the wood to look like funny creatures. It is actually quite a sad painting, because when Appel was making it he was thinking about all the poor children he had seen begging in Germany after the Second World War.

In 1950 Appel left Amsterdam and moved to Paris. He began to use much thicker paint and painted even stranger creatures. Look at the difference between the painting he made in 1949 and this one made five years later: ‘People, Birds and Sun, 1954’ It looks spontaneous and he has applied the paint in a very free manner.

Karel Appel, People, Birds and Sun 1954, © Karel Appel Foundation

Karel Appel, People, Birds and Sun 1954, © Karel Appel Foundation

Do his paintings make you laugh? If they do, that’s good. Appel wanted you to laugh at his paintings. After the Second World War, he wanted to make paintings that were optimistic, and full of life and hope, in order to help people see that the world could be a better place.

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HOMEWORK HELP: PATRICK CAULFIELD

Posted 8 July 2015 by Kat

Let’s meet Patrick Caulfield!

Are you hungry? This painting is called ‘After Lunch’, 1975.

Patrick Caulfield, After Lunch 1975, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield

Patrick Caulfield, After Lunch 1975, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield

It is a picture of a restaurant. Do you think the artist might have been on holiday when he painted it? Can you see the man leaning in the doorway? Do you think he is waiting for the artist to leave?

Patrick Caulfield has painted the picture blue and in a cartoon style. But then he has done something strange. He has painted a realistic landscape scene on the wall. This is different to what you find in most paintings. The artist is playing with our ideas of what is real and what is not.

Patrick Caulfield is called a Pop artist because he painted everyday objects, like an empty wine glass or a bottle. He liked making paintings that were very flat, they look a bit like they have been printed rather than painted. To begin with he used household paints, the glossy kind that are sometimes used to paint walls or doors.

Here is a painting of a lampshade. It is very simple isn’t it?

Patrick Caulfield, Lampshade 1969, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

Patrick Caulfield, Lampshade 1969, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

But is it also a little bit mysterious. Can you see that the light from the lamp is not illuminating the darkness?

That is because Caulfield was interested in the Surrealist artists. They liked to put everyday objects together to make something playful and disturbing at the same time. Like this painting of some bananas by the surrealist artist Giorgio de Chirico. He mixes a traditional Greek sculpture of a body with some bananas! Strange eh? But it makes you think about something that is new and something that is old! Do you think that Patrick Caulfield was inspired by this painting to make his painting below? What are the similarities and differences in the paintings?

Giorgio de Chirico, The Uncertainty of the Poet 1913, © DACS, 2015

Giorgio de Chirico, The Uncertainty of the Poet 1913, © DACS, 2015

Patrick Caulfield, Bananas and Leaves 1977, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

Patrick Caulfield, Bananas and Leaves 1977, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

Caulfield studied art at the Royal College of Art in London in the early 1960s. He met other Pop artists there like Peter Blake and David Hockney. He was part of a movement that celebrated ordinary life, and painted scenes about it, and he inspired many other artists to do the same.

What would you draw or paint to show every day life? Is there something around you right now that might look a bit boring but actually could be a start of a very interesting story….?

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HOMEWORK HELP: BEN NICHOLSON

Posted 1 July 2015 by Kat

Who made this? Who is Foxy and Frankie? It’s kind of silly! It was made by Ben Nicholson of course! Let’s meet him!

Ben Nicholson OM, Foxy and Frankie (1) 1933 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM, Foxy and Frankie (1) 1933 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson was a British Modernist who made Abstract paintings in neutral colours that featured squares, circles and rectangles. They were very simple and flat. Here is the first abstract painting he ever made. What do you think of it? Do the shapes remind you of anything?

Ben Nicholson OM, 1924 (first abstract painting, Chelsea), c.1923–4 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM, 1924 (first abstract painting, Chelsea), c.1923–4 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

This picture is painted on a canvas, but later he painted on wooden boards. He would use a razor blade to scrape back the paint so that the pictures looked weather beaten and old as if they had been eroded by time.

Nicholson was born in England in 1894 and married the artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth. They often worked together and found inspiration in each other’s artwork. Do you work with friends and family? Have you ever tried to make art with someone else?

Photographs of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the Mall studio [c 1932] © reserved. Tate Archive

Photographs of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the Mall studio [c 1932] © reserved. Tate Archive

Nicholson’s father was a very famous and eccentric artist called William Nicholson who had a great influence on him. While he was studying at the Slade School of fine art in London, Nicholson discovered Cubism, which inspired him to start experimenting with new modernist ideas.

