Lesson Plan: Daniel Blagg’s “Mixmaster”

This lesson plan contains the Texas TEKS for Elementary, Middle, and High School art teachers. Students will learn about Daniel Blagg’s presentation of old and forgotten architecture in his painting Mixmaster. Afterwards, the students will create a composition that highlights an old and historic landmark or location found in their town.


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.


Daniel Blagg, Mixmaster, 1990, oil on canvas, 48 inches X 72 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, Local History, Painting


Art Vocabulary

Activity Vocabulary:

Daniel Blagg:

  • Daniel Blagg is a realistic painter of abandoned, corroded, forgotten, and old locations in Texas.
  • He was born in 1951 in Oklahoma and later moved to Texas.
  • Blagg is a self-taught artist, building his style by referring to the Texas urban landscapes that surround him.
  • Working in the Dallas-Forth Worth Area for more than forty years, he established himself as an accomplished artist.
  • His most common focus are the forgotten landmarks, roadside attractions, and urban buildings that dot the Texas cityscape.
  • His painting, titled Mixmaster of 1990, is one such artwork that exemplifies the disrepair often found in Blagg’s imagery.
    • The painting shows a street view of the Fort Worth Mixmaster, a series of elevated bridges that cross each other at three different layers.
    • Blagg’s painting places the viewer on a middle-level of the three-tiered bridge system, allowing the viewer to see both the upper and lower portions of the Mixmaster.
    • The perspective is arranged so that the viewer is looking from a car’s passenger window.
    • On the visible lower level, the viewer can see a white truck hauling a trailer and moving beyond the picture plane. No cars are visible on the upper level.
    • In the distance, the viewer can see distant skyscrapers that are painted with a blue hue, revealing the atmospheric perspective that covered the distant buildings.
    • The emphasis of the painting is an angled road sign, signaling a sharp curve to the left.
      • Since the sign is angled, it appears to be pointing to the upper level of bridges, connecting the middle and upper visual portions of the composition.
      • The presence of the sign draws the viewer’s eyes towards the cracks and damage to the road at the viewer’s level.
    • The piece asks the viewer to examine local urban environments for the overlooked and forgotten places as well as locations in disrepair.
  • The Tyler Museum of Art held an exhibition of Daniel Blagg’s art between September 10th – November 26th, 2017 titled Roadside Distractions.

Oil Paint:

  • Oil paint is developed from suspending vibrant pigments in a slow-drying oil. Due to the chemical makeup of the medium, the artist can create thin layers that dry like a glaze or thick opaque layers that create tangible texture on the canvas.

Concept: Old Places and Objects that were Once New

  • When looking at old places and objects, it is easy to only consider the object or location as something that was always been old. However, Daniel Blagg looks at these spaces and objects as an opportunity to highlight the past by capturing the current wear-and-tear on the subject matter.
  • Students who paint old objects and locations can think about three key concepts to help them best represent the present imagery while considering the original appearance: history, color, and purpose.
  • History:
    • Students can research their chosen location to compare and contrast the original finish of the space and the current imagery observed today.
    • The historical research can include the dates of construction, the grand opening to the public, and any updates that occurred to the location.
    • These construction and maintenance dates can help provide additional context as to why the location has the current appearance.
      • Color:
        • Over time, the original colors of paint, metal, and a building’s façade can dull and decay over time.
        • Researching the original appearance of the chosen location can help the student understand why the current coloration is present.
      • Purpose:
        • Research can help the students learn about the reason for the building or location’s construction.
        • Connecting the original purpose to the location or space can help add a sense of realness to the subject. Abandoned places can be viewed with a liveliness as the students understands the popularity of the venue. Likewise, a old location that has changes purposes over time can express a transformation of the surrounding community and their needs.

Realistic VS. Realism:

  • Realism:
    • Developing in the middle of the nineteenth century, Realist artists did not paint idealized figures nor classical history scenes. Instead, the artists painted living people and highlighted the social injustices that occurred between the wealthy and the poor individuals. The figures are rendered in a near-photographic manner.
  • Realistic:
    • Differing from the Realism movement, a realistic work of art will look similar to the depicted subject. The artist will have the freedom to use visible brushstrokes, additive color palette, and the decision to add or remove features from the real subject matter.

