For this week’s #MuseumFromHome family activity, we are inspired by the beauty in our backyards and the work of Blanche Lazzell.

Throughout her whole life and artistic career, Lazzel always learned something new about art. Artists considered modernist, Like Lazzell, sought to use different techniques and imagery to reflect the early 20th-century experience.

With abstraction, Lazzell didn’t try to paint the landscape exactly as it looked to her. Instead, she used shapes, colors and marks to create her picture.

This painting showcases well all of the methods she studied. Follow our step-by-step guide below so you can explore something new, too.

American Landscape, Woodstock Ca. 1917
Oil on canvas
Museum purchase with funds provided by Gerald and Emily Leischuck

What You’ll Need

Paper or Canvas

Markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, crayons OR Paint with Q-tips

Pencil

Flowers, plants, grass or trees in your yard to create a scene, or landscape

Reference photo (optional)

Paper, pencil and markers on display for an art project.

Instructions

Draw a rough sketch of what you want to show in your illustration. You can draw outside or look at a photograph. Remember: what you see on the paper doesn’t have to look exactly like what is in front of you.

Begin blocking in the colors of the place using simple shapes, lines and multiple colors. They do not have to be perfect. See how much you can simplify the landscape using shapes.

Rough sketch as landscape

When using markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, or crayons, color little circles, dots, lines rectangles or squares instead of fully coloring in the object.

Painters, dip your Q-tip in the paint and stamp it on your artwork. It may be easiest to make little dots and circles, but make unique marks as well. What new techniques will you discover?

Fill every corner of the page with colorful shapes. Once every spot is covered, you are done! Go show your friends or family your beautiful artwork. We’d love to see, too. Tag us @JCSMAuburn for a #MuseumFromHome.

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