Art in the Park – Impressionism


Through action painting, color blocks, mixed media, and saturation we will learn about some of the most famous Abstract Expressionist artists while creating our own pieces after the styles of Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, and Frankenthaler.


Welcome to Art in the Park!

This class is all about making connections between art history, art appreciation, and most importantly art creation. Each week we will learn about a major artist in the Abstract Expressionism movement. We will incorporate history, geography, and the social, political, and spiritual ideology that contributed to the artists’ work. Students will look at a variety of artwork by the week’s artist and do an analytical critique of a given piece. Finally, students will create a piece of artwork that imitates the style, techniques, or subject matter of each artist.

Each class will begin with a short 15-20 minute presentation about the life and work of a famous Abstract Expressionist artist. Using either a Doodle Notes template (provided each week) or creating their own Doodle Notes, students will share notes regarding their takeaway from the presentation. Students will be given a famous piece of artwork to study and analyze using an art critique sheet (provided upon enrollment) to help them make connections to the art and artist. An interactive classroom will be posted mid-week with fun quizzes, games, and challenges for students to further their learning and understanding about the artist and the art genre. And the pièces de résistance: Students will be guided through the creation of their own, original artwork that imitates the style, techniques, or subject matter of the artist.


  • Week 1: Jackson Pollock – We will use a variety of different tools to explore different mark-making and paint application and create a truly unique and original piece of abstract art.
  • Week 2: Mark Rothko – We will explore color and relate color to our emotions by making a color block painting.
  • Week 3: Willem de Kooning – We will create a black and white mixed media piece that explores different values of gray and focuses on compositional space to create a piece with depth.
  • Week 4: Helen Frankenthaler – We will use the soak stain painting technique to create an abstract piece that considers color blending and bleeding.

Students create the experience they hope to gain. Participation in the classroom discussion will be required to promote a sense of community among enrolled learners.

Classroom discussion includes:

  • Sharing Doodle Notes
  • Posting completed art critique
  • Engaging in interactive classroom activities
  • Posting finished artwork

I will give feedback on all submitted work. I will also create an online art gallery walk-through of all posted artwork on the last day of class. Students will be able to view their own work as well as their classmates’ work to compare how each student approached the different styles and techniques.

LOOKING FOR HIGH SCHOOL ART CREDITS? The Art in the Park series is a great way to earn art credits for high school. I will provide a written assessment of student’s performance in class that is based on class participation, timeliness of submissions, and overall work. Please contact me in advance.

**I will talk about techniques the artist used and describe how to achieve that technique, but the ultimate piece each student creates will be much more free form and individual to the student.

I usually teach this class outdoors, but being at the park is not necessary. Just more fun. 😉


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