Get to know the creator of the famous ‘Blue Dog’ with these Gorgeous George Rodrigue Art Projects for Kids, just in time for the artist’s birthday!
Loving your pet is something perfectly normal. Grieving after a pet dies is also something most of us go through at some point in our lives. But what if your pet can make you famous? So much that you become known by your pet?
Well, that’s the story of artist George Rodrigue in a nutshell, and this is the painting of his pet that made him the world-famous artist he is known as today.
Yes, that is a blue dog, and no, Rodrigue’s dog wasn’t blue! George Rodrigue was born and raised in the Cajun Country of Lousiana, and this place was very close to his heart. At the age of 8, little George caught polio and had to spend a lot of time in bed, during which he began to learn drawing and painting.
George continued higher studies in art, and he began producing paintings representing his native place, worried that the unique culture and identity of the place was fast disappearing. His works included many landscapes and scenes from Cajun history. Yet, it was the painting of the blue dog that catapulted him to the top position in the art world.
Besides being an accomplished painter, Rodrigue was also a philanthropist. He contributed to various causes and set up the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts to encourage art education in schools. As his birthday is next month, on the 13th of March, it’s the perfect time to take his cause forward, and learn some art ourselves – with these gorgeous George Rodrigue Art Projects for kids!
10 Gorgeous George Rodrigue Art Projects for Kids
I’m sure you’re wondering about why the dog is blue, so here’s the story. George Rodrigue was asked to illustrate a book of horror stories named Bayou, for which he produced forty paintings. One particular story was called ‘Slaughterhouse’, which was about an evil dog guarding a house and this was how the blue dog was born. Teachers Pay Teachers has an interesting project that attempts to recreate this iconic animal.
When creating the first illustration of the blue dog for the book of horror stories, Rodrigue took inspiration from a photo of his dog Tiffany, who had died just a short while ago. Tiffany was a black and white dog, but Rodrigue gave the dog in the illustration blue fur and yellow eyes. Let kids play around with some other colors to create their own colored dogs like Dryden Art has done.
Rodrigue painted the Blue Dog several times over, but in every single one of those paintings, the dog looks just the same, in the very same position and with the very same expression. However, the settings vary a lot – it could be with the American president or with Marilyn Monroe, the dog could be inside a soup can or a gift box, it could be wearing a tie or a cape or even a clown’s nose! K-6 Art encourages kids to play around with their own ideas to dress up the basic blue dog.
It’s a matter of no small pleasure when you can read a book about the Blue Dog that’s written by the artist himself! In this book, George Rodrigue introduces us to many little nuances of Cajun culture, along with the iconic dog. This is a great book to introduce little kids to the artist and his work.
Deep Space Sparkle takes inspiration from Rodrigue’s book ‘Are you Blue Dog’s Friend?’ and comes up with an inspired art lesson. There are detailed steps so kids of all ages can follow through with the instructions.
Although George Rodrigue released many paintings before the Blue Dog, it was the dog that really caught the world’s attention. The French called him “America’s Rousseau.” The dog gained more popularity when Rodrigue was honored by Absolut Vodka, joining the ranks of artists like Andy Warhol. Buggy and Buddy encourages your little artist to come up with his own iconic masterpiece featuring a colorful animal!
Rodrigue’s work is filled with bright colors, and the dog itself is a bright blue color. Woo Jr. celebrates this aspect of the artist’s work with this stunning wall art project that’s truly frame-worthy!
George Rodrigue contributed to many causes, notably to the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina. Here too, Blue Dog made its presence, in a painting that showed the dog as partially submerged, with a red cross on its chest indicating a call for help. Rodrigue created a total of five paintings for the Blue Dog Relief program. Discuss how art can help social causes with kids as you try out this oil pastel project from Creating Art.
Even the Blue Dog got famous almost instantaneously, Rodrigue’s true talent grew even more after he died. His paintings have sold for several thousand dollars, and the price has only risen with time! Kitchen Counter Chronicles shows us how to have a fun learning art project with kids.
Rodrigue believed that the Blue Dog was mirroring our thoughts. It was always shown having a rather curious expression, representing man’s innate curiosity and need to explore. According to Rodrigue, the dog was “really about life, about mankind searching for answers……You can see this longing in his eyes, this longing for love, answers.” These are some really deep thoughts to think about while filling in this Blue Dog coloring page from Teachers Pay Teachers.
The Blue Dog is such an iconic work of art that you’ll find its representation in several places. These George Rodrigue art projects for kids are a great way to talk about how a single animal with the same color and expression can convey so many different messages based on the setting it’s in. George Rodrigue’s birthday is on 13th March, so this is a great time to try these out!
If you’d like more art projects based on artists who have their birthdays next month, you may like to check these out: