Activity: Create a Painting Inspired by Ruth Root

  • Grades: All Ages
  • Subjects: Art Activities

Ruth Root is known for the ways she plays with shapes, color, and materials in her work to create interesting patterns. Watch this video for a quick introduction to her style!

Dig Deeper with These Questions:

  • Ruth Root describes her work as an experiment. What does that mean to you? In what ways do you experiment? Why might Ruth Root call her artworks experiments?
  • Choose one of the paintings. Pause the video and look closely. What do you notice?
  • Choose another painting. Compare it to the first one you selected. What is similar? What is different?

Create a Ruth Root–Inspired Artwork

  1. Look around your house at the shapes of doors, furniture, kitchen items, things that you like. Draw them on your paper/cardboard. Draw them in different sizes.
  2. Draw, color, or paint patterns on your shapes inspired by your thoughts and objects.
  3. Cut out your shapes.
  4. Arrange them together and overlap the pieces. Rearrange them. Which arrangement do you find most interesting. Why?
  5. When you have determined the best arrangement, glue your pieces together.

Remember, Ruth Root’s work is typically never square or rectangular. What shape is your final work?