PEDIGREE & PROVENANCE--art words & terms defined. BIDDINGTON'S Creative Process--visits to artist's studios.

Art for Kids at Biddington's Art Gallery

MY ART--Art for Kids

Mixed-Media Construct Paintings
by John Clem Clarke
Pop Artist

John Clem Clarke wooden duck

When I look at a painting, I always wonder how the artist made it.

When I was a kid, I loved to build things, but I hated having to finish everything up neatly--it bored me. The best thing about making art is that you can do the part that interests you and stop when you want.

Wooden Duck

I glued this duck together using pieces of wood from around my studio. (Sometimes my studio looks like a carpenter's shop.) Then I painted the duck. Notice how it's still nice and messy.

John Clem Clarke painting of wooden duck

Next, I set my wooden duck in different places and in different positions and made pictures of the duck.

Picture of Wooden Duck

Finally, I put the wooden duck and some of the duck pictures together to make a constructed painting.
Can you tell what I did to make the wooden duck look like part of the painting?

John Clem Clarke mixed-media construct painting Ducks

John Clem Clarke mixed-media construct painting
Flying Ducks

PROJECT IDEA: Make A Mixed-Media Pop Art Painting

1) Make an object out of cardboard or find a light-weight object that you were going to throw away--an empty food box with nice colors works just fine. (Pop artists often use commerical packages in their art.)
2) Draw or paint pictures of your object from near or far, above or below.
3) Choose some of your pictures to paste together with the object on one large posterboard sheet to make a painting.

Questions to ask yourself:
Should your pictures of the object be all of the same size?
Does a group of strong individual pictures make a good painting?
Hint: Can all the performers have a starring role in the same movie ?
What can you do to make all the different pieces--your pictures and your object--look like they belong together?
Hint: How do you make your clothes match?

Door to the Sea print John Clem Clarke Read Smithsonian Archives of American Art oral history interview with John Clem Clarke.

WHO IS John Clem Clarke?
John Clem Clarke is a Pop artist who grew up on a farm near Bend, Oregon and who now lives and works in Soho (New York). His paintings are in many museum collections including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of Art (NYC) and in the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, DC). His most recent museum show was at the Allentown Museum in Pennsylvania.

Project notes for parents and teachers:

Planning Time: Moderate.
Most of this project can be made with pick-up materials from around the house; it can also be made into a more complex construction/painting project using cardboard or fiberboard and glue to build the basic object.
Costs: Variable. No specialized materials are required.
Level of Adult Supervision: Medium to high.
If you build an object, then cutting tools will be required, so adult supervision is necessary. Otherwise, occasional coaching is helpful to get the project started and as each element is considered and added. Ages: 9-11.

Materials notes:
1) 3 or 4 medium (12" x16" ) sheets of drawing or watercolor paper
2) Pencils and markers /or poster paints and brushes
3) Masking tape and/or glue (Elmers type) to hold everything together.
4) A big (24" x 36") piece of posterboard or cardboard on which to compose the elements
5) Found (disposable) object: A small cereal box or a pasta box works well--or an old toy. Objects should be light-weight or won't attach to the backing easily with tape.
6) Scissors

More of MY ART--Art for Kids at BIDDINGTON'S:
Art Club 4th Graders at PS6: Political Cartoons on United Nations Themes
John Clem Clarke: Mixed-Media Pop Art Painting
Charles Hewitt: Stencil Prints
Susan Kaprov: Puzzle Pictures
Kate Wattson: Still Life Painting

Email MY ART with your art.


Visual artists show their own art to children, tell kids how they make it and suggest related art projects suitable for children ages 7-11.

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