miro-Ciphers-and-Constellations-in-Love-with-a-Woman Joan Miró (1893-1983) is a Spanish artist who painted with beautiful lines, shapes, and bright colors. His art inspires the imagination with abstract figures, bold colors and interesting shapes. Today marks the anniversary of his 123rd birthday.

We at the Phoenix Center for the Arts encourage you to celebrate this world-renowned abstract painter by helping your child explore writing through imagination. Follow the steps below to use your child’s creative expression to develop their writing skills as easy as 1-2-3 in honor of Miro’s 123rd birthday.

  1. the-smile-of-the-flamboyant-wings ANALYZE THE ARTWORK: Look at some of Miro’s paintings and discuss with your child. Ask them questions, such as “What do you see in the pictures? What stories might they tell? What shapes do you see? What colors is he using? Do the drawing remind you of things? What? Which picture do you like best and why?”
  1. TELL A STORY: Chose one Miró painting and create a short story about it together. Use this template to Upside Down Figures Joan Miro guide you or use your imagination.

One day__________.

Next __________.

Then __________.

Finally __________.

Once your narrative is complete, discuss what elements of the painting inspired your story.

  1. CREATE A MIRÓ-INSPIRED DRAWING: First, use a black crayon or marker and draw lines, shapes and figures on a blank sheet of paper. Ask your child to draw whatever comes to mind. Miró believed in following subconscious instinct. You can also incorporate ideas from his paintings.

Melancholic Singer Joan Miro Next, have your child use bright crayons or watercolors to fill in their drawing with bold colors in the style of Miró.

Finally, have your child tell you a short story about their Miró inspired drawing. You can write it down for them, leave spaces for them to write key words, or use the template above and have them write out phrases.

These simple ideas can be applied to any artist and will help you to develop your child’s writing skills and love of artwork throughout the year.

Haley Honeman is the outreach intern at Phoenix Center for the Arts. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and will graduate with her Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre for Youth from ASU in May. She has worked as a teaching artist around the Valley with Childsplay, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Rising Youth Theatre and Desert Foothills Theatre. She is also the resident digital storytelling artist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.