Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Raindrop of Alistair McClymont

The inspiration for this project is based on the work of the British sculptor Alistair McClymont. His work is now exhibited at Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) Everything we are capable of seeing

We looked at his work and were impressed how the artist uses a variety of machines to create natural phenomena. McClymont demonstrates the close connection of art and science. His artistic process is unique as he is using machines to create "tornadoes," night-time rainbows, and suspended raindrops in mid-air.

He writes: "My artwork is a continuing process of discovery and experimentation. Each piece follows the last in a continual journey of investigation into cultural and physical phenomena. The work is underlined by a search for what it is to be human. This might be our position in time and space on a grand scale, or singular observations on subjects that fascinate me. Each piece takes a small subject and breaks it down into something understandable and perhaps beautiful."

For our interpretation of the raindrop we decided to create a frozen one.
We filled small balloons with water and a drop or two of liquid color and placed the balloons in the freezer overnight. The next day we cut off the latex, and voila! We have created colorful frozen water drops.  

Alistair McClymont: Raindrop

I took a picture of the machine that allows the water drop to suspend in mid-air
The artist considers the process used to create his works more important than the actual finished product.

The artist took photographs of the raindrop

We created frozen water drops by freezing the water balloons.

We could see the smaller water drops frozen within the large mass of ice.  

We decided to use the frozen water drops to create colorful compositions
Students applied the water colors directly out of the tube and into their water color paper

We used our frozen rain drops in place of a brush to blend the colors

Frozen hands in a action

We discussed the properties of water
Connecting science to art was part of this project

Student comment: " I made a rainbow just like Mr. McClymont."


  1. I have not come across this kind of art before. Your students must have thoroughly enjoyed such a very 'special' art lesson. How make a!

    We must both be very influenced by scientific thinking at the moment.
    A wonderful post:)

  2. This is SOOOOO clever!! Love the science, love the process, love the art!!!!

  3. Very interesting art project based on the great work of the British sculptor Alistair McClymont !!!
    Have a very nice and creative new week !!!

  4. How wonderful ... these results are beautiful ...! Abstractions excellent colors and delicate shapes and evocative. I love it, great experience!

  5. Awesome!!!Congratulations !! Fantastic results!!Thank you for sharing!!Have a nice and creative month!! Kisses from Greece.

  6. Wow! Such an inventive project! Like others have said, what a wonderful combination of science and art. And I particularly like the fact that the art is beautiful all on its' own.

  7. Realmente sensacional!!!!

  8. Wow, what a wonderful project!! How the children must have loved this lesson.

  9. Very interesting experimentation with ice and paint, the results are surprising. They note that students have enjoyed this project.

  10. nice inspiration!! well done!!!! I wish you a happy week!

  11. Simply amazing! The abstract watercolour creations that resulted from this are stunning; they remind me a bit of Helen Frankenthaler's work. The kids must have LOVED this process :)