Paul Klee was born on December 18, 1879 in Switzerland to a music teacher and a singer. Throughout his childhood his parents encouraged his musical abilities, but as a teenager her decided he wanted to focus on visual art. He went to art school in Germany and began his study of color, which he worked on for most of his career. He used many different kinds of media and materials, sometimes in the same piece, and his style is hard to classify because he mixed so many different ideas and techniques. Paul Klee passed away on June 29, 1940, leaving behind thousands of works of art from his career.
In addition to the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series biography, we used The Cat and the Bird, which is a cute story based on this work by Paul Klee.
We also used Dreaming Pictures: Paul Klee, which shares about several different works from Klee’s career.
I checked out A Child’s Introduction to Art from our library and found another fun project. After looking at this painting, we drew simple faces and then covered our papers with pieces of tissue paper, which we dampened and let sit.
Unfortunately, when we peeled off the tissue paper we had very light patches of color instead of bold blocks! I used watercolor paper, so I’m not sure if this was why, or if the tissue paper was designed to not fade, or what, so you may want to experiment a bit before trying this, or maybe watercolor blocks of color over the paper instead. At least the kids enjoyed the process!
The last project we did was so simple (thanks again to Art Projects for Kids!) and would be great for kids of all ages. After we looked at Klee’s Harmony paintings, we printed the grid and made our own!
If you haven’t done an artist study before, Paul Klee would be a perfect artist to begin with! His paintings are so interesting and provide many chances to explore line and shape and color. This is one of my favorite artist studies we’ve done!