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 Plans

“Art Term: Oil Paint.” Tate Modern Museum. Updated 2021. Accessed: August 18, 2021. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/o/oil-paint

“Art Term: Realism.” Tate Modern Museum. Updated 2021. Accessed: August 18, 2021. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/r/realism

“David Blagg.” Art in Embassies: US Department of the State. Updated 2003. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://art.state.gov/personnel/daniel_blagg/.

“David Blagg.” Davis Gallery and Framing. Updated 2018. Accessed August 29, 2022. https://www.davisgalleryaustin.com/artist/daniel-blagg.

“Daniel Blagg: Biography.” ArtSpace One Eleven. Updated 2017. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://artspace111.com/artists/26-daniel-blagg/biography/ 

“Daniel Blagg: Overview.” ArtSpace One Eleven. Updated 2017. Accessed: July 29, 2022. https://artspace111.com/artists/26-daniel-blagg/overview/  

“Fort Worth Mixmaster.” The Portal to Texas History. Updated October 29, 2020. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1611057/.

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.

Reece-Hughes, Shirley. “Everett Spruce: ‘A Deeper Realism’.” Texas Made Modern. Edited by Andrew J. Walker. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2020. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Texas_Made_Modern/Gkj_DwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1

“Roadside Distractions: Works by Daniel Blagg.” Art and Seek. Updated November 26, 2017. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://artandseek.org/calendar/event/83554/roadside-distractions-works-by-daniel-blagg.

Tomio, Kimberley Bush. “Browse Record: Mixmaster.” Tyler Museum of Art. Updated 2021. Accessed July 29, 2022. https://tylermuseum.pastperfectonline.com/webobject/27BE99B3-ECC2-47C0-BB55-462203138630.


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;
  • Research local history and important landmarks;
  • Learn about Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster and his representation of old locations;
  • And, create a painting of an old local landmark or old location in their hometown.

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 / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple subjects expressed in artworks;
      • identify the uses of art in everyday life;
  • §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 / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple ideas expressed in artworks through different media;
      • demonstrate an understanding that art is created globally by all people throughout time;
      • discuss the use of art in everyday life;
  • §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 / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      •  interpret stories, content, and meanings in a variety of artworks;
      • examine historical and contemporary artworks created by men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • analyze how art affects everyday life and is connected to jobs in art and design;
  • §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 / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple main ideas expressed in artworks from various times and places;
      • compare and contrast artworks created by historical and contemporary men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • connect art to career opportunities for positions such as architects, animators, cartoonists, engineers, fashion designers, film makers, graphic artists, illustrators, interior designers, photographers, and web designers;
  • §117.111.b.4. A / B
    • 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
    • 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
  • §117.114.b.3. A / B / C
    • 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;
      •  compare purpose and content in artworks created by historical and contemporary men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • connect art to career opportunities for positions such as architects, animators, cartoonists, engineers, fashion designers, film makers, graphic artists, illustrators, interior designers, photographers, and web designers;
  • §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
    • 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;
  • §117.117.b.3. A / B / C
    • 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;
      • compare the purpose and effectiveness of artworks created by historic and contemporary men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • connect art to career opportunities for positions such as architects, animators, cartoonists, engineers, fashion designers, film makers, graphic artists, illustrators, interior designers, photographers, and web designers; 
  • §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 Activities

Questions for Elementary School Students:

  1. Examine Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster. Identify where each element of art is located in the art.
  2. Examine Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster. Identify where each principle of art is located in the art.
  3. What is a landmark? Why is it important?
  4. What are some locations in your hometown that are old and/or important to the town?
  5. Why do you think Daniel Blagg painted old and run-down locations?
  6. What is the difference between Realism and Realistic art?

