Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Big Fat Greek Vase

How goofy is this horse? Goofy!
After years of being dragged through museums as a child and rolling my eyes in boredom at the Greek vases I have finally come to appreciate their beauty. You know what it took? A HORSE! The Greeks could make some darned nice horses. They were pretty and simply shaped and their teeny tiny hooves appealed to me. They were sort of comical. I can always appreciate something beautiful that is also a little bit silly.

So when I showed the Picasso's Basement artists the various black and red techniques used by the Greeks to adorn their showier vases I showed them many examples featuring horses. Like these:

I had considered having them make their own vases but I don't have a kiln and I already have a two-week project planned for the near future so instead I had made a run to the dollar store for a batch of terra cotta vases. Perfect. Cheap enough to buy extras.

The only paints they were given were black and red acrylic paints. We looked at typical Greek patterns. I encouraged them to paint horses on their vases. I made an example to show them. Here it is:

My Sample Vase
But as all great artists do, they followed their hearts. One of our artists is a well known (at least in his school) authority on Greek mythology. He painted Argo, the ship for which the Argonauts were named.

                        Our resident Greek Mythology expert

His original sketch for his vase

Here are some of the other gorgeous vases that were painted:

For more on Greek vase techniques please check out this excellent link at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Athenian Vase Painting


  1. We did this same project and have the same post on my blog on Feb.17th, just days before yours here.

  2. How funny is that? I love that you MADE vases after painting the terra cotta pots. So wonderful! I just subscribed to your blog. Thanks for sharing! We'll have to see if we keep coming up with the same projects!