Jackson Pollock

One of our favorite picture books right now is Olivia by Ian Falconer. As I was skimming through a great resource called Storybook Art, I stumbled across the idea for this art experience. I like this activity because it helped the girls make a “text-to-world connection” between the main character in the story and the artist Jackson Pollock.

After reading the story, I mentioned to the girls that there was an artist who painted the same way Olivia did. During our next trip to the library, I found a book of his work and shared it with the girls. Right before they started their own paintings I showed them the short video clip listed below. Inspired by a brief overview of his technique and philosophy the girls set out to create their own masterpieces.

I used two small canvases I already had on hand for another project. If I were going to purchase new canvases specifically for this project I would choose a larger size. I started the girls out by giving them a muffin tin filled with the primary colors and white washable tempera paint (see below for set-up). They had a great time mixing the colors they wanted to use and it was a great opportunity to review color mixing. Once their palette was complete they went to work creating their pieces Jackson Pollock style.

Materials & Resources

Jackson Pollock (video)
Jackson Pollock Paintings (photos)
Jackson Pollock Experience
Another Fun Pollock Inspired Activity

Make your own here…


With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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