Activity: Elementary School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Tempera Paint or Acrylic Paint, Mixed Media Paper, Pencil, Image of a Local Landmark/ Location/ Historical Building/ or a Local Environmental Location.
  • Subject: Painting, Drawing, Local History, Realistic Painting
  • Texas TEKS: Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade
  • Duration: Extended Project

The students will study Daniel Blagg’s painting Mixmaster and his focus on old and forgotten locations and landmarks. Afterwards, the students will create their tempera or acrylic painting of a local historical landmark or location.

First, the students will have the choice to select a landmark from the teacher. The teacher will collect a selection of local landmarks for the students. Once the student’s have chosen their subject from this selection, they will draw a sketch of their location on mixed media paper. When the students have drawn their locations and labeled their drawing as the chosen landmark on the top or bottom of the paper, then they are ready to paint their drawing.

This activity suggests tempera paint or acrylic paint for the students. It is up to the teacher to determine what is best for the students. The students will follow a similar color palette to their chosen location/ landmark. Once the paintings are completed, they can be hung in the classroom or the hallway.


Activity: Elementary School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Local History, Identifying Landmarks, Historical Response
  • Texas TEKS: Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade
  • Duration: Extended Project

After the students complete their painting, the students will write a short 3 – 5 sentence artist statement that explains why they chose this location or landmark. For Kindergarten and First Grade students, the students can write 1 – 2 sentences about why they chose the location or why they like the landmark.


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;
  • Research local history and important landmarks;
  • Learn about Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster and his references to old locations;
  • And, create a painting of an old local landmark or old location in their hometown.

Texas Middle School TEKS:

Art 1, Art 2, Art 3


Art 1:

  • §117.202.c.1.B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • 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 / C
    • 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;
      • explain the relationships that exist between societies and their art and architecture;
  • §117.202.c.4.A / B / D
    • 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;
      • investigate and explore original artworks in a variety of venues outside of the classroom such as museums, galleries, or community art;

Art 2:

  • §117.203.b.1.B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • 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 / C
    • 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;
      • compare and contrast relationships that exist between a society’s art and its music, literature, and architecture;
  • §117.203.b.4.A / B / D
    • 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;
      • investigate and explore original artworks in a variety of venues outside of the classroom such as museums, galleries, or community art;

Art 3:

  • §117.203.b.1.B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • 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 / C
    • 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;
      • evaluate the relationships that exist among a society’s art, music, theatre, and dance;
  • §117.203.b.4.A / B / C
    • 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;
      • investigate and explore original artworks in a variety of venues outside of the classroom such as museums, galleries, or community art;

Middle School Art Activities

Questions for Middle School Students:

  1. Examine Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster. Identify where each element of art is located in the art.
  2. Examine Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster. Identify where each principle of art is located in the art.
  3. What is a landmark? Why is it important?
  4. What are some locations in your hometown that are old and/or important to the town?
  5. Why do you think Daniel Blagg painted old and run-down locations?
  6. What is the difference between Realism and Realistic art?

Activity: Middle School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Tempera Paint or Acrylic Paint, Mixed Media Paper, Pencil, Image of a Local Landmark/ Location/ Historical Building/ or a Local Environmental Location.
  • Subject: Painting, Drawing, Local History, Realistic Painting
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Extended Project

The students will study Daniel Blagg’s painting Mixmaster and his focus on old and forgotten locations and landmarks. Afterwards, the students will create their tempera or acrylic painting of a local historical landmark or location.

First, the students will have the choice to select a landmark from the teacher. The teacher will collect a selection of local landmarks for the students. Once the student’s have chosen their subject from this selection, they will draw a sketch of their location on mixed media paper. When the students have drawn their locations and labeled their drawing as the chosen landmark on the top or bottom of the paper, then they are ready to paint their drawing.

This activity suggests tempera paint or acrylic paint for the students. It is up to the teacher to determine what is best for the students. The students will follow a similar color palette to their chosen location/ landmark. Once the paintings are completed, they can be hung in the classroom or the hallway.