In 1934 Nicholson visited the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian in his studio in Paris. He was very impressed with the feeling of light Mondrian had created. He began to make paintings inspired by Mondrian using primary colours and tones of blue, grey and white. This painting is called June 1937. Can you see any similarities between Nicholson’s painting and this one by Piet Mondrian?

Ben Nicholson OM June 1937 (painting) 1937 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM June 1937 (painting) 1937 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42 c. Tate

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42 c. Tate

Until the Second World War many people thought Nicholson’s paintings were outrageous and he struggled to make a living from selling them. In 1940 he moved to St Ives in Cornwall where he studied the subtle colours of the landscape. He began to find his own style that reflected the greys, browns and greens of the countryside. Other artists who were also interested in abstract art also moved to St Ives, and soon there were many artists living in the little fishing village and they became known as the St Ives Group.

Do you see the boats in this image? I wonder where he painted this? Why do you think he put the jugs and cups in the front of the painting?

Ben Nicholson OM, 1943-45 (St Ives, Cornwall) 1943–5 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM, 1943-45 (St Ives, Cornwall) 1943–5 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Nicholson died in 1982 and by then he was considered to be one of Britain’s finest artists who had introduced many new and exciting ideas about Modern art to Britain!

What do you think of this work? Does it remind you of other artworks? How does his work make you feel?
Let us know in the comments below.

You can see some of Ben Nicholson’s work in the new Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain now! :)

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HOMEWORK HELP: BARBARA HEPWORTH

Posted 23 June 2015 by Kat

Barbara Hepworth was a very famous British sculptor, who was born in Wakefield in 1903.

Photographs of Ben Nicholson taking a photograph of Barbara Hepworth [c 1932] Tate Archive

Photographs of Ben Nicholson taking a photograph of Barbara Hepworth [c 1932] Tate Archive

Her earliest memories were from driving though the countryside with her family. She never forgot the shapes made by the roads, hills and fields and they inspired her to make some amazing artwork…

She studied at Leeds School of Art with Henry Moore, who became a life-long friend. This is what his work looked like. What do you think are the similarities and differences in their work?

Henry Moore OM, CH Family Group 1949, cast 1950–1 © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Henry Moore OM, CH Family Group 1949, cast 1950–1 © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Here is an early sculpture by Hepworth made in 1929.

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Infant 1929 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Infant 1929 © Bowness

It is of her son Paul, who was born in 1929. It is made of wood that has been sandpapered until it is smooth and glossy. The baby looks as if he is lying on his back, but Hepworth has made the sculpture stand upright, like a wooden icon. It also looks a bit like an African carving. Many modern artists were influenced by African art at this time.

Barbara’s most important sculptures were abstract. They were made of wood, stone and bronze. Barbara said her work was a way of ‘holding a beautiful thought’. Do you agree?

In the 1930s, Hepworth became part of a group of artists who stopped making art that looked like people and started making abstract art. She met with a lot of international artists, like Picasso, Mondrian and Kandinsky! She was pretty cool.

Here is an early abstract sculpture she made…

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Mother and Child 1934 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Mother and Child 1934 © Bowness

I bet you can guess which part is the mother and which is the child?

Hepworth wanted to create art that was calm, that people could enjoy looking at and would not make them feel uncomfortable or anxious. She began to make sculptures and drawings that were inspired by the landscape and nature around her.

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Winter Solstice 1970 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Winter Solstice 1970 © Bowness

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hepworth and her family moved to St Ives in Cornwall. St Ives was a very popular place for artists to live. Hepworth and her husband, the artist Ben Nicholson formed the St Ives Group. The artists of the St Ives Group wanted their sculptures to look like they had been formed by the landscape, or like pebbles found on the seashore. This sculpture is called Oval. Do you think it looks a bit like a stone that has had its edges smoothed down by the force of the sea?

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Oval Sculpture (No. 2) 1943, cast 1958 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Oval Sculpture (No. 2) 1943, cast 1958 © Bowness

Barbara wanted people to look at the world in a different way, she wanted you to use her sculptures to frame a landscape. Look through her work, over it, from far away or really close.

She was asked to make art for public places like outside the United Nations building in New York or on Oxford Street in London.

Hepworth passed away in 1975, but her smooth, organic looking sculptures still make many people look at the world differently today!

We really do love Barbara Hepworth at Tate Kids and we have lots of activities and games to do inspired by Hepworth. You can download our free drawing app, make a necklace, carve soap or even explore her garden!

See her sculptures in real life at our new exhibition at Tate Britain or down in St Ives in her studio!

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