Art Week 1Art Week 2Art Week 3

We had a busy summer and instead of going on a big trip which we often do, this year my husband and I wanted to stay home and do a staycation. My husband came up with the idea of an art staycation where we would paint and draw and visit museums. The kids (and I) were very excited.

The bulk of the week was spent on the very large version of Starry Night that we made. Each of us painted four canvases that were not adjacent to each other (with one exception). We mixed our own colors to match the original (and kept the same aspect ratio of the final piece although ours was larger).

Here’s what we did:

First off my awesome husband cut and made canvas frames, 16 of them in all, to the exact measurements I gave him (to keep the proper aspect ratio to the original work of art – which we saw in person last year at MoMA).

canvas frames 1


While my husband was busy cutting and building the frames, I downloaded a large file version of Vincent VanGogh’s Starry Night from Wikipedia as part of the Google Art Project. You can get it here if you like.

I then took the image and divided it up into 16 equal pieces (a 4 x 4 grid) and printed them out.

print-sections2Then it was my job to cut and attach (via a staple gun) the canvases to the frames.

ready-to-add-canvasstapleWhile my husband painted the canvases with primer (twice), the kids (who had watched this all go on) started painting small 4″ x 4″ claybords. The idea here was to teach the kids about color, composition, strokes and well, to just have fun. Here are my modern art pieces. (We have yet to figure out how to mount and hang the kids clayboards – because I accidentally ordered the really thin ones instead of the ones mounted on wood. Oops. 🙂 )

modern art on a 4" x 4" square

Canvases all prepped. Time to paint!

painting 1Each of us painted 4 of the 16 canvases and each were not next to each other. This helped give the final product a mosaic feel and it was way more fun to see how things turned out.

We taught them to divide the image up into grids (both on the canvas and on their master page that they were using for reference).

painting 2

We also wore disposable gloves for easy clean up of hands.

painting 3

Did I mention we mixed our own colors for this project? Each of us. The kids also got a nice lesson in color mixing. I think they really liked that part.

painting 4

As we were working (and waiting for layers to dry), we started laying it all out. The artists of each canvas then had a chance to see how the colors looked near the other canvases and see how things lined up.

line it up

During our week, the kids also spent some time playing with clay. (Here’s Connor’s monster).

clay monster

And we took an evening trip to the Walker Art Center.


And every evening ended in PJs with popcorn on the couch watching Bob Ross (on Netflix). They were mesmerized by him.

For our paint, we started with a large acrylic set I got off Amazon. Part way through the week, we had a field trip to Blick art supply (thankfully only 2 miles down the road). Gwyneth told me it was her new favorite store.



Finally, Friday night came and we were ready to carefully assemble the painting.

My husband got brackets that screwed in place (lots of them). And he used clamps in place as he put it together. We held it upright so the artwork on the front wouldn’t get damaged from scratching.


It turned out great. We didn’t get to sketching or drawing, but we’ve been doing a bit of that when we have some time.

I love how it all turned out! The kids are so proud of the canvases they made. Gwyneth told me she likes this one better than the real one, because she made it with us and she can look at it whenever she wants. 🙂




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