Phillips-at-Home Summer Series #1: Community

With students out of school, some families may have more time to slow down, reconnect, and enjoy their long summer days. We hope to see you around the Phillips this summer (check out upcoming events), but you can always bring The Phillips Collection into your home through creative art-making activities for artists of all ages. Tune in to the blog over the next several weeks for the Phillips-at-Home Summer Series to learn more about artists in our collection and discover new ways to make their artworks come to life.

Our first project of the series features the artist Heinrich Campendonk. Campendonk’s painting Village Street currently hangs in the Phillips’s family’s former dining room.  For this art activity, you will create a collage-style painting inspired by your environment and your community—just like Heinrich Campendonk.

Village Street, Oil on canvas

Heinrich Campendonk, Village Street, 1919, Oil on canvas, 19 3/4 x 26 3/4 in. Gift from the estate of Katherine S. Dreier, 1953. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Look closely: What do you see in this painting? What colors do you see and how do they make you feel? Do you think this painting looks realistic? Why or why not?  How does Campendonk create a collage-like effect in this painting?

About the artist: Heinrich Campendonk was born in Krefeld, Germany on November 3, 1889. While he was working on this painting (1916-1922), Campendonk was living in Seeshaupt, Bavaria. (Bavaria is a state in southeastern Germany bordering Liechtenstein, Austria and the Czech Republic.)

Campendonk used many Bavarian elements in this painting, such as a church, spotted cows, lean-to sheds, spruce trees and wooden fences. All of these elements represent Campendonk’s community to the viewer.  He used luminous colors such as red, blue, brown—can you see how these colors appear to rise out from the dark background? In keeping with Campendonk’s technique, our first project encourages you to get outside, explore your neighborhood, and create a picture that artistically shows your observations.


Materials needed

Materials needed

  • Plain white paper
  • Graphite pencils
  • 12” x 20” paper for final project (larger than 8.5 x 11’’ encouraged. Canvas is optional)
  • Red, yellow, blue (Primary colors) and black & white tempera paint (has a faster dry time)
  • Paper plate palette for paint
  • A couple of paint brushes (markers optional)
  • Scissors 


  • Ages 10 and up

*See optional project modification for younger age groups*


  • Full-day activity (6-8 hours)



1. Go on a walk in your neighborhood. Bring a sketchpad to record your observations. What makes your neighborhood special? What are some of its identifying characteristics?

A look into my adventures around the Phillips Collection and Dupont Circle

Exploring around the Phillips Collection and Dupont Circle, Photo: Julia Kron

2. Do at least one sketch of each of the following:

  • Your house
  • Your street
  • One building in your area
  • An animal or plant
  • A detail that you consider important to your neighborhood

Once you are happy with your observations, return back to an art-making space to begin the final project.


3. Look through your sketches and select at least 5 observations for your final painting. Cut them out.

Step 3 Example, Drawing: Hayley Prihoda

Step 3 Example, Drawing: Hayley Prihoda



4. Arrange the cut-outs on your larger piece of paper, move them around like a puzzle, thinking about a background, middleground and foreground in your composition. Campendonk’s composition is arranged like a collage; feel free to overlap your sketches, use geometric shapes and lines, and play around with the scale and arrangement of your objects.

Step 4 Example, Drawing: Hayley Prihoda

Step 4 Example, Drawing: Hayley Prihoda






5. If you would like to alter the scale of your sketches, you may choose to re-draw them on your larger paper. Otherwise, go ahead and glue down your sketches onto the paper. Heinrich Campendonk frequently used geometric shapes and symbols to represent his surroundings and you can do the same!

6. When you are ready to begin painting, select a few colors that encapsulate your experience in your neighborhood. As a member of the Blaue Reiter group, Heinrich Campendonk was highly impacted by color and used color to represent his emotions and sensations, rather than the reality of his surroundings. Because of this, his paintings often have a dream-like appearance.

7. Start painting your background layer first and work your way to the foreground.  Make sure to take your time painting, allowing each layer to dry to maintain your colors.

8. You have created a beautiful painting!  Please leave a comment or share a picture of your creation with the Phillips on Twitter (@PhillipsMuseum).

Final Example #1

Final Example #1 for 10 and up audience, done with tempera paint, Painting: Hayley Prihoda

Final Example #2

Final Example #2 for 10 and up audience, done with tempera paint, Painting: Julia Kron












*For younger audiences, focus on shapes, colors, and symbols during your walk. Sketch five different objects around the community (your house, a building, a plant or animal, your street, and other details). Use markers to color the sketches and then cut them out. Paste sketches onto larger paper using a glue stick. Add additional colors as desired. 

Final Example for younger audience, done with markers

Final Example for younger audience, done with markers, Drawing: Julia Kron

Tune in regularly for more great art activities inspired by The Phillips Collection!

Hayley Prihoda and Julia Kron, K12 Education Interns

How to: Make a Musical Maraca at Home

On June 6 and 7, almost 6,000 visitors attended Jazz n’ Families Fun Days, the Phillips’s annual family festival in partnership with DC Jazz Festival. Families decorated maracas, listened to live jazz music, played instruments, and joined gallery tours. In preparation for this big event, Phillips Education staff spent the last couple months collecting thousands of water bottles and toilet-paper rolls for the Family Fun art project – musical maracas! Check out these before and after photographs showing the innovative and creative ways visitors transformed recyclable materials into instruments that were as artistic as they were musical.



