Iconic Prints

As we continue to examine Pop Art, we look at Andy Warhol’s fascination with pop icons and his beautiful and well known Marilyn Monroe Series.


“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke. Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.” – Andy Warhol

As a response to his piece my students chose modern pop icons to portray. Including Pink, Billie Joel Armstrong and Angelina Jolie. Because of our classrooms limitations we used a different printing technique than Andy, but a printmaking technique all the same. I had my student create single color linoleum block prints focusing on the elements value and texture, and then adding a second layer of color focusing on the principles of design emphasis and contrast.

In Richard Hamilton’s definition of Pop Art he talks about mass production. Printmaking was an important aspect of Andy Warhol’s mass production of his pieces. After we discussed the significance of easily reproduced artwork and it’s connection to kitsch and consumerism we began print making.

20140617_121344 20140617_12135720140617_12124620140617_12125920140617_12130920140617_12131620140617_12315920140618_12595120140618_13004420140618_13002720140618_130007


Pop! Goes the Summer

I am taking on a summer course at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. It is called Multi-Dimensional Studio. My explanation of the course for our school website goes as follows:

“An exploration in the decorative and fine art, Multi-Dimensional Studio will challenge students to find new meaning in art through studio work and museum visits.  The course is designed to introduce various art mediums, techniques and styles including acrylic paint on canvas, soft sculptures, mixed media collage, recycled/upcycled art, charcoal drawing, digital photography and film.  Multi-Dimensional students will study the basic elements and principles of art and design, and use these elements and principles to guide and assess their work.  There will also be multiple field trips to area museums including the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries, as well as the National Gallery of Art and the Hirshorn.  Students will develop their critical thinking skills while they assess their own artwork as well as famous works of art.”


As I suspected things have started off brilliantly! I am teaching to a small class of three young women, and they are a lovely and quiet bunch so far. However, if years as a summer camp counselor has taught me anything, they wont be quite for long…

To begin with we are taking a look at Pop Art from Great Britain and the United states. We will be exploring art through the movements and working our way back in time. This backwards investigation will find each movement and it’s inspirations and origins. This will guide our backwards travel through time. And what better place to start than Pop Art?

On our first day we took a look at the “father” of pop art Richard Hamilton and his famous definition of Pop Art,



and some of his early ironic social commentary collages. We then used his work as inspiration to make our own ironic collages, inspired by social commentary. I say “we” because I made one along with them. While irony and social commentary were our themes, I challenged my students to focus on two elements and two principles of art. In this case I asked them to think about shape and color (elements) as well as movement and unity (principles).

20140617_104025^ “America the Brave”

20140617_104044< “Every Girls Dream”

20140617_104006^ “Experience the Wild”

20140617_103950< “Fighting for Peace”

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