Music and Art
Today we begin a brand new series called Music & Art. We’ll be exploring numerous ways to combine music studies with art studies.
Recently I learned about a fascinating condition called synesthesia. People with synesthesia experience a secondary sense when they are experiencing a primary sense. For example, they might “feel” a taste or “hear” a smell. One of the most common combinations is when a particular musical note “looks” a certain color to the hearer. After reading about synesthesia I realized that my husband isn’t crazy for calling a “C” white, “D” green, “E” orange, “F” yellow, “G” blue, and “A” red, and “B” brown. I even found out that one of my sons has it, too, but his colors are completely different!
Wassily Kandinsky is an artist who is known as the Father of Abstract Art. After learning all about him and his probable experience with synesthesia, my kids did an art project based on one of his abstract styles.
**By the way, you can learn all about him and 9 other artists through the Online Unit Study called Famous Artists: Renaissance through Surrealism.
Great art project based on music
Study the paintings by Kandinsky where he used geometric shapes, blending colors, and dark black lines to create a piece of art (See an example at this site.) Then create your own while listening to a piece of classical music.
Below are the art project creation instructions for the Online Unit Study lesson on Wassily Kandinsky. See my suggestions in parentheses.
- Oil Pastels (Older kids might want to actually use Oil Paints or even Watercolor Paints since the oil pastels didn’t blend as well as my oldest daughter would have liked. My youngest daughter was fine with regular crayons. The middle kids loved the oil pastels.)
- White Glue
- 18 x 12 Inch Paper
- Construction Paper, Assorted Colors
- Black Sharpie Permanent Marker
- Scissors (and a cup or something round to trace a circle)
- Classical music playlist (We used Amazon Music with Prime Music and a Bluetooth Speaker.)
- Turn on some classical music. Close your eyes and envision colors and shapes. Keep the music on and let it inspire your whole creation process.
- Cut geometric and organic shapes of different colors. Glue them to your 12 x 18 paper.
- Use oil pastels to create colors onto and around the shapes. Blend the pastels together on the paper to look similar to the way Kandinsky used his oil paint.
- With a black Sharpie, draw lines around and through the shapes and colors. Only use a few lines so that your creation doesn’t look too cluttered.
See below the process of my kids making their art in the style of Kandinsky.
We listened to “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven.
Finished creations inspired by listening to classical music and based on Kandinsky’s abstract art style:
Here are some other suggestions of classical music to listen to when you create your own artwork:
Soft and quiet: “Claire de Lune” by Debussy
Soft and Loud: Surprise Symphony by Hadyn
Loud and exciting: Can Can by Offenbach
(Disclosure: I received the Online Unit Study Famous Artists: Renaissance to Surrealism for free in exchange for sharing today’s art project. Affiliate links are used in this post.)