Activity: Middle School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Local History, Identifying Landmarks, Historical Response
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Extended Project

After the students complete their painting, the students will write a one page artist statement that explains why they chose this location or landmark. The students will research their chosen location/landmark and use the research in their artist statement. They will cite their sources in a short bibliography using either MLA format, Chicago Manual of Style, or a different citation style.


High School Lesson Plans

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;
  • Research local history and important landmarks;
  • Learn about Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster and his references to old locations;
  • And, create a painting of an old local landmark or old location in their hometown.

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.B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance
      • describe general characteristics in artwork from a variety of cultures, which might also include personal identity and heritage;
  • §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.B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • analyze specific characteristics in artwork from a variety of cultures;
  • §117.303.c.4.A / B / C / E
    • 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;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;
      • select and analyze original artwork, portfolios, and exhibitions to form precise conclusions about formal qualities, historical and cultural contexts, intentions, and meanings.

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 / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • research selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;
      • distinguish the correlation between specific characteristics and influences of various cultures and contemporary artwork;
  • §117.304.c.4.A / B / C / D / F
    • 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;
      • analyze personal artwork in order to create a written response such as an artist’s statement reflecting intent, inspiration, the elements of art and principles of design within the artwork, and measure of uniqueness;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;
      • select and analyze original artwork, portfolios, and exhibitions to demonstrate innovation and provide examples of in-depth exploration of qualities such as aesthetics; formal, historical, and cultural contexts; intentions; and meanings.

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 / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • research and report on selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;
      • analyze and evaluate the influence of contemporary cultures on artwork;
  • §117.305.c.4.A / B / C / D / F
    • 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;
      • analyze personal artwork in order to create a written response such as an artist’s statement reflecting intent, inspiration, the elements of art and principles of design within the artwork, and the measure of uniqueness;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;
      • evaluate a wide range of artwork to form conclusions about formal qualities, aesthetics, historical and cultural contexts, intents, and meanings.

High School Art Activities

Questions for High School Students:

  1. Examine Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster. Identify where each element of art is located in the art.
  2. Examine Daniel Blagg’s Mixmaster. Identify where each principle of art is located in the art.
  3. What is a landmark? Why is it important?
  4. What are some locations in your hometown that are old and/or important to the town?
  5. Why do you think Daniel Blagg painted old and run-down locations?
  6. What is the difference between Realism and Realistic art?

Activity: High School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom and/or outdoor location
  • Materials: Tempera Paint or Acrylic Paint, Mixed Media Paper, Pencil, Image of a Local Landmark/ Location/ Historical Building/ or a Local Environmental Location.
  • Subject: Painting, Drawing, Local History, Realistic Painting
  • Texas TEKS: Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV
  • Duration: Extended Project

The students will study Daniel Blagg’s painting Mixmaster and his focus on old and forgotten locations and landmarks. Afterwards, the students will create their tempera or acrylic painting of a local historical landmark or location.

First, the students will have the choice to select a landmark from the teacher. The teacher will collect a selection of local landmarks for the students. Once the student’s have chosen their subject from this selection, they will draw a sketch of their location on mixed media paper. When the students have drawn their locations and labeled their drawing as the chosen landmark on the top or bottom of the paper, then they are ready to paint their drawing.

This activity suggests tempera paint or acrylic paint for the students. It is up to the teacher to determine what is best for the students. The students will follow a similar color palette to their chosen location/ landmark. Once the paintings are completed, they can be hung in the classroom or the hallway.


Activity: High School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Local History, Identifying Landmarks, Historical Response
  • Texas TEKS: Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV
  • Duration: Extended Project

After the students complete their painting, the students will write a one to two page artist statement that explains why they chose this location or landmark. The students will research their chosen location/landmark and use the research in their artist statement. They will cite their sources in a short bibliography using either MLA format, Chicago Manual of Style, or a different citation style.


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3 thoughts on “Lesson Plan: Daniel Blagg’s “Mixmaster”

  1. Rachel – Please send me your email. I have an art education question. Neita Fran ________________________________

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