Lesson Plan: Bill Montgomery’s “Living Room”

This lesson plan contains the Texas TEKS for Elementary, Middle, and High School art teachers. Students will learn about the Surrealism used in Bill Montgomery’s Living Room. Afterwards, the students will make a Surrealist composition using color pastels.


If you use or reference this lesson plan, please leave a comment with your feedback. The lesson plan can be downloaded in the link below.


Bill Montgomery, Living Room, 1988, pastel on paper, 22 inches X 30 inches, Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas.

Culture: American

Subject: Fine Art, Art History

Collection: Tyler Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection

Grades: Elementary School, Middle School and High School

Topics: Artistic Practices, Art History, Critical Thinking, and Surrealism


Art Vocabulary

Activity Vocabulary:

Bill Montgomery:

  • Bill Montgomery is an American printmaker and painter, who was born in 1953 in Tyler, Texas. He developed his art style by first studying at Kanas City Art Institute. Later, he furthered his art methods at the University of New Mexico. His work focuses on animals, natural environments, and urban environments. He specifically expresses how the natural and industrial scenes merge and interact. This interest in capturing landscapes and figures was inspired by his study abroad in Italy at the Academia de Bella Atti de Perugia. In addition to painting the merging of landscapes, he captures the natural beauty of flora and fauna that are observed in Texas. A collection of his environmental work was discussed in the book Of Rivers and Texas Art, which was published by Andrew Sansom and William E. Reaves from the Texas A&M University Press.

Living Room:

  • The artwork depicts a well-dressed man sitting in a lounge chair. He is accompanied with a lamp on a nightstand. The chair is placed outdoors in an abandoned car parking lot that is overgrown with grass and trees. In the midground, the viewer identifies a Del-Monte advertisement. In the background, a large city that fades into the night.
  • The scene is foreboding and plays on the viewer’s confusion. Montgomery’s Surrealist composition merges the living room setting, the natural setting, and the urban setting together.
  • This artwork is a draft of the final composition, titled Living Room with Coyotes. The artwork can be seen below.

Bill (William) Montgomery, Living Room with Coyotes, 1988, oil painting on canvas, 36 inches X 48 inches, Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas.

Surrealism:

  • Surrealism is an art movement in which artists create dream-like compositions. Objects, animals, people, and settings, that are imaginary or real, are combined to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional media. The common imagery in most Surrealist compositions is a connection to the subconscious mind and free-form thought. The art movement thrived in the early to mid-twentieth century.  

Pastel:

  • Pastel is a dry medium that is compacted vibrant pigment in chalk-form. The artists use the medium by making marks on the paper or canvas and blending the colors together.

Elements of Design:

  • Artists use the elements of design to create the foundation of the artwork. The elements of art include: line, shape, form, space, color, and texture.

Line:

  • An element of design; line is created on a surface with a pointed moving tool. Lines can range in size, width, texture, and presentation. Common types of line are vertical, horizontal, diagonal, zig-zag, and curved.

Shape:

  • An element of design; shape is a two-dimensional enclosed space that represents either an organic shape or a geometric shape. Geometric shapes include squares, circles, rectangles, triangles and other standard geometric shapes. Organic shapes include natural non-geometric shapes that are developed from curvilinear lines.

Form:

  • An element of design; form is a three-dimensional enclosed space that represents organic and geometric shapes in a third space. Geometric forms include cubes, spheres, triangular prisms, rectangular prisms, and cones. Organic shapes include three-dimensional forms observed in nature, such as trees, rivers, and rocks.

Space:

  • An element of design; this term defines the surface area between, before, and behind an object in a composition.

Color:

  • An element of design; this term defines the pigments used in a painting. Color can be organized into categories, such as: hues, values, complements, and intensity.

Texture:

  • An element of design; this term defines an artwork’s surface. The artist’s use of the chosen medium creates either implied or actual texture.

Principles of Design:

  • Artists used principles of design to build upon the foundational elements of design. This includes the following: rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and unity. 

Rhythm/ Pattern:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the repetitive imagery and elements of design found in a composition.

Movement:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the visual movement observed in a painting. This can be identified as kinetic movement or implied movement. Additionally, movement can be defined as how the viewer’s eye moves throughout the composition.

