Saturday, May 7, 2011

Trash Barrels full of Art and Math

Bear Paw Kids Art Lesson #6 - May 4, 2011

This was our last art session at Bear Paw Studio and we had a big project that turned out to be barrels of fun!  

Dr. Walter Babula, a local orthodontist, needed help decorating two trash barrels for the Children's garden he is developing at the University of Alaska Botanical Gardens near Fairbanks, Alaska.  The idea was to have my Bear Paw students paint designs and incorporate a few math concepts on the barrels.  Dr. Babula delivered the two 55 gallon barrels to the studio and that got things rolling.

The barrels started out a nice gray, but we needed . . . 

MORE color. . . beautiful color, color that would catch little eyes.  

I prepped the cans by first sanding, then spraying them with several coats of acrylic enamel paint several days before the class.

I then made stencils for ladybugs, dragonflies, butterflies, and flowers, and transferred the shapes to the sides of the barrels with a permanent black marker.

I mixed up a big batch of all the required colors using red, blue, yellow, white, and black exterior latex house paints.  All the materials were ready and waiting when the children arrived for their last class.

After a short lesson in the studio to practice strokes on paper and get vital tips on how avoid latex painting ourselves and the floor, we headed down to the "ga'raj ma'hal" to start the real painting. With determination and no lack of enthusiasm, the girls dove into the project. 

Hailey worked expertly on painting numerous ladybugs.

Madyson took the flat-belly position for painting the flowers.

 Melody loaded her brush and showed the flowers she meant business.

Madyson and Melody had the butterflies and dragonfies fluttering around in no time,

while Gretchen and Amy dotted and dotted the ladybugs till they cried "UNCLE!"

Looking a little weary, Hailey took a breather after painting what she thought was at least a million ladybugs.

Being artists, we had to sign our Leonardo DaVinci's on our artwork.  Then we added some math problems for the young (or old) garden visitors to try.  There is counting, adding, subtracting, and multiplying of the ladybug dots and antenna, flowers, and so on--just for fun for the youngers and to refresh memories of the olders.

 With work done for the day, the artists bask in the glory of their stunning artwork.  

 front row: Melody, Amy-Faye; back row: Gretchen, Madyson;  MIA:  Hailey

And last, here is a fashion show of the beautifully adorned trash barrels before they head to the great outdoors.  We hope they survive the elements and provide enjoyment for garden visitors of all ages for many years to come. 

If you visit the Fairbanks campus of the University of Alaska be sure to take in the  Georgeson Botanical Garden, and of course, the Walter Babula Children's Garden, especially the two beautiful trash barrels we painted for you.  

1 comment:

  1. you've come up with some great ideas and I'm sure they will remember the lessons for a long time.