One of my favorite February art lessons with my littlest students in first grade is our "Jim Dine Valentines" project.
Dine, one of the premier American artists of the mid-20th century, is still a force in the art world today at the age of 81. Although most known for his images of colorful hearts, Dine produced a much greater variety of artworks in his long career, most notably carefully rendered drawings of common objects such as hammers, pliers, and other tools, colorful paintings of kimonos and the iconic character, Pinocchio, and large sculptured hearts.
Although his friendship with Claes Oldenburg and gallery exhibitions with such artists as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol led to Jim Dine often being classified as a "pop artist", Dine did not consider himself to be a part of the Pop Art Movement. Nonetheless, his work is always a hit with my students, who love creating their own "heart art" using oil pastels and pan tempera paints! And, since I like to work along with my students, I now have my own collection of Jim Dine inspired art to share, along with a few of my favorite "love quotes".