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Grid and pattern composition like Grace Gardner

Grid and pattern composition like Grace Gardner

Gardner, Grace (1920-2013): Getting to know red (Spectrum series), oil on canvas, 76 x 101 cms.
FAMAG 2004.17.12

Grace Gardner  is an American artist from Chicago’s North Shore who came to live in Cornwall in 1984. Using oil paint on canvas, she makes a variety of grids and curvy patterns using oil paint.


Grid and pattern composition like Grace Gardner

Here are instructions on how to make a picture in the style of the Artist.

What you will need

  • Paper and a ruler
  • A range of colour pencils and/or felt tip pens 
  • Or some paint, or colour crayons…

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The Activity

Grid with straight lines

1. Start by making a grid on your piece of paper by tracing horizontal and vertical straight lines using the ruler.

2. You don’t need to make a very regular grid. 

3. Now start colouring some of the boxes with one colour. You don’t have to follow an order just choose the ones you want to fill in.

4. Repeat colouring the boxes with different colours until you have filled in all the empty spaces.

Grid with curved lines

 1. Make vertical curvy (or wobbly) lines 

2. Then add some horizontal curved lines on the top

3. Now repeat the process of colouring the inside of each shapes using different colours.

What next?

We would love to see your work if you can put then on social media please tag them to #falculture and we will add them to the online gallery below.

Why not carry on doing more grid and pattern pictures inspired by Grace Gardner. 

Gardner, Grace (1920-2013): After Words, signed and dated 2003, oil on canvas, 76 x 76.5 cms. The Grace Gardner Gift.
FAMAG 2009.11.4
Gardner, Grace (1920-2013): Big Happy, signed, acrylic on board, 120 x 122.5 cms. Presented by Gardner, Grace.
FAMAG 2006.1.4

Like her, you can add some round shapes in the grid (FAMAG 2009.11.4) or insert the contour of an object or plant (FAMAG2006.1.4), or again you can come up with your own variations adding different patterns within each shapes.

Activity Gallery