Cereal Box Art Inspired by Clementine Hunter's Zinnias

Are you familiar with Clementine Hunter? She was a self-taught folk artist who started painting in the 1930's when she was in her fifties. Many of her paintings were done from memory of her life as a black farm laborer on a Louisiana plantation. Some depict farm chores, while others show weddings and other celebrations. 

Clementine Hunter had no formal education of any sort, and certainly no art education. She started painting using cast-off brushes and tubes of paint from an artist who visited the plantation, creating her artwork on any surface she could find (including cardboard boxes, gourds, window shades, and bottles). She was also skilled in sewing, making quilts, tapestries, and other textiles, primarily from scraps and repurposed materials. Many show elements of plantation life. 

While much of Hunter's artwork depicts her life as a farm laborer, she had another favorite subject: zinnias. 

I selected her 1965 "Zinnias in a Pot" as the inspiration for artwork of my own. Hunter's artwork is oil on board.

My artwork is acrylic on cereal boxes.


Cereal Box Art Inspired by Clementine Hunter's Zinnias


  • cereal boxes
  • Folk Art paint
  • scissors
  • glue


Open up several cereal boxes and paint large swaths of yellow, blue, and green. Use a variety of shades to create interest. Create flower shapes using reds, pinks, and whites. 

Trim the yellow to make a base for the artwork, then cut a pot and handle from blue. Cut leaves, stems, the trim for the pot, and flowers.

Glue everything together, starting from the bottom. Attach the trim and handle to the vase, then glue that to the background. Add the stems and lower leaves. Then start layering flowers and leaves. It creates really neat dimension. Finally, accent the center of each flower with small bits. 

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Clementine Hunter and loved using her style to create with different media. There were times that I was frustrated because my painted cardboard wouldn't do what her oil paints did (flower centers in particular), but it was satisfying to work through the challenge and create something that stays true to the original but has plenty of me. 


  1. You did great with your painting!
    She was very creative indeed...so many interesting projects.:)

  2. Wow!!! That looks AMAZING!!!!! I love it!


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