Maud Lewis Lighthouse Mix Media
This folk artist from Canada is one of my most favorite artists. Her vibrant, child-like art is not only full of joy but many of her pieces are inspired by the rugged, yet tranquil beauty of Nova Scotia, which is also my birthplace (Yay, Pictou!). Many of my students have never heard of Nova Scotia so it’s fun for me to talk about.
Whenever I’m back home in the summer, I usually pick up a Maud Lewis Calendar but you probably can find one via the Internet.
For this lesson, I speak of fishing dories, lobster boats and traps, colorful buoys, and of course, lighthouses. I also share stories of how Maud created her paintings with limited use of her hands plus working through the disadvantage of being very poor.
What You’ll Need:
12″ x 18″ white drawing paper
Tempera paints: light blue, white, dark blue, green, yellow and black
Paint brushes and water containers
Printed craft paper plus solid colored paper
Create the Background
To begin the lesson, I hand out 3 photocopies of Maud Lewis’ works from calendars that I have purchased. I chose three of my favorite images, focusing on lighthouses and the Atlantic Ocean.
I demonstrate how to draw the hill, the horizon line and perhaps a few rocks. All other details such as the lighthouse, buoys, etc. will be added in the second stage of this lesson.
Using the light blue paint, I show the kids how to apply the paint and then, while its still wet, add white paint to create a light sky.
After the sky, paint the hill (mix green with some yellow) and then the ocean Mix dark blue with black for a deep navy or dark blue with green for a brilliant turquoise). After painting the ocean, the sky will probably be dry enough to add another layer of white for clouds.
For the rocks, dip a small paintbrush in the black paint and paint along the outside line of the rocks. Then, dip the paint brush into the white paint and mix together to create a grey.
Making the Lighthouse
Using a variety of printed craft or solid colored paper, cut out light houses, small houses, dories, fish, a setting sun, etc. I demonstrate the technique of using just scissors to create shapes. If the kids get out pencils, the subject they are trying to create usually ends up being much too small. Seriously! Stick with scissors!
Let the kids use their imaginations for how they want to decorate. Some kids will go a bit crazy, but that’s okay. Some will be Maud Lewis muses a channel her love of the ocean. Either way, I think they’ll enjoy this project.
Some details such as the small windows and doors on the lighthouses can be applied with paint.
This is a good time to add splashes of white paint to well, create splashes.