Saturday, April 25, 2015

Paul Klee - Color Mixing and Lettering

Paul Klee, Once emerged from the grey of night, 1918.
This is a color, paint mixing, assignment that involves writing and art history.

Paul Klee (1879-1940) painted a poem using the geometric alphabet, and square grid, he painted in various colors. He may or may not of written the poem. The English translation of the poem is below. Klee separated the stanzas with a stripe of silver color. This assignment leads to discussion in class, about the abstraction of text with color at a point in time in European history, and WW1.

The poem was originally in German translated in English, below:
Once emerged from the grey of night
Then heavy and dear
and strong from the fire
In the evening full of God and bent.
Now ethereally surrounded by shuddering blue
floating away over firn
to clever stars.

Gr. 9s & 10s, Kuwait, 2012
The grade 9s & 10s, in Kuwait, spelled out their name for their final piece. The 12 yr old students did the same in Slovakia with success. Students could only use 1 color in 4 areas, for maximum color mixing. They practiced with the alphabet hand-out first. We did not use black to outline letters.

The final rendering was made with a 2 x 2 inch grid in pencil and trimmed to final dimensions of 12 x 12 inch square. In this case students were limited to 6 letters.


Adjust the assignment as you want. I could see this as a project for senior students as well, with poems of their choosing, and I did this with secondary students in Slovakia (see below).  I chose the poem type, in this case, the Haiku.


Gr. 9 & 10s, Haiku, after Paul Klee, Slovakia, 2014.