Paint and Draw

Paint a statement bag

Decorate a bag with words that express a feeling or emotion

The idea

Kid using a stencil to paint on a bag

© Tate

The paintings in the slideshow below are by the artist Michael Craig-Martin. They are from a series call Seven Deadly Sins. Click through them and look at how he has overlaid the letters on top of each other and used really bright colours. Can you see what the words are? It’s kind of hard to read them.

He has also painted some everyday objects over the letters like chairs and umbrellas. What else can you see?

Michael Craig-Martin, ‘Anger’ 2008
Michael Craig-Martin
Anger 2008
Tate
© Michael Craig-Martin
Michael Craig-Martin, ‘Greed’ 2008
Michael Craig-Martin
Greed 2008
Tate
© Michael Craig-Martin
Michael Craig-Martin, ‘Envy’ 2008
Michael Craig-Martin
Envy 2008
Tate
© Michael Craig-Martin

What you need

  • Fabric paints (or fabric pens)
  • Canvas bag
  • Card
  • Paper
  • Paint, brushes and sponges
  • Scissors

Step 1

Michael Craig-Martin, ‘Pride’ 2008
Michael Craig-Martin
Pride 2008
Tate
© Michael Craig-Martin

Write down as many emotion words as you can think of. Cut these up, put them in a bag and pick one out. Here are some ideas for emotions or feelings:

Love, envy, shame, rage, greed, boredom, joy, jealousy, hope...

(Can you think of any more?)

Step 2

Michael Craig-Martin, ‘Reading with Globe’ 1980
Michael Craig-Martin
Reading with Globe 1980
Tate
© Michael Craig-Martin

Now it's time for some word association! When you look at the word. What does it make you think about? Think of an everyday object that is related to this emotion.

For example, for me, these are the everyday objects that I associate with these emotions:

Rage = Zips
Joy = Nail varnish
Love = Books

Step 3

School children drawing their designs

© Tate

Plan and draw your designs.

Step 4

Stencils and paint

© Tate

Kid stencilling his design onto a bag

© Tate

Kid drawing onto bag with fabric pens

© Tate

Girl painting on bag

© Tate

Kid drawing a design on her bag

© Tate

Make your stencils.

Print and paint on your canvas bag. (We put some newspaper in the canvas bag to make sure the colour didn't bleed to the other side).

Paint the word first and then the everyday objects.

Step 5

Painted bag

© Tate

Painted bag

© Tate

Painted bag

© Tate

painted bags

© Tate

And there you go! You have a fantastic (and very cool) statement bag!

The lovely Year 7 textile class at Esher Church of England High School in Surrey, were kind enough to be the first to try out this activity. Have a look at some of their amazing creations in the slideshow above.

More to explore