What Expectations of Normal Are You Letting Go of Today?
A surrealist activity for unreal times.
Materials: Absolutely anything. You could start with a pencil and paper.
During these times when all of our notions of normal are flying out the door, we have a great opportunity to learn from the Surrealist artists who made art in response to the limitations of rational thought during times gone mad in the early to middle 20th century. Check out some Surrealist artworks for inspiration and then create your own artwork in response to the question “what expectations of normal are you letting go of today?” The great thing is you don’t even need art supplies to make surrealist art—you can use anything you have at home. There are no rules. You can even use art supplies if you do have them!
Surrealism was a cultural movement in art and literature that began in the mid 1920s and lasted through the second World War. Surrealists wished to overthrow the oppressive rules that guided modern society using whatever artistic means they could. They intentionally attacked the notion of rational thought by tapping into their subconscious minds, for here lay a superior reality.
To do this, artists exploited chance effects in their art by giving up control of their pens, brushes, and other tools. They also filled their art with unexpected juxtapositions of objects and ideas. Surrealist art encouraged experiment, fun, the use of found objects, giving up control and the incorporation of dreams.
At this moment, there might not be a better type of art to get into. So, let’s do it! To learn a little bit about surrealism and for artistic inspiration, check out Surrealist artworks in Mia’s collection at the bottom of the page.
Now it is time to make your own surrealist artwork in response to the question “What expectations of normal are you letting go of today?”
Next, try a couple of these ideas to get your subconscious mind working:
- Tap into some of the dreams you’ve been having
- Sketch (or write down) all of the things going on right now that you never imagined you would be living through.
- Shut your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. As you are breathing, what images or thoughts are coming into your mind?
- Grab a pencil and shut or lower your eyes. Just let your hand go and see what happens.
- Do something else—breaking artistic rules is the name of the game
Finally, use whatever objects, stuff, art and other materials to create your artwork. Remember, there are no rules! You could make a collage, assemblage, drawing, painting, print, or even some other type of art we haven’t thought of yet.