Family First Workshop: Valentines

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Family First Workshop: Valentines

by Julia Hood, Education Coordinator | @LearnReynolda

Every February, our Family First Workshop participants make Valentines. This month, I provided a range of collage materials and tools so people could make Valentines for friends and family.

Beside mixed media Valentines, some participants drew hearts with oil pastels and then painted over them with watercolors. The oil resisted the water, creating a contrast of colors and textures. You can try this technique at home (watercolor or other all-media paper is best.)

We also had terrific conversations about two artworks currently on view. We spent time looking and thinking about the different kinds of love the artworks expressed.

First, we explored Charles Willson Peale’s double portrait of Mrs. and Mrs. Alexander Robinson (1795). Visit the link and take a minute to look at this image. Then, explore these questions and any others that might come to you:

  • What do you notice in the painting?
  • What is the relationship between these two people?
  • Can we guess how he feels about her? What about how she feels about him?
  • Remember, this is a painting and the artist decided what he wanted to show us as viewers. Can we guess how the artist feels about these two people? Why do you say that? Hint: The woman in the painting, Angelica Kauffman Peale Robinson, is the daughter of the painter. 

After exploring the different relationships and ideas we saw in this painting, the group headed to the basement level to find Nam June Paik’s sculpture Leonardo da Vinci (1991). Especially because the artist used video images, I recommend that you visit the artwork in person.  However, you can explore the artwork by looking at the still image online. Remember you can zoom in and out.

  • What do you notice about this artwork?
  • What materials do you think the artist used to make it?
  • Do you recognize any images on the TV screens or on the yellow “wall”? What do these make you think of?
  • Have you ever heard of Leonardo da Vinci? If not, do a little bit of research in an encyclopedia. Here’s another online source you might use to get started. 
  • Now that you know more about Leonardo da Vinci, look back at Nam June Paik’s sculpture. How do you think the artist feels about Leonardo da Vinci?

Are there other poems, songs, or artworks that express an idea of love to you?

Check out photos from this  workshop on our Flickr page.


Want to attend a Family First Workshop? See upcoming workshops here.

Need inspiration? Read all Family First blogs here to gather ideas for your next art project!


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