Sunflowers are majestic flowers; they tower above other flowers as if to create a heavenly presence. Vincent Van Gogh was fond of sunflowers and painted many versions of sunflowers. Van Gogh indicated in a letter to his brother (Theo) that “the sunflower is mine.” To Vincent, the sunflower expressed a form of gratitude in his world. Exposing kids to famous artists and their masterpieces will help encourage creativity and a lasting love of art! Come learn about Vincent Van Gogh and create a Wikki Stix Mixed Media Sunflower Craft with us!
Photo Credit: http://www.vggallery.com/painting/p_0455.htm
VINCENT VAN GOGH – SUNFLOWERS
Exploring Van Gogh with children is sometimes challenging. It is not necessary to share about Vincent’s mental illness with children. The purpose is to expose children to the joy of art and those that create it; to plant the seeds for a love of art that will grow as they do.
Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853 and grew up in Holland. Show the children on world map where Holland is located in relation to where they live. Vincent studied to be a minister, but found his passion for painting. Vincent changed the way he painted pictures as he grew. Eventually he began painting things around him with more colors, thick paint, and bold brush strokes (like in his Sunflowers painting pictured above). Today, Vincent Van Gogh is considered one of the world’s greatest artists. The Sunflowers paintings are his beloved masterpieces!
Invite the children to look at a photograph of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting. Encourage the children to share what they see: golden sunflowers, a wilting sunflower, a dark green flower and leaves. Ask the children what colors they can find in the painting. Vincent’s use of thick paint, bold brush strokes, and the rustic sunflower colors are indicative of the way he painted in his later years. Ask the children if they LIKE the painting. Remind the children that it is OK not to like an artist’s work, but we must be respectful of the artist (person) when we make comments.
Wikki Stix Mixed Media SUNFLOWERS Craft for Kids!
Mixed media collages provide wonderful sensory opportunities for kids to create art.
Materials needed: yellow/orange/blue/green tempera paint, paper plates or paint trays, smocks (or an old T-shirt to protect clothing), white heavy paper, orange/brown clay or playdough, scissors, napkins or paper towels, permanent marker, ruler, and orange/purple/yellow/gold/brown/red/green Wikki Stix.
Prior to the craft: the kids can use a ruler and a permanent marker to draw a straight line across the white paper (approximately two-thirds of the way down – see photo above).
Assemble all the materials on a table as an invitation for the kids to create. Mix the yellow and orange paint on a paper plate to create a more rustic golden color. Mix the blue and green to create a teal color.
The kids can use napkins or paper towels to paint the white paper – (teal on top/gold below the line). If the kids “blot” the paper with the paper towels it will create a textured look on the background colors.
Allow the paint to thoroughly dry before adding the other mixed media elements.
Invite the children to use brown Wikki Stix to create an outline for the vase after the paint has dried. Any shape of vase is perfect! Remind younger children that their collages do NOT have to look exactly alike. The JOY of art is the individual expression (even Van Gogh changed the way he painted as he grew and learned different techniques). When the children have created a Wikki Stix vase for their collage, have them fill in the Wikki Stix vase outline with playdough or clay.
To create the Wikki Stix sunflowers: the children should cut pieces of all the different colors of Wikki Stix with their scissors. It doesn’t matter how long or short the pieces are cut as each sunflower should be unique. Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children may need assistance.
The children can then take the cut pieces of Wikki Stix and make a circular design (flower) by joining the ends of the pieces in the center. When the pieces are joined, the children can press a brown Wikki Stix ball or spiral to the center of their flower (see photo below).
To create the stem: twist two strand of green Wikki Stix together and press to the back side of the sunflower.
Print a copy of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting for the children to look at as they create their own collage.
The children can create as many (or few) Wikki Stix sunflowers as they desire for their mixed media collage. The Wikki Stix will stick to the painted paper without the need for glue or tape.
We hope your own kids enjoy learning and creating their own mixed media masterpieces with Wikki Stix!
A brief history of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers:
For more ways to create art with Wikki Stix, see Wikki Stix Mandalas and Radial Symmetry!