Artist in Residence
LaPine Elementary, LaPine Oregon
In February 2010, I was an Artist-in-Residence for one week at La Pine Elementary in La Pine, Oregon (USA.) This was my second residency at the elementary school (I'd also conducted a residency at the LaPine Middle School in 2003.
All Third Grade students (about 100) participated in the mural project. The mural theme was related to students earlier or soon to follow studies about life cycles. The final mural size was 8 ft high by 26 ft. As with all my residencies, I place as few marks as possible so that the final result is the students' work.
The initial layout and block-in of general shapes/colors was accomplished during the second day of the residency.
Students in this photo are in the third day of painting and shapes are beginning to become more defined and acquire some details.
Difficult to photograph in the hallway, I shot the completed mural in three segments and then aligned them on this page.
Scroll down for some detail photos of various elements in the mural.
A nicely handled loose rendition of a robin. "Less is More" as this bird illustrates---legs/feet are understood rather than shown. Open color creates the illusion of bobbing, swaying movement on the thin branch.
A small nest with robin eggs sitting among the pussywillows/branches.
Click small images for larger view:
Downy woodpecker on ponderosa pine
Redwinged blackbird sitting on cattail.
Assorted insects in grass
Monarch butterfly crystallis
ABOVE LEFT and RIGHT:
The underlayer of color (yellow) of a bumblebee. Note how the three-dimensional form is already present in the single color block-in. A few simple marks in black and white complete the bumblebee.
Another "style" of bee or bumblebee. Like the one above, simplified form was the intent.
An emerging monarch butterfly. Again, loose line of a suggested twig and the soft-edges of the grass, conveys a sense of a gentle breeze.
Lady bugs hibernate in ponderosa barck, a spider waits for an autumn meal, a grasshopper lays her eggs, and grubs chow down on wood beneath the tree's bark (as seen in a "cutaway view"
A monarch butterfly larva gets a meal of milkweed plant
Twigs stand out against a background dusting of snow on the left (winter) side of the mural. The textures provide visual interest while the lines of twigs break the space into interesting patterns.
Beautiful passages of transparent color washes fill the "cutaway" view of the small pond near the middle of the mural.
My contribution to this mural--a rendition of Canuck, my 25-year-old cat who passed away in December 2009. Here she contemplates the mouse with the grasshopper in the foreground.
Cadisfly larva (stoneflies) cling to a reed stem underwater. Adding these two simple insects was an exciting thing for the student who created/painted them---the bottom insect came first and then an "Ah-Ha" moment when the student created the top insect. Bravo!
Awesome hornets! Three different students created the blue-black block-in for each hornet. Another student created the block-in for the hornet nest. Then three more students added the greenish cream colored markings and wings on each hornet. Yet another student added the finishing touches to the hornet nest.