ARTplay Willem de Kooning

[ 1 ] January 5, 2010 |

DeKooning - Black and White

Willem de Kooning, Black and White Abstraction, ca 1950. Museum Works of Art Fund. Courtesy of The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

Willem de Kooning used a large brush that could hold a lot of paint to create this work. Rather than create an image of something or someplace, he was interested in the act of creating the image and lines created by the gesture of his hand holding a paintbrush.

With your child: Can you figure out where de Kooning started each of his lines and where they ended?

Project 1: With your finger, follow a line from where it begins to its end. How many different types of lines can you find? Can you discover any shapes?

Project 2: Try some line exercises:
– Draw a portrait of a person without lifting your pencil off the paper.
– Draw a picture of an animal using only straight lines.
– Draw for 30 seconds without stopping.

ARTplay is a monthly column from the RISD Museum of Art in which various themes and activities introduce kids and parents to the museum’s collection both online and off. Each month, Kidoinfo will help spark your children’s interest in art, encouraging them to learn about different works at the museum. To learn more about the collection or see the art in person, visit the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, located at 20 N. Main Street, Providence, RI.

All additional inquires or requests should be directed to: Denise Bastien, Collection Information and Imaging Specialist, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903. 401 454- 6528. E-mail inquires to:


Category: ARTplay-RISD

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

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  1. I was at MOMA this weekend in NY, and they had some of their first ever family art workshops. I saw kids having a lot of fun doing a similar exercise – drawing patterns with a pencil in each hand. Simple lines can stimulate such creativity!

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