Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tree Of Life

The above piece was created by a very talented 9 year old. It looks a lot like an Aboriginal dot painting to me. All your patience payed off Alison - Beautiful!

I have done a few art projects based on Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life painted in 1909. There is something so wonderfully decadent and luxurious about his gold leaf tree full of spirals and swirls decorated with jewel-like forms. I adapted this whimsical version from one I found on Artsonia. The first layer involves a gold tempera sky with a green and brown ground. Next a black tree trunk is painted going off the top and bottom of the page. Next the children will paint his trademark swirl and spiral branches extending from the trunk in different directions. I will encourage them to use different sized brushes to create thin and thicker branches. While this is drying we will create simple bird shapes on a separate piece of paper or card stock. Their pencil drawings will be gone over in permanent marker and then filled with color using markers or paint. After the tree and ground have dried we will add our jewel shapes with a variety of colors of tempera paint using a small brush. Dots can be added with a q-tip to the branches as well as the shapes. After this paint has dried some of these shapes can be outlined using a black permanent marker. The birds are then cut out and glued to some of the tree branches.
More Klimt inspired trees on the way!


  1. Some of the nicest Klimt trees ever - absolutely beautiful!

  2. Nice! I just did a 6-foot Klimt inspired banner for a community art project with my grade 1 and 2 class. I love Klimt!

  3. It is amazing the way a young child can spark new ideas into such an ancient symbol as the Tree of Like - great to see.


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