Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mural - Chapter five

This senior really got to know viridian today

Working on the pathway

In the "zone" with phatho blue

Mural Chapter Five

Since we were short a person, I got to paint today and fingers worked best!

We are about halfway in our work sessions, but probably 1/3 done.  Yep, we're a little behind, but I'll wait to stress out later in March.  We have a double session coming up soon and that should get us back on track. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Words cannot express

Impromtu memorial for Captain Stiles

Last Tuesday at the intersection of State Route 619 and Kaufman Avenue near the school, a traffic cop died in the line of duty.  He wasn’t just any traffic cop; he was our traffic cop, Captain Dan Stiles.  A woman driving east into the rising sun accidentally hit him, temporarily blinded by glare.  The shattering of lives happened in an instant and the community reeled in shock. Three fatherless girls as well as a widow now grieve the loss of a dad and husband; and a driver and her family now have to come to terms with what happened that day - a tragic situation from any angle.

Our school family opened the campus to host calling hours and the funeral service for a devastated family and a mourning community.  School staff worked tirelessly to make the campus spotless, setting up a sea of chairs in the gym, and organizing food and servers for a funeral dinner.  Even the main hallways were stripped of recently hung children’s art, too festive for such a somber and sad day.  A black curtain shielded the mourners from our rather strident orange mural cover.  It reminded me of some lines from Auden’s poem, Stop all the clocks:

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one;
                                                Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
As I walked down the hallway, it seemed like we took down joy and then tucked it quietly back into the art room.   We need to re-hang it at the earliest moment; the bare walls resonate a whispered lament.   

 I am bookmarking my heart to never forget Captain Stiles and what it cost him to wave me safely through to school and home again.     

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mural - Chapter four

Seventh grader painting mountain details

Honestly, the cookies in no way contributed to this picture...
these girls are just naturally fun
Today, my art club students devoured Valentine's day cookies with efficient enthusiasm before jumping into the main course of painting.  I believe it gave them an extra burst of "energy" as they worked.  It also didn't hurt the pace any to tune into some Switchfoot and Keith Urban music.   I know I should have  brought in something more virtuous like carrot sticks and apple wedges, but those cookies really needed to vacate my home premises before  I ate them all single-handed. 

Chapter Four

Mural - Chapter three continued

Chapter Three - We're  getting there
This is a peek at where we stopped last week.  I covered the painting with our orange sheet before I remembered to pull out the camera and record our progress.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mural - Chapter three

This seventh grader nailed color mixing

Seventh grader learning  how to apply paint "wet on wet"

It's a surprise! This is what you see when we're not painting.

Mural painting at Lake Center is as close to a team sport as we come.  Experienced older kids work alongside the younger kids, forging a healthy link between different grade levels.  If I can start a motivated student painting in junior high, by the time they're seniors in high school with five or six murals under their belts, they know how to make their paint brushes sing.  

Unfortunately, since I forgot to take a picture before we replaced the cover this week, I'll have to post the results of session three next time alongside session four.  

Slow but sure - mural session two

After session 2
 The challenge of painting a mural in a school hallway that doubles as an indoor track - well let's just say we're very careful about where we place water and paints.  Like a spilled bottle of molasses, however, stray bits of mural stuff slowly spread to occupy a larger section of hallway real estate as a session unfolds.  Kudos to the girls' softball team for deftly navigating our obstacle course on a weekly basis. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

North light is a different animal

Chapter One
A  finger works pretty well to
interpret Macke's painting technique

 My art club kids had their first crack at painting the mural last week.  Although I had worked out recipes for the more prominant colors in our reproduction poster, as the kids wielded their palette knives and paint tubes, I saw that all my recipe colors appeared slightly off the mark.   I forgot to factor in the yellowish cast of the school's hallway lighting compared to the north light at home by which I made my color swatches!  Oh and learn I guess.  We adjusted for the warmer tones, and everything looks fine now.  Today we should have had our second session, but how can one not appreciate another snow day ?