Painting-ish

Milton Resnick, East Is the Place, 1959. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wise, New York. Photo credit John Nienhuis. © Estate of Milton Resnick.

Milton Resnick, East Is the Place, 1959. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wise, New York. Photo credit John Nienhuis. © Estate of Milton Resnick.

I recently received an email from a great cheerleader for art: “My four-year-old granddaughter is very proud of her colorful, free-spirited artwork.  As a result she was devastated when her five-year-old friend told her that her work is just a bunch of scribbles and brush strokes.  I would greatly appreciate your recommendation for two to three specific modern art paintings I can show her that will demonstrate the appeal of modern art.  She will be visiting us and I want our visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum to be one she will really enjoy.”

My response: “I am so glad you would like to encourage your granddaughter’s love of art!  I would love to help! We have an artwork in our permanent collection that sounds just right for her.  It is East is the Place by Milton Resnick.  It truly expresses the joy of colors living together on canvas and resonates with high energy.  It is a very large painting, and I think she’ll love it.

Also, the Bradley Collection has many examples of abstract expressionist artwork, alive with color.  Work by Hans Hofmann, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, and Willi Baumeister are delightful.

I hope that while you are here, you can visit during our Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio hours.  Throughout the year we host Open Studio every Sunday from 10am to 4pm.  Family members of all ages can come create, and it’s free with admission.  Also, during the holidays, we often extend open studio hours to weekdays.

A couple of books that you may like to read with her are The Dot and Ish by Peter H. Reynolds.  The characters in the books are young artists that find happiness in their love of drawing and painting (despite what anyone else says!) and they’re very cute.

I hope she knows that many artists became very famous and historically important for their ability to express themselves as purely and openly as she can with paper and paint.  Picasso and Paul Klee (both in our collection) both strove to imitate that skill which children innately possess, and she has!”

Janet Gourley is the Assistant for Education and Public Programs at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Her workday is spent facilitating programs, maintaining department attendance statistics, and knowing how to answer any and all questions about the Museum’s educational programs.

About Janet Gourley

Janet is the Education and Public Programs Department Administrator at Milwaukee Art Museum. Her workday is spent facilitating programs, maintaining department attendance statistics, and knowing how to answer any and all questions about MAM's Education and Programs.
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One Response to Painting-ish

  1. Moonlight4me says:

    I absolutely adore the books The Dot and Ish !! They are so simple and powerful. I gave them to all my nieces, my nephew, my friends’ children, as well as, to my adult friends. Great recommendation!

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