Balance:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the arrangement of the presented imagery with the elements of design. It refers to either asymmetrical compositions or symmetrical compositions.

Proportion:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the comparative size between objects in the composition. It can refer to the imagery within a painting or the size between a sculpture and a real object.

Variety:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the combination of imagery, objects, and ideas in an artwork.

Emphasis:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the most prominent area in a composition. The viewer’s eye is drawn to this point because the artist used a mixture of the elements and principles of design.

Unity:

  • A principle of design; this term defines how the elements and principles of design are combined within a composition.

Bibliography: Resources for Vocabulary and Lesson Plan

“Art Term: Pastel.” Tate Modern. Updated 2022. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/pastel.

“Art Term: Surrealism.” Tate Modern. Updated 2022. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/s/surrealism.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.102: Art, Kindergarten, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=102.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.105: Art, Grade 1, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=105.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.108: Art, Grade 2, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=108.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.111: Art, Grade 3, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=111.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.114: Art, Grade 4, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=114.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.117: Art, Grade 5, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=117.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.202: Art, Middle School 1, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=202.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.203: Art, Middle School 2, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=203.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.204: Art, Middle School 3, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=204.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.302: Art, Level I, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=302.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.303: Art, Level II, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=303.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.304: Art, Level III, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=304.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.305: Art, Level IV, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=305.

Ragan, Rosalins. “Elements of Art.” In Art Talk, 61 – 211. Edited by Bennett and McKnight Division. San Francisco: Glencoe Publishing Company, 1988.

Ragan, Rosalins. “The Principles of Design.” In Art Talk, 211 – 347. Edited by Bennett and McKnight Division. San Francisco: Glencoe Publishing Company, 1988.

Sansom, Andrew, and Reaves, William E. “Featured Art: William Montgomery.” In Of Texas Rivers and Texas Art. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2017. Ebook: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Of_Texas_Rivers_and_Texas_Art/S2QaDgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=william+montgomery+Texas&printsec=frontcover.

Tomio, Kimberly Bush. “Object Record: Living Room.” Tyler Museum of Art. Updated 2021. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://tylermuseum.pastperfectonline.com/webobject/ED7E39C0-9ED3-4EC5-AF38-740253740983.

Tomio, Kimberly Bush. “Object Record: Living Room with Coyotes.” Tyler Museum of Art. Updated 2021. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://tylermuseum.pastperfectonline.com/webobject/282A4943-3AB0-43A4-94F3-031055141850.

“William Montgomery: Biography.” Foltz Gallery. Accessed January 31, 2022, https://foltzgallery.com/artist/william-montgomery#:~:text=William%20Montgomery%20is%20a%20painter,Elgin%2C%20just%20east%20of%20Austin.&text=Montgomery%20is%20also%20an%20accomplished,of%20Texas%20and%20its%20residents.


Elementary School Lesson Plans


Goals:

Elementary School Students of all levels will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify the elements of design used in the artwork;
  • Students will learn about Surrealism;
  • Students will learn about William Montgomery’s implementation of Surrealism in his work Living Room;
  • Students will create their own Surrealist artwork by combining an object, an animal, and themselves in a pastel composition.

Texas Elementary School TEKS:

Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade


Kindergarten:

  • §117.102.b.1.A / B
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • gather information from subjects in the environment using the senses;
      • identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, and form, and the principles of design, including repetition/pattern and balance, in the environment.
  • §117.102.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • create artworks using a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and forms;
      • arrange components intuitively to create artworks;
  • §117.102.b.3. A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple subjects expressed in artworks;
  • §117.102.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • express ideas about personal artworks or portfolios;
      • express ideas found in collections such as real or virtual art museums, galleries, portfolios, or exhibitions using original artworks created by artists or peers;

First Grade:

  • §117.105.b.1.A / B
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify similarities, differences, and variations among subjects in the environment using the senses;
      • identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, and form, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, and balance, in nature and human-made environments.
  • §117.105.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • invent images that combine a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and forms;
      • place components in orderly arrangements to create designs;
  • §117.105.b.3. A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple ideas expressed in artworks through different media;
  • §117.105.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • explain ideas about personal artworks;
      • identify ideas found in collections such as real or virtual art museums, galleries, portfolios, or exhibitions using original artworks created by artists or peers.

