Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Painting with shapes

My sister and I have always loved Sonia Delaunay. Her abstract and colourful compositions are gorgeous. We have a book full of Sonia Delaunay's abstract lithographs – the kids have looked at it many times, picking out the colours and different shapes.

A little bit about Sonia Delaunay: She was born in the Ukraine in 1885, grew up in St Petersburg, Russia, moved to Paris as an adult and stayed there until she died in 1979. Delaunay co-founded the French avant-garde movement Orphism. She was also the first living female artist to have a retrospective art exhibition at the Lourvre. Quite an achievement! She was an artist and designer ahead of her time, she started mixing art with fashion and designed the most wonderful geometric patterned fabrics. I often see contemporary fabric designs that are strikingingly reminscent of her work created back in the 1920s.

Delaunay's work l-r: Petit rythme couleur 1972, Swimsuit design 1929, Affreux jojo 1969

The latest Kids Get Arty presented the perfect opportunity to have a Sonia Delaunay inspired painting session.... and it was all about shapes. I pulled out as many foam shapes as I could find, we already had circles, rectangles, stars, flowers and some foam rollers. For a few extra shapes I cut up cheap sponges to make arches and semi-circles. Generous dollops of bright paint were applied to plastic takeaway lids which made great surfaces for the foam sponges to soak up the paint.

I did not supply any paint brushes and the kids didn't miss them. They really enjoyed painting with the sponges and I was impressed with the choice of colour and shapes.... but most importantly it was a fun afternoon creating for the sake of creating.

Sonia Delaunay inspired foam shape painting
Cakey, Boo and I love participating in Kids Get Arty, we have also been inspired by Kandinsky, Magritte and Australian artist Margaret Preston. For tonnes of arty ideas you might be interested in my Arty Kids Pinterest board.

If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and InstagramCheers Ali

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Linked to Mom's Library and Kids Get Arty


  1. Wow, fab paintings. I have found you via kids get arty!

  2. Looks like so much fun - and educational. Pinning it.

  3. Awe what a beautiful post. I love your approach of only using the shaped sponges and using all those bright and colourful paints. Wonderful. Isn't it great to introduce artists that you have always loved yourself?! :-)

    So pleased to see you over on Kids Get Arty!!

    Thanks for joining in again.


  4. I love painting with sponges...i think children show so much creativity and imagination with this medium!Colours are glorious the arty educational aspect x

  5. Such a cute idea. Please stop by and link up all your projects this week at our party! We need more links.

  6. What a great technique! My son loves to paint. We haven't painted much with sponges though. We should try it. :)

  7. Love those bright colours! The roller created an interesting effect and then the sponges over the top. If you made a whole heap they would make great wrapping paper after being displayed :)

  8. What a great way to introduce shapes in an interesting and creative way. I love this and enjoyed reading your post.


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