Paul Klee
"The Blossoming Garden"

This idea is based on Paul Klee’s painting "the blossoming garden".  To help the pupils understand the task ahead of them, start with the flower pictures in the download.

Downloads.
Further material for this article.

Paul Klee - "The Blossoming Garden"

Creative painting with the Pelikan Opaque Paint Box K/12

With this issue of Pelikan K12 – the original we would like to present an exclusive lesson plan for working with the Pelikan opaque paint box. This idea is based on Paul Klee’s painting "the blossoming garden".

A copy of the original image can be found at the Paul Klee Center Bern

 

This is what you need:
K12 paint box, artist pad, paintbrush and the Pelikan material package.

 
pupil's painting

Agenda for the lesson "Klee: the blossoming garden"

To help the pupils understand the task ahead of them, start with the flower pictures in the download. Sit in a circle and place them in the middle to encourage discussion. The focus is on flowers which bring a mass of colour into a bland surrounding. Now comes the difficult part before painting can commence: the contents of the flower pictures must be abstracted! Don’t worry, our differentiation aids enable all pupils to join in the lesson and compose freely.

It’s as easy as this:

  1. Download the materials packet "Klee: the blossoming garden" from the internet.
  2. Print the flower pictures on to white card or paper.
  3. Place the cards unsorted in the middle of the group.
  4. Allow the children to arrange the cards into some sort of an order.
  5. Discuss the resulting “pictures” with the pupils. The following points may be helpful:

     

    1. What were the reasons for sorting the pictures in this way?
    2. What is the relationship between the coloured pictures and the unicolour pictures?
    3. How do the pictures and colours harmonise?
    4. What effect does the picture as a whole have on the observer?
    5. What does our work of art represent?
    6. Which season of the year is particularly apparent?
    7. What would be a suitable title?
    8. Discuss the various titles.

     

  6. Discuss with the children how the various images fit into one whole picture. According to experience, this is a difficult phase because this is where they must start to abstract. Ultimately, the pupils are not supposed to draw a rose in detail, they should replace the pictures by a colour. It can be helpful when a dominant colour is allocated to the pictures. The grass will be green, the rose might be dark red etc.
  7. Finally, everybody should divide their page into fields of different sizes (raster).
  8. Each pupil should paint his picture using the opaque paint box . One idea would be to paint the small fields with light colours and the larger ones in dark colours.
  9. Once the pictures have dried, each pupil should choose a title for his picture. Finally, each child presents his picture to the group. They could also write a short story on the development of the picture and share this with the class.

 

Tip: It is always important to make sure that the children understand the task ahead of them. Therefore, choose your own path for the lesson and combine with the preferred materials.

The picture cards

An illustration of a real flower can serve as an aid for abstraction. Several individual cards indicate the form the picture will take later.

With the help of the pictures cards the introduction to the lesson can be kept clear and concrete.

These picture cards can be found in the material packet "Klee: The Blossoming Garden".
 

Possibilities of differentiation

Colour cards

In order to offer your pupils various possibilities of association, simply download our colour and picture cards. The children can use these cards to practise painting processes.

Once the children have pinpointed a dominant colour, the colour and picture cards should be used for preliminary practise. A combination of the cards is also conceivable

Ask the children to stipulate the dominant colour in a coloured picture (picture cards) which they will later paint. If this is difficult for them, use the colour cards. Here it is not necessary to abstract as the cards are of one colour. Then the pupils should then arrange the cards in the form of the picture. A combination of the cards is also conceivable.

The various cards are available as downloads for immediate use in your lesson.
 

Raster

If the children are having difficulty dividing the page, offer them one the rasters in our download. We have provided three different rasters to choose from. A possibility would also be just to show the children the rasters to help them create their own ideas.

Tip: The raster sheets are in A4 size. These could be enlarged to A3 using a photocopier.

Pupils' paintings as visual aids

At this point we would like to present pictures painted by pupils which could be used in your lesson as visual aids:

 

The life of Klee

Paul Klee was born on 18.12.1879 in Switzerland. At the age of 11 he was already playing Violin in a large orchestra. Eventually however, Klee rebelled against the musical culture forced upon him by his parents as he decided to study art in Munich. It was here that Klee developed his own special techniques, especially the art of erasing.

Paul Klee is a good friend of Kandinsky, Marc and Macke. His work after 1912 was mainly influenced by the likes of Picasso and Rosseau. In 1914 during a trip to Tunis with August Macke, Klee developed his own style of painting. Light coloured paintings and an understanding for nature sums up the creative works of Paul Klee during this period. Klee's main focus was not on photographic reproduction, but much more on "dreamy" vision statements. He believed that art should not merely reproduce what is visual, but to make things visual. This adds much more meaning than simply displaying "the outside" (nature).

During 1921-1930, Paul Klee was a teacher at the Bauhaus in Dessau and Weimar. In 1926 Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger, and Jawlensky founded the "Blue four". He focuses his work on constructive, absolute pictures.

Coming under increased pressure from the Nazis, Klee fled back to Switzerland in 1933. In 1937 over 100 of his paintings were considered as "degenerated art" by the Nazis and confiscated.

Although critically ill, Klee continued to work on. Paul Klee died on 29.6.1940 in Muralto, Switzerland.