Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1970, screen print on white paper.
Did you know?
Next time you visit NorthPark, if you are near Neiman Marcus looking at the turtles and ducks, look up! You will notice Andy Warhol’s 1970 version of Flowers on view.
Warhol is considered the leader of pop art—a movement in art history that takes things from everyday life and frames it as art, anything from Coca Cola, celebrities, and advertisements to the clothes people wear. Warhol made his first infamous Flowers series in 1964 based off of a photo spread of hibiscus flowers in the June 1964 issue of Modern Photography magazine.
Patricia Caulfield’s pictures of hibiscus flowers two spreads in Modern Photography, June 1964.
Warhol created many of his artwork series, including Flowers, using a technique called screen-printing or silk screening, a printmaking technique which uses stencils and a screen that can then be repeated to create many versions of the same artwork. In this activity, we will use items we have around the house to make our own type of Warhol Flower print!
Potato and/or bell pepper
1. Create a border. We used a pencil and ruler to draw the area we will be painting in. Feel free to skip this step.
2. Paint your background. We created our background by painting two layers of different colors. This allows us to create the playful grass-like texture you see in Warhol’s print. First, paint your paper green. Let this dry completely.
3. Make the DIY stamps. While the green paint dries, we created our “stamps” using a potato and a bell pepper. You can choose one or the other, or use both! For the potato, depending on your age, have a parent help cut the potato in half and then carve a very general flower shape on the cut end of the potato. Whatever is not carved out will be what the paint sticks to, and therefore, will create the flower image. For the bell pepper, simply slice off the top. This will be your stamp.
4. Paint it black. Once your green paint is fully dry, paint over it with black paint.
5. Carve it out. While the paint is still wet, use the end of your paintbrush or the tip of a pencil to “carve” away sections of the black paint, allowing the dried green paint to show underneath. Imagine you are making the grass and leaves of the flowers. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Have fun with it!
6. Stamp it. Using either your potato or bell pepper, dip your “stamp” in the four colors of your choice to create Warhol’s hibiscus flowers. We chose to use the potato. However, as you see, the bell pepper can make a fun floral shape too.
7. Cut it out. After your print dries, you can cut it out and paste it on another clean sheet of paper.
Feeling like Warhol? You can repeat this same process over and over, creating many different Flower prints! Feel free to choose all different colors. Enjoy!