Second Grade:

  • §117.108.b.1.A / B
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • compare and contrast variations in objects and subjects from the environment using the senses;
      • identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, and space, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, and balance.
  • §117.108.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • express ideas and feelings in personal artworks using a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, forms, and space;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design;
  • §117.108.b.3. A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      •  interpret stories, content, and meanings in a variety of artworks;
  • §117.108.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • support reasons for preferences in personal artworks;
      • compare and contrast ideas found in collections such as real or virtual art museums, galleries, portfolios, or exhibitions using original artworks created by artists or peers;

Third Grade:

  • §117.111.b.1.A / B / C
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • explore ideas from life experiences about self, peers, family, school, or community and from the imagination as sources for original works of art;
      • use appropriate vocabulary when discussing the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity;
      • discuss the elements of art as building blocks and the principles of design as organizers of works of art.
  • §117.111.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression
      • integrate ideas drawn from life experiences to create original works of art;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design;
  • §117.111.b.3. A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple main ideas expressed in artworks from various times and places;
  • §117.111.b.4. A / B / C
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • evaluate the elements of art, principles of design, or expressive qualities in artworks of self, peers, and historical and contemporary artists;
      • use methods such as oral response or artist statements to identify main ideas found in collections of artworks created by self, peers, and major historical or contemporary artists in real or virtual portfolios, galleries, or art museums;

Fourth Grade:

  • §117.114.b.1.A / B / C
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • explore and communicate ideas drawn from life experiences about self, peers, family, school, or community and from the imagination as sources for original works of art;
      • use appropriate vocabulary when discussing the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity;
      • discuss the elements of art as building blocks and the principles of design as organizers of works of art.
  • §117.114.b.2. A / B / C
    • Creative Expression:
      • integrate ideas drawn from life experiences to create original works of art;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design; and
      • produce drawings; paintings; prints; sculpture, including modeled forms; and other art forms such as ceramics, fiber art, constructions, mixed media, installation art, digital art and media, and photographic imagery using a variety of art media and materials.
  • §117.114.b.3. A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • compare content in artworks for various purposes such as the role art plays in reflecting life, expressing emotions, telling stories, or documenting history and traditions;
  • §117.114.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • evaluate the elements of art, principles of design, intent, or expressive qualities in artworks of self, peers, and historical and contemporary artists.
      • use methods such as written or oral response or artist statements to identify emotions found in collections of artworks created by self, peers, and major historical or contemporary artists in real or virtual portfolios, galleries, or art museums;

Fifth Grade:

  • §117.117.b.1.A / B / C
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • develop and communicate ideas drawn from life experiences about self, peers, family, school, or community and from the imagination as sources for original works of art;
      • use appropriate vocabulary when discussing the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity; and
      • discuss the elements of art as building blocks and the principles of design as organizers of works of art.
  • §117.117.b.2. A / B / C
    • Creative Expression:
      • integrate ideas drawn from life experiences to create original works of art;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design;
      • produce drawings; paintings; prints; sculpture, including modeled forms; and other art forms such as ceramics, fiber art, constructions, digital art and media, and photographic imagery using a variety of materials.
  • §117.117.b.3. A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • compare the purpose and effectiveness of artworks from various times and places, evaluating the artist’s use of media and techniques, expression of emotions, or use of symbols;
  • §117.117.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • evaluate the elements of art, principles of design, general intent, media and techniques, or expressive qualities in artworks of self, peers, or historical and contemporary artists;
      • use methods such as written or oral response or artist statements to identify themes found in collections of artworks created by self, peers, and major historical or contemporary artists in real or virtual portfolios, galleries, or art museums;

Elementary School Art Activity


Questions for Elementary School Students:

  1. Examine William Montgomery’s Living Room. Identify where each element of art is located in the artwork.
  2. Examine William Montgomery’s Living Room. Identify where each principle of art is located in the artwork.
  3. What is Surrealism?
  4. Can you describe Surrealism after looking at William Montgomery’s work Living Room?

