Inspired {James Rizzi}

This week for our Inspired series we explored the bright colors and bold lines of 
James Rizzi

I first discovered James Rizzi in an unfortunate way
I learned of his recent death on Deep Space Sparkle's Facebook page.
I was intrigued by the picture that was posted with the article and had to find out more about him.
I found this neat video slideshow of some of his work
Then I found this great Skype interview he did with an elementary after school art class
View Part 2 of the interview here you can also read about it from the art teacher (conducting the interview) on her blog here.
How awesome is he!?
You can really tell he enjoyed what he did
and was interested in helping and encouraging future artists.
At one point in Part 1 of the interview, Rizzi was asked what his favorite medium was.
He responded with acrylics on canvas.
So I decided that would be what we tried.

Acrylic Paint
Paper or Canvas
(we used 100lb Bristol paper)
Black Marker

How To
To try and create a piece of work in the style of James Rizzi 
we viewed quite a few pictures of his work online.
I discussed with the girls how he painted the things he saw around him.
His home, New York City, the people he saw, and the things that made him happy.
So I asked C what she would like to paint, she chose a butterfly.
I'm not 100% sure on what Rizzi's process was, so I did what would be easiest for the girls
We drew our images on paper with pencil first
then painted in the images with our bright colors.
When our paintings were dry
we traced around them with black permanent marker.
C's finished butterfly is in the middle.

 The above method proved to be a bit difficult for C.
The acrylics were harder for her to paint with to fill in the larger spaces,
so I decided to try a simpler version of Rizzi style art.
Deep Space Sparkle has a James Rizzi Art Lesson
that uses watercolor and oil pastel
I thought C would enjoy this better since the oil pastel draws easily on the paper without a lot of pressure and the watercolor fills a larger space with less effort.
Almost instant gratification
C drew an adorable little Shrek-like person
when it came time to paint in the features with the watercolor
she was a little over ambitious and completely covered the whole person in a red blob of color.
Though we really enjoyed learning about James Rizzi and giving his technique a try, 
I discovered that C (and definitely A) are not quite ready to create in his style.
Rizzi is definitely an artist we will be revisiting in the future
He is known for creating 3D constructions
as well as 
interactive magnetic paintings (FUN!)
which consist of different backgrounds (with metal behind them) and magnetic figures that can be moved around the painting.
I think the girls would enjoy playing around with those ideas when they are a bit older.

Here are the two pieces I created using the different techniques!
What artists or art movements inspire you?

Dilly-Dali Art
Lilypie Third Birthday tickersLilypie Fifth Birthday tickers


  1. Thank you for introducing me to new artists! It was very clever of you to adapt the style differently for each child. They are surely learning a lot! I'm really wanting to try that magnetic art!

    1. Doesn't the magnetic art sound like fun!? I'd love to be able to see some of his work in person, so bright, colorful and fun! I'm glad I was able to discover this artist :)

  2. I am just in love with this series. At the risk of sounding really ignorant, I don't know a lot about successful artists, so I am learning a lot from it. Thank you!!

    These looks similar to another technique using black liquid glue and water colors. But my daughter loves when she gets to work with Mommy's permanent markers, so I want try with the materials you used.

    1. Yay Rebekah! I'm glad to be introducing you to new artists! I have a confession, I don't know much about artists either! Both of the artists I've posted about so far have been recent discoveries to me!

      The black liquid glue and watercolors technique sounds fun! My girl's loved using Mommy's markers, they are stored away from little hands so it is a big deal to them to be able to use them :)

  3. I love this! I can't wait til my little one is old enough to study and be inspired like this!

    1. Thank you Charlotte! I think it's fun to explore with just the materials for the younger ones, if they're safe materials of course. My 2 year old really had no idea what was going on but she really enjoyed sitting down and creating with us :)

  4. you are such a cool mom! Great creator :)
    ofcourse iam pinning it

    1. Thank you for visiting and for sharing, Angelique!

  5. The Iowa Farmer's WifeThursday, January 19, 2023

    Wow so neat! You are a great artist! And the butterfly turned out great!

    1. I love the butterfly too! So colorful :)

  6. What beautiful creations! I love art inspired by other famous artists. I will need to try something like this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Kristina! I love art inspired by others as well. It's really a great way to learn about new techniques and new artists!

  7. Thank you for posting great things about Jimmy and his art. Yes he was a awesome person and he did love to help people. He recently had a school named after him in Germany and has scholorship programs with the University of Florida. He loved what he did and was the most un-selfish person you ever met. I hope he is smiling up there, knowing that he has touched so many. My family hopes to continue his legacy.
    Thank you,
    Laura Rizzi


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