Yayoi Kusama Inspired Dot Art

"Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity. When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment." 
–Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who is famous for her use of polka dots. Kusama creates paintings, sculptures and even entire rooms filled with dots. The process of creating hundreds of dots becomes meditative for Kusama.
 
The Harn has one of Kusama’s paintings in our collection entitled Infinity-Nets (TWOS).
How do you think Kusama created this painting?

What You’ll Need 

Paper (any kind or size)
Markers 
Colored pencils or crayons
Watercolor, tempera or acrylic paint
Household items to create circular stamps such as cans, bottle caps, marker caps, mugs, buttons, etc.
 

What You’ll Do 

1. Begin by drawing circles on your paper using pencil or trace circles using cans, cups or other cylindrical objects.
2. Color in your circles using markers, colored pencils or any other drawing material you have.
3. Experiment with stamping dots or circles using objects such as marker caps, mugs, cups etc. Use paint to stamp the objects onto your paper. 
4. Continue filling your paper with dots and circles of all sizes! How many can you make? 
 

Tips and Tricks 

Experiment with layering dots and circles on top of each other.
Use washable objects to create your circle and dot stamps or objects you can throw away or recycle afterwards.  
Repeat this activity to figure out the techniques that produce the best print! 
The thicker the paper the better. Cardstock or tagboard are recommended. When it's dry, you can fold it in half and give it to someone as a card.
This activity can get messy! Have a washcloth and water on hand for cleanup. 
 

Image: Yayoi Kusama, Nets-Infinity (TWOS), 2004, Acrylic on canvas, Museum purchase, funds provided by the David A. Cofrin Art Acquisition Endowment and friends of the Harn Museum.