Warhol, Cats & Flowers

Let's talk Warhol...

Studying Warhol with my kids was a huge success, and a whole lot of fun.

Whenever I introduce my kids to a new artist, I approach it like I'm introducing them to just a regular person who happened to make really cool art. There are a couple of really fun children's books written by Andy Warhol's nephew, which makes this approach especially easy.

Once my son found out that he had 25 cats all named Sam, Andy Warhol officially became the coolest guy ever! These are the books we read... we loved them all!

Andy Warhol Fun Facts

  • He wore silver wigs (he actually had a drawer full of them!)
  • He loved his mom, and she often helped with his art.
  • He had 25 cats, all named Sam.
  • His style of art is called Pop Art.
  • Pop stands for popular.
  • He painted Campbell's Soup cans because he ate it everyday for lunch.
  • In addition to painting, he also drew, but was most famous for his screen prints.
  • Screen printing allowed him to make many copies of the same piece of art.
  • He liked to use color to make each print different.
  • His art studio was called The Factory, because he produced so much art.

The Project

To replicate one of Andy Warhol's great paintings, all you need is:

  • A bell pepper
  • Paper or canvas
  • Paint (black plus a few colors)
  • Patience (it takes two days to complete)

The Process

  1. Cut the bell pepper in half horizontally
  2. Dip it in some black paint
  3. Use the pepper to 'stamp' a flower onto your paper/canvas
  4. Let the black paint dry overnight
  5. Paint the flowers with colors you like

When you do something exactly wrong, you always turn up something.
— Andy Warhol

Fun Questions to Consider

  • He loved repetition, in art and in life. Do you remember some ways his life was repetitive? (All his cats were named Sam, he ate soup for lunch everyday, he had a drawer full of silver wigs.)
  • How does his choice of color impact his art? (You might like to study color theory as part of this project.)
  • Screen printing is like bell pepper stamping because you can make the same image over and over, but there are slight differences- smudges, ink spots, etc. Do these 'imperfections' seem like mistakes, or do they add beauty to the art?
  • Does his art seem less valuable because he made so many copies of each piece?
  • What are some other 'popular' images we see everyday that would make great paintings? 

If you live near Los Angeles, you can see Warhol's work at LACMA and the Huntington Gardens. Enjoy!

Interested in learning more about how to incorporate art into your homeschool, or home-life? Sign up for my free mini-course and discover the 7 steps to becoming the ultimate art history tour guide for your kids.