When it comes to materials, many artists are resourceful. To create his sculptures, Haitian blacksmith Georges Liautaud (1899–1991) used discarded steel drums that were left on the island. Liautaud cut and flattened the round drums, used fire to clean off the oil and dirt, and drew designs on the metal in preparation for sculpting. He then cut, punched holes in, and embossed (or pushed into the metal to create raised marks) the material. He was the first artist to create sculptures in this way. Liautaud taught this technique to many other blacksmiths and artists in Haiti. Today, it is still one of the country’s most popular art forms.
Do you need a place to keep all your creative ideas? Sketchbooks are a great option. Their pages can hold a jumble of doodles, notes, finished works of art—or all of the above! Artists often use their sketchbooks to work out big ideas and practice their drawings. Follow the steps below to create your own sketchbook!
Follow along to learn how to make a scratch art story inspired by the hydrias, or ancient Greek water jars, in the Museum’s collection.
This week, we’re drawing inspiration from quilts in the Museum’s collection, including Margaret A. Beattie’s Crazy Quilt. Look closely at the rows of fancy stitches and designs on top of the fabric patches. This is called embroidery and is made with needle and thread. It is a traditional way to decorate crazy quilts. Experiment with sewing your own fancy stitches, as you learn to make and stitch a lacing board.
Do you remember a time when you wanted a new toy that looked awesome in its box? Maybe you were drawn to the bright colors, fun characters, and exciting words that covered the outside. Or have you ever wanted to try a new snack because the pictures on the packaging made it look extra flavorful?
Now that it is officially spring, I love going outdoors to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and exercise—and to explore nature. The artist Jephan de Villiers (HEFF-an duh vil-ee-AY) was inspired by the things he found in nature. As a child, de Villiers was often sick, which forced him to spend a lot of time in his bedroom. Being inside so much made him appreciate the outdoors even more. Leaves, branches, nuts, feathers, and fungi became his art supplies.
Having to stay inside can get dull—especially if it’s too cold, too windy, or too rainy to play outside. I find myself staring out my window quite a lot these days. It got me thinking: what could make my window more fun? How could I make my indoors more colorful while also sharing some fun with my neighbors, who may be looking out their windows? For our first at-home art activity, I drew inspiration from leaded stained glass windows!
A tangram is a puzzle made of seven shapes that together form a large square. The shapes can be arranged in many different ways to resemble things in the world around us—or create interesting patterns. Here’s how you can create your own set of tangrams to use at home!