Activity: Elementary School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Color Pastels, Pencil, Drawing Paper, Spray Fixative to be Used by the Teacher
  • Subject: Surrealism, Pastel Artwork, Blending Colors
  • Texas TEKS: Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade
  • Duration: Extended Project

The students will study William Montgomery’s artwork Living Room and learn about Surrealism. Next, the students will create a Surrealist artwork, which is inspired by the Surrealism depicted in Montgomery’s pastel piece. The students will select an object (examples include a car, house, or sign), and an animal to draw with a self-portrait of themselves. The student will draw their subjects in a setting they will select, such as a city, forest, home, etc. The subjects will be drawn with pencil on drawing paper.

Once the pencil drawing is completed, and the teacher has approved of the drawing, the students will begin to color the piece with color pastels. The goal of the projects is for the students to effectively use pastels to color the object, animal, themselves, and the setting. The combination of the imagery will create a Surrealist artwork that showcases the grade level’s proficiency with the pastel medium. To finish the artwork, the teacher will spray the student’s artwork with spray fixative.


Activity: Elementary School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Artist Statement, Surrealism
  • Texas TEKS: Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade
  • Duration: Extended Project

After the student has completed their Surrealist pastel artwork, they will write a one-page artist statement. The students will explain why they chose the landscape, animal, and object. And, the student will explain how their artwork exhibits Surrealism.

The artist statement and the Surrealist artwork will be submitted to the teacher as a completed project.


Middle School Lesson Plans


Goals:

Middle School Students of all Levels will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify the elements of design used in the artwork;
  • Students will learn about Surrealism;
  • Students will learn about William Montgomery’s implementation of Surrealism in his work Living Room;
  • Students will create their own Surrealist artwork by combining an object, an animal, and a landscape from a photograph to create a pastel composition.

Texas Middle School TEKS:

Art 1, Art 2, Art 3


Art 1:

  • §117.202.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify and illustrate concepts from direct observation, original sources, personal experiences, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national, and international;
      • understand and apply the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using art vocabulary appropriately;
      • understand and apply the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artworks using art vocabulary appropriately;
      • discuss the expressive properties of artworks such as appropriation, meaning, narrative, message, and symbol using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.202.c.1.A / C
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artworks based on direct observations, original sources, personal experiences, and the community;
      • produce artworks, including drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures/modeled forms, ceramics, fiber art, photographic imagery, and digital art and media, using a variety of materials.
  • §117.202.c.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify the influence of historical and political events in artworks;
      • identify examples of art that convey universal themes such as beliefs, cultural narrative, life cycles, the passage of time, identity, conflict, and cooperation;
  • §117.202.c.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • create written or oral responses to artwork using appropriate art vocabulary;
      • analyze original artworks using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Art 2:

  • §117.203.b.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify and illustrate ideas from direct observation, original sources, imagination, personal experiences, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national, and international;
      • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • understand and apply the expressive properties of artworks such as appropriation, meaning, narrative, message, and symbol using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.203.b.1.A / C
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artworks that express a variety of ideas based on direct observations, original sources, and personal experiences, including memory, identity, imagination, and the community;
      • apply technical skills effectively using a variety of materials to produce artworks, including drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures/modeled forms, ceramics, fiber art, photographic imagery, and digital art and media;
  • §117.203.b.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • analyze ways that global, cultural, historical, and political issues influence artworks;
      • analyze selected artworks to determine contemporary relevance in relationship to universal themes such as belief, cultural narrative, life cycles, the passage of time, identity, conflict, and cooperation;
  • §117.203.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • create written or oral responses about personal or collaborative artworks addressing purpose, technique, organization, judgment, and personal expression;
      • analyze original artworks using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Art 3:

  • §117.203.b.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify and illustrate concepts from direct observation, original sources, imagination, personal experience, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national, and international;
      • evaluate the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • evaluate the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • compare and contrast the expressive properties of artworks, including appropriation, meaning, narrative, message, and symbol, using vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.203.b.1.A / C
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artworks expressing themes found through direct observation; original sources; personal experiences, including memory, identity, and imagination; and the community;
      • create artworks by selecting appropriate art materials, including drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures/modeled forms, ceramics, fiber art, photographic imagery, and digital art and media;
  • §117.203.b.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • analyze ways in which global, contemporary, historical, and political issues have influenced art;
      • analyze cultural ideas expressed in artworks relating to social, political, and environmental themes such as environment/nature, conflict and power, relationships to others, and reality/fantasy;
  • §117.203.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • create written and oral responses about personal or collaborative artworks addressing purpose, technique, organization, judgment, and personal expression;
      • analyze original artworks and portfolios using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Middle School Art Activities


