Our first Time Traveler: Inspiring Inventor featured the artist Horace Pippin. We choose Pippin because I knew the creative SMArt kids would love an artistic challenge and Jen Bryant’s A Splash of Red book is beautifully written….also, Horace Pippin being from West Chester, PA was a great local tie-in for our kiddos.
We read A Splash of Red and then looked at a quick slideshow of Pippin’s paintings from local museums. We discussed the colors Pippin used and looked for any splash of red that we could find. This helped us learn about colors in paintings and how certain colors can highlight a subject or object in that painting. The book describes Pippin’s method of painting and the kids were challenged to draw with their left hands or using their left hand to guide their right hand. Horace Pippin lost use of his dominant right hand in World War II so many of his most famous paintings were done with his right hand being guided with his left.
The kids enjoyed the challenges of drawing with physical limitations…It was definitely a process, as they went from “I can’t do this!” to “hey, look what I did with my left hand!” They first practiced sketching on a regular piece of paper and then we made final designs on doilies to represent how Horace Pippin had to use whatever spare materials he could when painting.