View from above the mass of recycled water bottles during preparation for Jazz n’ Families Fun Days. Photo: Hayley Prihoda


The expansive assortment of recyclable goods collected by the staff. Photo: Hayley Prihoda















Young visitors showing off their wonderful creations! Photo credit: Joshua Navarro

Young visitors showing off their wonderful creations. Photo: Joshua Navarro

Visitors of all ages enjoyed creating their musical maracas in our art studio. Photo credit: Joshua Navarro

Visitors of all ages enjoyed creating their musical maracas in our art studio. Photo: Joshua Navarro

















You can make a musical maraca at home with your family! This project is fun, engaging, and accessible for all ages.

Select your favorite color beads for your maraca! Photo: Joshua Navarro

Select your favorite color beads for your maraca. Photo: Joshua Navarro



  • Toilet paper rolls or water bottles (you can use both, or one or the other)
  • Beads or any dried food in your kitchen pantry, such as beans, pasta, or rice.
  • Decorative materials (colorful duct tape, tissue paper, scrapbook paper, pipe-cleaners, etc.)


  • 4 and up (possible for younger ages with adult supervision)


  • 30 minutes – 1 hour







There are two easy ways to construct your musical maraca.

Option 1

Step 1: Clean, rinse and dry plastic water bottle. Any size bottle will work!

Step 2: Select beads or dried food for the inside (beads/food may be visible so think about the colors you want to choose)

Step 3: Pour beads/dried food into the water bottle

  • Tip: Use a piece of paper as a funnel to make this process easier and cleaner
  • Tip: Fill up halfway to allow room for beads to shake

Step 4: Close water bottle cap

Step 5: Decorate the outside of your maraca!

To further extend your project, create two maracas and attach a toilet paper roll in between to form a handle. Duct tape is recommended.

(Option 1 examples) Two decorative water bottle maracas. Photo: Hayley Prihoda

(Option 1 examples) Photo: Hayley Prihoda

A large maraca with a toilet paper handle. Photo: Hayley Prihoda

(Option 1 extended example) Photo: Hayley Prihoda












(Option 2 examples) A triangular maraca made out of a toilet paper roll (on left) and a rain stick made out of a paper towel roll (on right). Photo: Hayley Prihoda

(Option 2 examples) A triangular maraca made out of a toilet paper roll (on left) and a rain stick made out of a paper towel roll (on right). Photo: Hayley Prihoda

Option 2

Step 1: Select a toilet paper roll or paper towel roll

  • Tip: A toilet paper roll will create a hand-held maraca; a paper towel roll will create a rain stick

Step 2: Pinch one end together and seal by stapling

Step 3:  Pour beads/dried food into the tube

Step 4: Close other end with staples

  • Tip: You can either pinch the edges together in the same direction as the other end or in the opposite direction to create a triangle shape (see photograph below)

Step 5: Decorate the outside of your maraca!



Re-purposing materials is a great way to save money, think creatively and reduce waste! Here are a few more ideas for reusing your recyclable goods this summer:

Check back soon as we begin our Phillips-at-Home Summer Series, bringing our collection to you through art-making activities inspired by our artworks!

Hayley Prihoda, K12 Education Intern 



Pin To Win: Dream Home of Realities Contest


Neo-Impressionist painters relied on the use of the surreal grounded in reality to create scenes of mystical, dreamlike beauty. Their use of vibrant colors helped them capture a certain mood and tone. The Phillips Collection wants to know what vibrant colors and textures you would use to decorate your dream home! Enter our Dream Home of Realities Pinterest contest for a chance to win a grand prize that might make the walls of your dream home become a reality.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • $500 worth of Farrow & Ball gift vouchers
  • A Farrow & Ball color consultation: a personal in-home color consultation with a trained Color Consultant from the new Farrow & Ball DC showroom in Friendship Heights. The Color Consultant will consider the light in the space, the shape of the room and architectural details, as well as the overall look you are trying to create before recommending a color scheme using Farrow & Ball paints and wallpapers.


1) Follow The Phillips Collection on Pinterest.

2) Create your own “Dream Home of Realities Contest” Pinterest board! Curate a board for your dream home inspired by scenes, colors, and textures in Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities: Painting, Poetry, Music. Think about palette, lighting, mood—when you think of where you’d love to live, what do you see? To qualify for the grand prize, boards must include at least 4 pins from the Phillips’s Neo-Impressionism board and at least 4 pins from Farrow & Ball’s many home inspiration boards, but what you include is up to you—get creative! See our inspiration board here to get those creative pins flowing:

pinterest inspiration board

3) E-mail a link to your completed board to with subject line “Dream Home of Realities Submission” to be officially entered into the contest.

The winner will be selected and contacted by January 16, 2015. We’re excited to be #NeoImpressed by your creativity!


Images: (1) Paul Signac, Place des Lices, Saint-Tropez, Opus 242, 1893. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Acquired through the generosity of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Family. Photograph © 2014 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2) Georges Seurat, Seascape at Port-en-Bessin, Normandy, 1888. Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 32 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the W. Averell Harriman Foundation in memory of Marie N. Harriman, 1972.9.21 (3) Maximilien Luce, The Louvre at the Pont du Carrousel at Night, 1890. Oil on canvas, 25 x 32 in. Private Collection (4) Theo van Rysselberghe, Canal in Flanders (Gloomy Weather), 1894. Oil on canvas, 23 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. Private collection