Sunday, September 30, 2012

Artist Charley Harper

We have been studying the artist Charley Harper. Charley Harper was an illustrator and artist for 60 years. He developed a style he called minimal realism. His work is characterized by simple shapes, bright colors and subtle humor. There is a new retrospective book of his work coming out, put together by designer Todd Oldham, who became friends with Harper after discovering and admiring his work. I did not have any luck finding books on Harper at the library, so ordered a few resources from Amazon.
Last week we finished up our Matisse project, and then the kids worked on some coloring pages from Harper's coloring books while I talked about his life and showed some of his work. This week we painted Charley Harper birds and leaves on balsa wood from an art kit I found at Target. They include paint and really nice brushes with each project at a reasonable price.
After each student painted one bird, they could choose one of four Charley Harper works to reproduce onto the front of a card. This year we are using simple cards for each project we do. If anyone gets done early they can decorate the front of the card in the style of the artist we are studying. We will keep these cards as a retrospective of our year, and display a selection of them at the end of each semester. Charley Harper was fun artist to copy and the kids did some great work.

I had to make a Harper card too.


  1. Our Tessie Charkie Haroer vir is here on our "bird shelf"! Thanks!!

  2. (For a minute I thought that was Portugese-but realized it was really probably I-Pad-ese.) Thanks. It was a fun project. He's such a great artist to know!