Parking Lot Project: Food Patterns inspired by Yayoi Kusama

ColorWheels’ Parking Lot Projects are designed to bring creative experiences to you when can’t visit ColorWheels at its favorite spots around Philadelphia. The projects are designed for families and artists of all ages and can be completed with minimal art supplies and easily obtained objects. This project was designed by ColorWheels teaching artist Rana Sindhikara. When you’re done, don’t forget to take a picture of your work and share your work online with #colorwheelsparkinglot! ColorWheels is presented by PNC Arts Alive.

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. Yayoi loves pumpkins and has used them in her artwork often.

Getting Started
As you dive into this project, take a few moments to explore Yayoi’s work and ask yourself the following questions. We’ve included Rana’s thoughts to help get you started.

What patterns and colors do you see in Yayoi’s work?
Polka dots, cracked lines, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink.

What fruit or vegetable do you like?
Rana’s favorite is papaya!

Yayoi Kusama, "All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins"

Instructions and Materials

With just a few materials, you can explore the organic shapes of fruits and vegetables while using colors to create interesting patterns. You’ll need:

    A piece of white paper
    A pencil or pen
    Markers, crayons, or color pencils

Building your artistic vocabulary

    Contemporary artist: an artist who is currently still living and making artwork.
    Background: the area or scenery behind the main object in an image.
    Pattern: a repeated decorative design.

Step one: pick a favorite fruit or vegetable and, using a pencil or pen, draw it in different sizes on your paper. Make sure to draw it at least five times.


Step two: once you finish drawing your fruit or vegetable, break the background up into five sections.


Step three: using different colors, fill in each fruit or vegetable and section with a different pattern.


Step four: color in your piece completely.

About the teaching artist:
Rana is a graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University and holds a masters of multicultural education from Eastern University. She has worked for Fleisher since 2005, teaching classes on and off-site, with both children and adults, after-school, on the weekends, and in the summers. Rana lives in Port Richmond with her husband, three cats, and a dog. “I find Yayoi Kusama’s work to be breathtaking and beautiful and fun. I wanted to give that experience to my students,” she says.