Creating Art Like Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses

Anna Robertson Moses, also known as Grandma Moses, started painting in her 70s when she could no longer embroider. She sold her early pieces at the county fair and in a local drug store. Her works were displayed in the store’s window, where an art collector saw them and bought every one. He set up her first exhibition when she was 79, and she painted more than 1,000 pieces before she died at 101.

Grandma Moses ’ paintings feature everyday events in a primitive or folk-art style. Your child can create a piece of artwork in that style, too!

What You’ll Need

This is a fun activity for children and parents, too! You’ll need to gather:

  • Heavy paper such as construction paper or cardstock
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Fine-tipped pen (optional)

Study the Style

To start, look at the some samples of Grandma Moses’ paintings. Show you child how her paintings reflected her everyday life. She didn’t worry about perpective or shading, making her artwork even more endearing. Someexamples to find online include Sugaring Off, Taking in the Laundry, Catching the Turkey, A Country Wedding, and Early Springtime on the Farm.

Draw Your Own

Next, have your child draw a picture that illustrates his everyday life. It might be a picture of his house, yard, dog, and family members. It might show him at school on the playground with friends. Remember, there’s lots of activity going on in Grandma Moses’ paintings. Encourage your child to show lots of activity in his drawing, too.

Add Some Color

Now color it in! Most likely, the people in your child’s picture are rather small. Coloring them with colored pencils can be less frustrating then trying to fill them in with paint. A fine-tipped pen can be used to outline the figures, buildings, and trees.

My children and their friends created their pictures together. It was fun to compare them and see the different things they included.

What did your child draw in his picture?

Photo by Bosc d’Anjou

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