Questions for Middle School Students:

  1. Examine William Montgomery’s Living Room. Identify where each element of art is located in the artwork.
  2. Examine William Montgomery’s Living Room. Identify where each principle of art is located in the artwork.
  3. What is Surrealism?
  4. Can you describe Surrealism after looking at William Montgomery’s work Living Room?
  5. Does William Montgomery effectively use Surrealism in his piece? Why or why not?

Activity: Middle School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Color Pastels, Pencil, Drawing Paper, Spray Fixative to be Used by the Teacher
  • Subject: Surrealism, Pastel Artwork, Blending Colors
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Extended Project

The students will study William Montgomery’s artwork Living Room and learn about Surrealism. Next, the students will create a Surrealist artwork, which is inspired by the Surrealism depicted in Montgomery’s pastel piece. The students will take a photo of a landscape or an environment. The environment can exhibit urban development or nature. The student will bring the photo to class. Next, the student will select an object (examples include a car, house, or sign), and an animal to add to the scene. The student can use references for the chosen object and animal. Then, the student will begin drawing the photographed landscape/environment using pencil on drawing paper. After the landscape is finished, the student will draw their chosen object and animal into the scene.

Once the pencil drawing is completed, and the teacher has approved of the drawing, the students will begin to color the piece with color pastels. The goal of the project is for the students to effectively use pastels to render the composition. The combination of the landscape/environment with the chosen subject will create a Surrealist artwork that showcases the student’s proficiency with the pastel medium. To finish the artwork, the teacher will spray the student’s artwork with spray fixative.


Activity: Middle School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Artist Statement, Surrealism
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Extended Project

After the student has completed their Surrealist pastel artwork, they will write a one-page artist statement. The students will explain why they chose the photographed landscape, animal, and object. Next, they will describe how they arrange the animal, object, and landscape to create a Surrealist artwork. The students should use the vocabulary works as well as the elements and principles when they describe their artwork.

The artist statement and the Surrealist artwork will be submitted to the teacher as a completed project.


High School Lesson Plan


Goals:

High School Students of all Levels will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify the elements of design used in the artwork;
  • Students will learn about Surrealism;
  • Students will learn about William Montgomery’s implementation of Surrealism in his work Living Room;
  • Students will create their own Surrealist artwork by combining the imagery of two photographs together to create a single pastel composition.

Texas High School TEKS:

Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV


Level I:

  • §117.302.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • consider concepts and ideas from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination for original artwork;
      • identify and understand the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;
      • identify and understand the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork;
      • make judgments about the expressive properties such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor of artwork using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.302.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • use visual solutions to create original artwork by problem solving through direct observation, original sources, experiences, narrations, and imagination;
      • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • demonstrate effective use of art media and tools in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, and digital art and media.
  • §117.302.c.3.A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance
      • compare and contrast historical and contemporary styles while identifying general themes and trends;
  • §117.302.c.4.A / B / D
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork by self, peers, and other artists such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a verbal or written method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • select and analyze original artwork, portfolios, and exhibitions to form precise conclusions about formal qualities, historical and cultural contexts, intentions, and meanings.

Level II:

  • §117.303.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • use visual comparisons to illustrate concepts and ideas from direct observation, original sources, experiences, narration, and imagination for original artworks;
      • identify and apply the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks;
      •  identify and apply the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity in personal artworks;
      • explore suitability of art media and processes to express specific ideas such as content, meaning, message, appropriation, and metaphor relating to visual themes of artworks using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.303.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artwork using multiple solutions from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination in order to expand personal themes that demonstrate artistic intent;
      •  create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • select from a variety of art media and tools to communicate specific ideas in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, jewelry, mixed media, photography, and digital art and media.
  • §117.303.c.3.A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • examine selected historical periods or styles of art to identify general themes and trends;
  • §117.303.c.4.A / B / D
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork by self, peers, and other artists such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • construct a physical or electronic portfolio by evaluating and analyzing personal original artworks to provide evidence of learning;

