Modifying Moods

The Big Idea:

How can art communicate mood? How can artists give concrete form to abstract ideas?

Activity overview

How can art communicate mood? This question was one of the main motivations for the artist Nathan Oliveira to explore the world of abstraction. In this activity you will describe the mood of a picture, then shift the mood by changing the picture.

Look closely

Click on each artist button at right to view detailed screens about the artist and his or her works. Be sure to click on all images, view all videos, read all documents, and look closely at the works of art.

In this activity you will:

  1. choose a picture and write a description of it and its mood
  2. alter the picture to modify its mood
  3. exchange pictures with a classmate and respond to each other's work

You will be graded on:

  1. detail and completeness of description
  2. effort in changing the mood of a picture
  3. analysis of changes in your classmate's picture
  4. analysis of an additional artwork (optional)

New terms:

abstraction, mood