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Create a Landscape Abstraction

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Dec 6, 2018

Use Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hillside Theatre curtain to inspire an abstraction of one of your favorite landscapes!

Frank Lloyd Wright loved his home state of Wisconsin and greatly appreciated the natural landscape of rolling lush green hills in the Driftless Area. As an ode to this unique landscape, Wright created an abstraction of the area surrounding his home, Taliesin. This abstraction was then made into a colorful curtain for the Hillside Theatre.

Look closely at the Hillside curtain abstraction to see how it is divided in half by a diagonal line, with green from the upper right side down to the lower left side of the curtain, depicting the green hills of the valley (1). In the upper right-hand corner there are outlines of his own house, Taliesin (2), with the long Birdwalk and smoke rising from the fireplace. The large band of black felt on the left half of the curtain represents the Wisconsin River (3), and the red line of felt above the river is the large Highway 23 bridge (4) crossing over the river. In the lower right-hand corner, you’ll find Wright’s signature red square (5).

Now it is your turn to make an abstraction of one of your favorite locations.


  • A picture of a place you love
  • Sheet of transparent paper
  • Tape
  • Colored permanent markers
  1. Find a picture of a place that you love and brings you good memories. It can be a natural landscape, a city, or any other place that makes you happy.
  2. Tape a piece of transparent paper on top of your picture.
  3. Look closely at the picture.
    1. What shapes and patterns do you see?
    2. Do you see any shapes repeated?
    3. Are some shapes more common than others?
  4. Using a black permanent marker, trace the geometric shapes, patterns, and forms you find in your picture to make an abstraction of your natural spot.
  5. Use the colored markers to color in your abstract picture.