Level III:

  • §117.304.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • analyze visual characteristics of sources to illustrate concepts, demonstrate flexibility in solving problems, create multiple solutions, and think imaginatively;
      • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;
      • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork;
      • explore the suitability of art media and processes and select those appropriate to express specific ideas such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor relating to visual themes to interpret the expressive qualities of artwork.
  • §117.304.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artwork using multiple solutions from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination in order to expand personal themes that demonstrate artistic intent;
      • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • select from a variety of art media and tools to express intent in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, digital art and media, photography, jewelry, and mixed media.
  • §117.304.c.3.A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • research selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;
  • §117.304.c.4.A / B / D
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites based on evaluation of developmental progress, competency in problem solving, and a variety of visual ideas;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;

Level IV:

  • §117.305.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • consider concepts and themes for personal artwork that integrate an extensive range of visual observations, experiences, and imagination;
      • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;
      • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork;
      • discriminate between art media and processes to express complex visual relationships such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor using extensive art vocabulary.
  • §117.305.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • produce an original body of artwork that integrates information from a variety of sources, including original sources, and demonstrates sustained self-directed investigations into specific themes such as a series or concentration of works;
      • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • create artwork, singularly and in a series, by selecting from a variety of art materials and tools appropriate to course work in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, digital art and media, photography, jewelry, and mixed media.
  • §117.305.c.3.A
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • research and report on selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;
  • §117.305.c.4.A / B / D
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • develop evaluative criteria to justify artistic decisions in artwork such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites based on a high level of creativity and expertise in one or more art areas;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;

High School Art Activity


Questions for High School Students:

  1. Examine William Montgomery’s Living Room. Identify where each element of art is located in the artwork.
  2. Examine William Montgomery’s Living Room. Identify where each principle of art is located in the artwork.
  3. What is Surrealism?
  4. Can you describe Surrealism after looking at William Montgomery’s work Living Room?
  5. Does William Montgomery effectively use Surrealism in his piece? Why or why not?

Activity: High School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom and/or outdoor location
  • Materials: Color Pastels, Pencil, Drawing Paper, Spray Fixative to be Used by the Teacher
  • Subject: Surrealism, Pastel Artwork, Blending Colors
  • Texas TEKS: Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV
  • Duration: Extended Project

The students will study William Montgomery’s artwork Living Room and learn about Surrealism. Next, the students will create a Surrealist artwork, which is inspired by the Surrealism depicted in Montgomery’s pastel piece. The students will take a photo of a landscape or an environment. The environment can exhibit urban development or nature. Additionally, the students will take a photo of an animal and an object. The student will bring the photos to class and have the photos approved by the teacher. Next, the student will begin drawing the photographed landscape/environment, animal and object using pencil on drawing paper.

Once the pencil drawing is completed, and the teacher has approved of the drawing, the students will begin to color the piece with color pastels. The goal of the project is for the students to effectively use pastels to render the composition. The combination of the landscape/environment with the chosen object and animal will create a Surrealist artwork that showcases the student’s proficiency with the pastel medium. To finish the artwork, the teacher will spray the student’s artwork with spray fixative.


Activity: High School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Artist Statement, Surrealism
  • Texas TEKS: Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV
  • Duration: Extended Project

After the student has completed their Surrealist pastel artwork, they will write a two-page artist statement. The students will explain why they chose the two photographs. Next, they will describe how they merged the two photos together to create a Surrealist artwork. The students should use the vocabulary words as well as the elements and principles of design when they describe their artwork.

The artist statement and the Surrealist artwork will be submitted to the teacher as a completed project.


You can see this artwork in-person in the Tyler Museum of Art’s exhibition Building a Legacy III: Selections from the Permanent Collection. The exhibit celebrates the museum’s 50th anniversary and displays various art movements, styles, and mediums. The show is currently open and will close on May 1, 2022.

For more educational resources created by the Tyler Museum of Art, visit our YouTube page by clicking on the YouTube button or clicking the link below.

If you use or references this lesson plan, please leave a comment with your feedback.

Thank you for visiting the Tyler Museum of Art’s Education Blog!

One thought on “Lesson Plan: Bill Montgomery’s “Living Room”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: