Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Artists enjoyed exploring the work of American, abstract artist, Frank Stella. His work transpired over years of building his shapes, and then painting them, cut, tangled, & mangled  and most of them, monumental in size, for all to enjoy. Today, Stella works in his huge studio in upstate New York at the age of 77. The artist says, “A sculpture is just a painting, cut apart and stood up somewhere.” After viewing many of Stella’s work on line, students marveled at his ability to paint shapes with lines, patterns and designs that seem to move and constantly interact and revolve around each other. Using tempera paints, we created an abstract style painting to mimic some of Stella’s ideals and concerns with motion and movement. We then overlay details and specific patterns with oil pastels, cut the painting into pieces and made it work together in a whole new visually exciting abstract sculpture.

Ohio Standards for Art Content:
Perceiving /Knowing (1PE): After exploration and production of abstract art, the student understands that the context of an art object has an effect on how that object is perceived.

Perceiving /Knowing (5PE): During class discussions/review, the student focused on selected artworks of artist, Frank Stella to help identify and pose questions about aesthetic qualities (sensory, organizational, emotional) in their own work.

Producing / Performing (4PR): The student successfully utilized the elements and principles: color, shape, space, value, repetition, movement, and rhythm in their abstract painting/sculpture.

Craftsmanship: The student created a 2 dimensional abstract painting by incorporating unique patterns and designs, then cut, and reorganized their abstract painted pieces neatly into a 3 dimensional work of art with structural integrity.


  1. This lesson is awesome! I was looking for a way to do Stella without cutting cardboard, and this is perfect. Thank you for sharing. How did the students create the 3D element? Did they use 3D Dot stickers? Or did they just bend the paper? I would love to hear any helpful hints that you could share. I'm thinking about doing this with third grade.

  2. Love these! Would love to know what the original paintings looked like before they were cut apart!

  3. Great lesson! But these photos do not protect the identity of your students.

  4. Great lesson! But these photos do not protect the identity of your students.

  5. great projects. Good to see students from my elementary school doing awesome art.