Note: This lesson was created to be taught at the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco. If this lesson is to be replicated at another institution, some parts of the lesson plan may need to be changed to accommodate other works of art, as the pieces listed here are only available for view at IAMA.
Lesson Title: Weiyin-style Marbled Paper
Summary/objectives: Students will learn to identify and describe the weiyin style in relation to abstract style and subject matter. Students will discuss color and the feelings colors evoke, as well as their favorite colors and why. During the activity portion of the lesson, students will emulate the style using acrylic paint and laundry starch to marble paper.
Work 1. Beyond Craftsmanship #278
Discussion: What do you see in this painting? What colors do you see? How do the colors make you feel? If this painting is about anything, what feeling or event is it about?
Work 2.Everlasting Wondrous Appeal #279
Discussion: What do you see in this painting? What colors do you see? How do the colors make you feel? If this painting is about anything, what feeling or event is it about? The artist says the piece has 3D qualities; can you see them?
Work 3. Seen at Yellowstone National Park #280
Discussion: This painting is named after a park. How do the colors make you feel? What might the colors represent, in respect to parks and nature?
Activity: This activity requires a lot of work on the part of the instructor. The instructor will fill a cookie sheet or a tupperware with a ½ inch of laundry starch. The instructor will have prepared beforehand several colors of slightly watered-down acrylic paint. Students will gently drop paint onto the laundry starch in an abstract fashion, and gently swirl or drag the paint across the surface of the laundry starch. Gently, the instructor or an older student (10+) will lay a piece of paper over the painted design and gently lift to transfer the paint to the paper. Let paper dry while the group has the follow-up discussion.
Follow-up: What do you think of this style of painting? Is it easier or harder than paintings you’ve done in the past? Why do you think the artist chose to paint in this style? Would you paint in this style again? Why or why not? What does your painting mean to you?