This weekend, take to your sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots to create bright, joyful chalk art! We’re joining with the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) and many other arts organizations throughout the state to encourage a weekend of outdoor art making. Spread positive messages to family, friends, and neighbors—or create your own masterpiece, inspired by works in the Museum’s collection!
Many famous artists have used chalk to make both sketches and finished works of art. To create the drawing below, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) used pastels. Pastels are made from pigment, or color, and chalk; the two are blended and held together with a binder. Picasso’s pastel drawing of a rooster shows many of the special things you can do with this material. Use sidewalk chalk to make a drawing outdoors. Save pastels for drawing on paper!
Here are some tips and tricks for working with chalk and pastels:
Sunny #4 by Alex Katz is one of the most beloved pieces in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection. Many visitors make sure to visit Sunny every time they come into the galleries.
Who wouldn’t love this sweet face?
While the Museum was closed, our artworks felt very lonely—and Sunny was no exception! When we heard how much he missed his regular visitors, we knew we had to do something. For the entire month of June, we opened the Museum’s mailbox to messages and drawings for Milwaukee’s most popular pup.
Markets are great places to discover new things to buy and eat. In his work Crowded Market, Laurent Casimir captured a very busy outdoor market in Haiti. The artist filled every inch of his painting with people who are buying and selling goods, helping us imagine what it felt like to be there. Can you spot some of the different things people are buying and selling in the painting?
This week, we are going to make our own paint, using items that you may find at a market. With a grown-up’s permission, look for colorful spices and foods in your home. Flower petals are also a great source of color. Not everything you choose will make a good paint, so you’ll want to try them out before starting your artwork. Avoid foods that are sticky or very thick. Here are some of the things I collected:
Artist Philomé Obin and his son, Antoine, worked together to complete this painting. In the work, you can see Philomé on the left, Antoine on the right, and Philomé’s brother, Sénéque, who was also an artist, in the center. They are sitting in front of the Centre d’Art in their hometown of Cap-Haïtien. Philomé opened this school and gallery as a branch of the Centre d’Art in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
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.
“Have you ever walked past Sunny #4 and not smiled?” That was the question Mrs. Kari Hahm, a teacher at Zion Lutheran School, posed to the Museum when she recently shared the chalk drawings her students made, at home, of Alex Katz’s Sunny #4.