Jackson Pollock was an American painter, born in 1912, who became famous for his enormous drip paintings. He painted in a tool shed where he could lay his canvas on the floor, and drip and splatter paint across it without worrying about ruining the walls or floor.
Rather than paint a landscape or a portrait, Pollock wanted to paint action. When you look at one of his drip paintings, your eye wanders across the entire canvas in constant motion. In this way, Pollock achieved his goal; the creation of the painting was active and so is the viewing of the painting.
Lavender Mist, painted in 1950, is one example of Pollock’s drip paintings. Pollock unrolled nearly 10 feet of canvas, chose his colors, and began to drip, splash, and swirl paint onto it. He didn’t buy his oil paint in tubes the way most artists do. Instead, he used gallons of house paint to cover the canvas. In the corner he left his handprints as a signature, just like the cave painters did. What’s really cool about this painting is that Pollock didn’t use any lavender paint. The colors he chose blend together in your eye to make you think that you see lavender.
Click here to look at Lavender Mist at the National Gallery of Art website. Use the red arrows at the top of the page to see close-ups of parts of the painting, including the handprint in the upper right corner. Keep clicking to see pictures of Jackson Pollock painting in his shed.
Then click here make your own drip painting online. Right click to change colors.
Check back tomorrow for a Jackson Pollock project!