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‘Tis the Season: Winter Break Art Project

Neil Welliver (1929-2005) Snow on Alden Brook 1983 Oil on canvas

Neil Welliver (1929-2005)
Snow on Alden Brook
Oil on canvas

After the trees lose their leaves and the cold air decides to make its seasonal home, our senses are stimulated by nature. It is time to take out the mugs and drink hot chocolate and cider. Time to bundle up in thick textured layers to block out the wild winds. A time to build snowmen, gather wood, and look forward to visiting family or welcoming them home. As the daylight hours lessen, it encourages us to gather indoors and discover new activities. A great way to liven the wintry weather days is to take inspiration from the barren trees, falling snow, and new color palette. Another fantastic source of inspiration are artworks in Crystal Bridges’ late twentieth century gallery such as  Neil G. Welliver’s Snow on Alden Brook  and the Louise Nevelson’s Night  Zag Wall.

Snow on Alden Brook illustrates the beauty of repeated snowflakes that cascade down upon the quiet landscape. Repeated shapes in a piece creates a pattern. It’s a fantastic way to make dynamic artwork.

Louise Nevelson "Night Zag Wall," 1969-1974 Painted wood

Louise Nevelson
“Night Zag Wall,” 1969-1974
Painted wood

Night Zag Wall showcases the awe of combining found objects with an artistic hand. The layering of organic and geometric shapes turn this wall sculpture into a conversational piece. Home projects provide a perfect segue into utilizing found objects that hide away in drawers, under the couch, and closets. Don’t wait till Spring Cleaning to find these buried treasures!

So roll up your sleeves, gather the family around the table, create memories, and have fun with this art and nature inspired project that you will all enjoy!

Art Project | Winter Wonder Assemblage

What’s great about this project is its adaptability to the seasons. The color palette can change from pastels to vivid warm colors. Due to the wintry landscape, I chose varying hues of white, blue, and gray.

materialsMaterials: 11″ x 14″ canvas panel (size can vary due to preference) Bottle caps (white and blue work best and quantity depends upon canvas panel size) Masking tape pencil Button closeupTacky glue White acrylic/tempera  paint Blue, gray, and white buttons Gems (optional)Disposable cups (cupcake liners designed for craft projects) Inexpensive student grade paintbrush Blue acrylic/ tempera paint Iridescent Medium Broad tip paintbrush Round tip paintbrush Water bowl Paper towels Newspaper or butcher paper

Steps: Prepare a table by covering the surface with either butcher paper or newspaper. Secure the paper with masking tape. Draw an outline of the canvas panel on the paper by tracing around it with a pencil.  This will be used for arrangement of the bottle caps, gems, and buttons. Pour paint, iridescent medium, and tacky glue into disposable cups.

paint cups and dogsGrab a handful of bottle caps and paint them an assortment of colors. You can cover the outside, inside, or rim of the bottle cap.

paintingWith a broad tip paintbrush, cover the canvas panel with the pearlescent, white, and/or blue paint. The darker the background, the more your white bottle caps will pop. If you want a more subdued effect, add a layer of pearlescent mixed with white or a light shade of blue. Set the canvas aside to dry.

partial collageGather the bottle caps, gems, and buttons and experiment with arranging the objects in varying compositions. Have fun layering gems and buttons inside and on top of bottle caps.

collage with paintTransfer caps and buttons over to the painted canvas panel and begin applying tacky glue with an inexpensive paintbrush. If you wish to add more splashes of color, then use a round tip brush to desired spots.

completed collageFind a spot in your home that displays your magnificent art for everyone to see.

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