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April Featured Lesson

Franz Marc: Animals

Abstract Deer

The work of Franz Marc can be summarized by his own words: “I never, for instance, have the urge to paint animals ‘the way I see them,’ but rather the way they are…”

Born in Munich, Germany (February 8, 1880 – March 4, 1916), from an early age, he was influenced by his father, who worked as a landscape painter. Marc himself, was a print maker and painter; he not only had an influence on art during his lifetime, but was considered to be one of the key figures of the Expressionist movement in Germany, following his time as well.

During his short career, Franz Marc created about 60 pieces in lithography and woodcut. Many of his pieces depicted animals in their natural setting and habitat. He often used bold, bright colors, taking a cubist approach, in the display and creation of the animals he depicted. Simplicity was often the means to his creative process, as most pieces simply focused on the animal, and the raw emotion, as opposed to drawing from external factors. During his life, “the animal” is a motif that Franz Marc always came back to, as artists have always returned to their beloved themes throughout their careers.

March Featured Lesson

Jackson Pollock: Landscapes

Acrylic painting of a small structure surrounded by multi-colored hills.

Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming in 1912. He was an influential American painter and a major contributor to the abstract expressionist movement. He began to study painting in 1929 at the Art Students’ League in New York. While he experimented with several different styles of painting, he is most well known for “action painting.” Instead of painting on an easel, Pollock taped his canvas to the floor then would stand above his canvas and literally drip and splash paint from a can onto the canvas.

Though he was subject to much criticism, by the 1960s he was recognized as the most important figure in the most important movement of this century of American painting. No. 5, 1948 is currently the most expensive painting ever sold for approximately $150.6 million adjusted US dollars. Visit jacksonpollock.com for more information and artwork.

Additional Lessons

A coloring book page of daisies and poppies in a vase.

Vincent Van Gogh:

Romantic Florals

Oil pastel abstract artwork of a boat at sea.

Jackson Pollock:

Early Seascapes

Oil pastel artwork of farmers in a field with houses on the horizon.

Vincent Van Gogh:

Landscapes

An example painting of a dog.

Charley Harper:

Birds

An example painting of a dog.

Charley Harper:

Animals

A coloring book page of daisies and poppies in a vase.

Vincent Van Gogh:

Romantic Florals

Watercolor painting of lilies.

Diego Rivera:

Lilies

Multi-colored mountains beneath the moon.

Paul Gaugin:

Landscapes

A painting of a valley and a house with trees.

Milton Avery:

Landscapes