action painting like Jackson Pollock

In the Spring, kindergarten kids tend to get a little (more) wiggly.

They need movement.

They need action.

It was time to learn about Jackson Pollock, and try our version of action painting.

A little research was in order. has information about his life and art.

This You Tube clip (3:03) contains actual footage of Pollack, and is 5 year old appropriate.

Mati and Dada host and and star in this animated clip (7:43) in which they visit Jackson Pollock in his studio - and actually get inside his painting.

Create an online Jackson Pollock style painting [here].

source: MoMa

Our kindergarten version: Jackson Pollock was born in 1912 in the United States. He was the youngest of 5 boys, and his family lived on ranches in different parts of his country. Jackson Pollock did not really like school, he did not find it very interesting and wanted to draw instead of listen to his teachers. When he finished school, Jackson Pollock moved to New York City to live with his older brother (also an artist) and go to art school.  He could not draw with his hand the way that he saw things in his head, which frustrated him a lot. While he was in New York, he spilled some paint on the floor, and he liked how the paint looked. Another time, he was twirling a wet paint brush and thought that the spatters of paint were very beautiful. He had found his painting style! Some people were very excited by Jackson Pollock's new style of painting and his art work. Other people thought that his paintings were not really art and were a joke. He painted anyway. Jackson Pollock died in a car crash in 1956.

One late spring morning the American artist Jackson Pollock began work on the canvas that would ultimately come to be known as Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist).

Award-winning authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan use this moment as the departure point for a unique picture book about a great painter and the way in which he worked. Their lyrical text, drawn from Pollock's own comments and those made by members of his immediate circle, is perfectly complemented by vibrant watercolors by Robert Andrew Parker that honor his spirit of the artist without imitating his paintings.

Action Jackson is a Sibert Honor Book, a New York Times Best Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.  (Good Reads)

Then we started painting. 

Big canvas (actually big piece of paper), on the ground  - dripping and splattering (but not pouring - sorry, kids!) tools - paint shirts on - we were ready to action paint like Jackson Pollock.

First painting tool was a turkey baster. 
It was a bit tricky figuring out how to suck up the paint.

Hey, that's pretty fun!

After everyone had a turn with the turkey baster, it was time for big kitchen spoons.  

I wondered if they would have a different kind of splatter. 

Splattering with sticks for the finishing touch.
Adding more colour and movement where the artists felt it was needed. 

The finished work is complete.
And beautiful. 

We are not quite sure what to do with our finished masterpiece. It is too big to hang in our classroom or the hallway.

It will feature in our school art show,

and then ... maybe will will all get a piece to add to our art portfolios ... or ....  Ideas?

Here's where I went looking for Jackson Pollock art inspiration.



  1. That turned out VERY well, Sandi!
    Definitely the last minute of course:)

    1. Thanks, Barb. We were pretty pleased too :) And I am sure that whatever happens, it will be very last minute!

  2. that just looks like so much fun!!! Thanks for sharing I am inspired. Liz

  3. This looks like such a blast! My daughter would LOVE it!


Back to Top