Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gordon Hopkins Inspirations

This example was intended to be my second Gordon Hopkins inspiration. I had the children create six different patterns on three different colored construction papers (which I folded in half). We talked about Hopkins' use of repetitive plant designs, fish and geometric shapes in his art. These designs were cut up into squares and the children glued them to a board to create a new and interesting composition. I ended up using them for our camel magic carpet backgrounds. I hope to try this again with a group of older elementary students with the designs as the total subject.

Pinterest has been a wonderful source for me to discover new artists. (New to me that is.) Last week I stumbled upon the wonderful work of American artist, Gordon Hopkins. (Who now lives and works in Belgium.) I was instantly taken by his bold designs in oil stick on large linen canvas. You can't admire his work without a mere mention of Matisse.

To create our inspired pieces, I had the children use 3 acrylic colors to divide their board any way they wished. We put them up to dry for about 20 minutes while we worked on another project. We looked at this piece and this by Hopkins and talked about the play of color, organic shapes and pattern in his work. They used oil pastel on top of the acrylic base to add those elements in their own pieces. I encouraged them to add white and black somewhere in their artwork to really make it "pop." These pieces were created by children ages 6-9.


  1. Beautiful! Never heard of this artist. Matisse indeed is the name that I think of seeing his work.

  2. Cool Mary!
    These are great. I love the mixed media aspect of the project. The acrylic "mapping" is a great way to break up the picture plane before adding other patterns and shapes.

    I think your classes have got my classes beat with this one:)

  3. Beautiful art work Mary,

    I love the boldness of colors and lines.

    Thanks for introducing me to a new artist.


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