Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler

Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler

They said only men could paint powerful pictures, but Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) splashed her way through the modern art world. Channeling deep emotion, Helen poured paint onto her canvas and danced with the colors to make art unlike anything anyone had ever seen. She used unique tools like mops and squeegees to push the paint around, to dazzling effects. Frankenthale...

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Title:Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler
Author:Elizabeth Brown
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Dancing Through Fields of Color: The Story of Helen Frankenthaler Reviews

  • Lisa

    Elizabeth Brown beautifully portrays the creative experience of Color Field painter Helen Frankenthaler with energy and joy, and Aimée Sicuro's illustrations match Brown's carefully selected words in tone and vibrancy. Brown masterfully distills her extensive research to show how Frankenthaler followed her heart and defied artistic rules, then remade them by creating her own "soak-stain" painting technique. Brown uses dance terms to describe not only how Frankenthaler moved about as she created

    Elizabeth Brown beautifully portrays the creative experience of Color Field painter Helen Frankenthaler with energy and joy, and Aimée Sicuro's illustrations match Brown's carefully selected words in tone and vibrancy. Brown masterfully distills her extensive research to show how Frankenthaler followed her heart and defied artistic rules, then remade them by creating her own "soak-stain" painting technique. Brown uses dance terms to describe not only how Frankenthaler moved about as she created her work, but the movement she created in her work. This painstakingly-crafted picture book is a work of art in itself and stands out in its field.

  • Lindsay Leslie

    Elizabeth Brown's lyrical words and Aimaee Sicuro's passionate illustrations bring Helen Frankenthaler to life and will make you want to become an artist.

  • Sandra Sutter

    A beautiful read with gorgeous illustrations. Perfect for parents wanting to nurture lovers of art, history, and learning about the unique perspectives an artist brings to her work. Loved it!

  • Adrienne

    Helen Frankenthaler's story and her art is beautifully presented through Elizabeth Brown's lush, descriptive text. Gorgeous illustrations by Aimée Sicuro reflect Frankenthaler's unique technique of thinned oil paint and "soak-stained" effect, using unconventional tools. Leading the reader through her happy earlier childhood and then a heartbreaking loss to emerge has one of the 2oth century's leading (female) abstract Expressionist artists, who never liked to paint inside the lines. The stunning

    Helen Frankenthaler's story and her art is beautifully presented through Elizabeth Brown's lush, descriptive text. Gorgeous illustrations by Aimée Sicuro reflect Frankenthaler's unique technique of thinned oil paint and "soak-stained" effect, using unconventional tools. Leading the reader through her happy earlier childhood and then a heartbreaking loss to emerge has one of the 2oth century's leading (female) abstract Expressionist artists, who never liked to paint inside the lines. The stunning spread which includes "Helen dreamed of setting her colors free, like she was as a child, running without boundaries." perfectly encapsulates her art: setting the colors free. Includes richly detailed back matter.

  • Beth Anderson

    The text ebbs and flows and surges, bringing life and energy to Frankenthaler’s story. Knowing what I know now from Elizabeth Brown’s post last week for Behind the Scenes, I can see that her experimentation with and immersion in the techniques the artist used brought forth a text that really imitates the art. Though painting is a rather quiet pursuit, Brown’s tremendous selection of verbs carry the story from Frankenthaler’s heart to our own.

    The softly colored illustrations are warm and inviting

    The text ebbs and flows and surges, bringing life and energy to Frankenthaler’s story. Knowing what I know now from Elizabeth Brown’s post last week for Behind the Scenes, I can see that her experimentation with and immersion in the techniques the artist used brought forth a text that really imitates the art. Though painting is a rather quiet pursuit, Brown’s tremendous selection of verbs carry the story from Frankenthaler’s heart to our own.

    The softly colored illustrations are warm and inviting, free and flowing. This story of a rebel artist who found her way will no doubt inspire kids to play with their own creativity and find their own freedom in art.

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    A wonderful introduction to Helen Frankenthaler and her place in the color field painting movement.

  • Jessie

    I really liked how this showed Frankenthaler's own explorations of ways of doing art throughout her life as well as those she was trained in (like still lifes and cubism) and how she was influenced by other people working (her professors, Pollack).

