Jellyfish, jelly! fish! in the style of Robert Motherwell

Whenever I hear the word ‘jellyfish’, I get a song stuck in my head…

This little gem is something my kids introduced me to. You’ll see why it appeals to them (and me). This fella is rather funny.

In 1940, a young painter named Robert Motherwell came to New York City and joined a group of artists — including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline — who set out to change the face of American painting. Beyond his individual efforts as an artist, Motherwell played a major role in the intellectual and artistic development of the underground New York art world of the time. You can read more about his painting style and methods here. Remember, the Abstract Impressionists of this time were called “action” painters!
Wiki paintings has all of Motherwell’s beside the sea paintings posted in it’s online encyclopedia.
Project Plan
  • Artist: Robert Motherwell
  • Print:   Beside the sea no. 15
  • Style:   Abstract Impressionism
  • Focus: Color, Repitition, Movement
Materials you will need:
  • Thinned Tempera Paint
  • Construction paper for each student
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencil
First Things First: WRITE YOUR NAME ON YOUR PROJECT. Write your Grade, Teacher’s Name and Today’s Date


Have students start by painting a half circle on their paper in one color, making sure it is pretty drippy.  Then have them dip their paintbrush back in the water and added more water to the bottom of their half circle.  After that they have them pick up their paper and do a little tapping (vertically) against the table to get the tentacles to drip down.  Have them do each jellyfish one at a time, picking a new color for each one.  Finally let them do a little splatter painting.
** PLEASE Clean Up and Put Away ALL supplies. If you used something up, leave a note for the supply coordinator.** HAVE FUN! There is No wrong way to make Art. (Although, they may have a hard time following instructions!) Remember – Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. ART is knowing which ones to keep.
For The Love of Art did this with her students for an Ocean themed unit and pinned it to her board in pinterest. Super Idea.

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