    The main text mostly doesn't contain her art, but the illustrations use watercolor, ink, and charcoal (and really color in general) in ways that work well with Frankenthaler's own style. The illustrations also did a great job of showing the other style

    I really liked how this showed Frankenthaler's own explorations of ways of doing art throughout her life as well as those she was trained in (like still lifes and cubism) and how she was influenced by other people working (her professors, Pollack).

    The main text mostly doesn't contain her art, but the illustrations use watercolor, ink, and charcoal (and really color in general) in ways that work well with Frankenthaler's own style. The illustrations also did a great job of showing the other styles around her/influencing her.

    Some of the verbs in the text are really part of the illustrations, which was fun. And the use of verbs here in general is great. I was surprised by how dance-y some of it is!

  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh

    Brown introduces young readers to Helen Frankenthaler, who is best known for her big, bold Fields of Color paintings. Helen's love of color and freedom of expression began as a child, when she was encouraged by her parents to follow her instincts about art, even while her teachers were promoting q more realistic style of painting done within the lines. Sadly, at age 11, Helen's colorful inspiration failed her when her beloved father suddenly died, and though she kept painting, it was never the s

    Brown introduces young readers to Helen Frankenthaler, who is best known for her big, bold Fields of Color paintings. Helen's love of color and freedom of expression began as a child, when she was encouraged by her parents to follow her instincts about art, even while her teachers were promoting q more realistic style of painting done within the lines. Sadly, at age 11, Helen's colorful inspiration failed her when her beloved father suddenly died, and though she kept painting, it was never the same as before since it never really expressed what she felt inside. Then, as an adult, Helen met Jackson Pollock, and she realized that if he could break the rules, so could she. But it took a trip to Nova Scotia to really free Helen's painting. And what Helen created were paintings seeped in colors and deep emotion - a technique called "soak stain" where the paint is allowed to seep into the canvas. Sicuro's watercolor illustrations are energetic and bright, and without trying to recreate the soak stain techniques, she nevertheless manages to capture the sense of Helen Frankenthaler's paintings. Back matter includes More About Helen Frankenthaler, a Timeline of her life, Author's Note, Quotes and Sources, and an extensive Select Bibliography. Also included is a Poured Paint/Soak-Stain Activity that kids can do to really understand how Helen's technique works, and the most important thing to remember for this activity - there are no rules!

  • Jaime

    I love reading biographical picture books. They are amazing because they have a way of getting to the heart of the person quickly. This book stays within that structure and shows quickly how important color was to the artist, Helen Frankenthaler. I enjoyed learning about her infatuation with colors. I especially enjoyed the author's note at the end of the book.

  • Calista

    This beginning biography tells the story of Helen Frankenthaler. I admit to never have heard of her before. I thought this looked like a book of color and flowers and perfect for spring. How lucky it’s so much more.

    Helen is an abstract artist and she would smear color and soak it into her canvases. She used color like it was an emotion. The artwork in the book is wonderful. There are splashes of color all over the place. Growing up, Helen lived in a world of color. I can relate a lot with Helen

    This beginning biography tells the story of Helen Frankenthaler. I admit to never have heard of her before. I thought this looked like a book of color and flowers and perfect for spring. How lucky it’s so much more.

    Helen is an abstract artist and she would smear color and soak it into her canvases. She used color like it was an emotion. The artwork in the book is wonderful. There are splashes of color all over the place. Growing up, Helen lived in a world of color. I can relate a lot with Helen. I love bright colors and I surround myself with them. I like them messy and bright and everywhere. When I had my own Condo, people would call it the crayola box. Color gushed out everywhere. People weren’t used to so much color. I miss my bathroom which was floor to ceiling blue with fish stickers all over the walls. It was pure fun.

    Helen also met Jackson Pollock and that really opened her up. She is a famous artist respected in her field and now I have learned a little something about her.

    The kids thought this book was great. They loved the thought of being able to use your body to paint and they loved the message of breaking all the rules. That appealed to them, imagine that. I think this was good for the niece. She is a perfectionist. She felt emotions reading this and seeing all the colors. She couldn’t say why, but she liked this. She gave it 4 stars. The nephew thought it was a cool book. He gave this 3 stars. They both want to get out a big roll of paper and paint on it now. This weekend, I told them.

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