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A dream of fish

Participants

Artists: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe, Angie Rout,
Assistants: Carla Seyts, (need 2 or 3 more)

14 children Ages 6 – 10 registered, planning for 17 (Materials for 20 to include demos, etc)

Baha’u’llah and the dream of fish

“One night Bahá’u’lláh appeared in a dream, which was so very vivid, it awakened its dreamer. Bahá’u’lláh was in a garden; great birds flew overhead; they attacked Him, yet they were powerless to harm Him.

He was bathing in the sea, and began to swim in a vast, limitless ocean; His body shone out, and illuminated the sea! Above the waters, His long, jet-black locks, stood forth, floating in great profusion above the waves in all directions.

Large numbers of fish gathered around Him, each fish holding fast to the end of a hair with its mouth. There were every kind of fish: large fish, small fish, white and black: and wherever He swam, they followed the light of His face. Such a vast number of fish clinging so tightly, caused no damage: not even a hair was lost from His head. Free and unrestrained, Bahá’u’lláh moved above the waters, with all the fish following His light.”

“His father was stunned by this dream, and with the Shah’s permission, laid it before his well-known seer. The seer, swept away with amazement, explained how the garden and its birds, and the limitless ocean with its fish, were the world of existence, and its people, and that Bahá’u’lláh would single-handedly triumph over it, unhindered and alone; yet, he declared himself quite unable to imagine how it could ever come to pass.

So His father took him to see Bahá’u’lláh, who was just a Child of five, and his praise and admiration of Bahá’u’lláh was so profuse, and so great his concern that He be protected, that His father became yet more passionately devoted to Him.”

By David Merrick, “Birth and Childhood of Baha’u’llah” in the Early Life of Bahá’u’lláh

Steps

Step 1: 20 min: 2:00 – 2:20

  • Draw an outline of a fish with fins and tail
  • Tape edges of two sheets of paper together using small pieces of masking tape
  • Cut out two fish with one cut (adding just a little tape if needed)

Step 2: 20 min (2:20-2:40)

  • Place the two fish side by side facing each other
  • Paint the eyes on both
  • Place one of the fish in front of you and paint the scales, fins, tails, stripes, spots, etc
  • Paint the entire surface, no white paper left
  • Paint the second fish as similar as possible to the first fish.

Step 3: 10 min (2:40-2:50)

  • Place the two sides back to back
  • Staple the edges all around but leave a 8” space open on the fish stomach
  • Fill the fish with crumpled newspaper
  • Staple the opening and ask a helper to add the string so you can hang it up

Materials

  • 8 standard rectangular tables needed
  • Paper: 2 sheets good quality paper per child pre-cut into 20” x 15”
  • 6 – 8 sheets for demonstration
  • Easel and board for demonstration, clips
  • Newsprint for demo, practice and filling fish: 5 large pads
  • 20 sharp 2B pencils, pencil sharpeners, 20 erasers,
  • Scissors (at least 17 pairs of scissors)
  • Tempera non-toxic, washable paint ArtMinds: 3 16 fl oz bottles of red, blue, yellow, 4 bottles of white, 2 bottles of black
  • 20 palettes 8 ½” minimum flat surface for colour mixing
  • 20 good quality brushes (size 10 or larger)
  • 20 mason jars wide mouth 8013, 20 covers for mini-palettes for black tempera
  • Water pitchers for refilling water (on site at rented centre)
  • 20 washcloths for brushes
  • Paper towels (3 rolls), cleaning cloths, sponges for cleaning
  • 2 buckets 1 for used water, 1 for clean water,
  • Sheets or tarps for covering floors
  • Masking tape (2-3 rolls) for holding paper on table
  • 5 – 10 staplers with staples
  • Fishing line (or other fine material with similar strength)
  • Palette knives
  • Labeler
  • 2 easels
  • Partially completed project in stages, drawing, painted, stapled,
  • Palette knives
  • clock, timer

Artists and/or assistants: 1 for every 3 children (for 17+ children , 5-6 youth and/or adults)

So much to do, so little time

1:15 – 1:45 Preparation: includes placing protective sheets/tarps, placing tables, chairs, easels, preparing water jugs, preparing palettes, filling mason jar water containers, setting up supplies tables, etc., name tags (place names?), cutting paper to size, crumpled newspaper filling,

1:45-3:00 Project: includes handing out and collecting materials for each stage of project; assisting and encouraging children at all stages, keeping palettes supplied with all colours, changing water jugs, helping with cutting, stapling, hangers,

3:00-3:30 Clean-up. Includes palettes and brushes cleaned, materials placed in labelled Rubbermaids in storage room, tables folded and returned to storage room, sheets/tarp in labelled Rubbermaid,

Someone who is good with timing can help keep us focused on beginning and ending on time.

Preparation (30 minutes before workshop) Session 1:15PM – 1:45PM

  • Place protective sheets and/or tarps on floor in working area
  • 3 6′ x 30″tables together in “front” beside demo easels; two tables with paint supplies, children do not serve themselves, need youth and adult helpers
  • Set-up tables: 5 (6’ x 30”) tables pre-set up for children  (4 children at each table) 2 on one side, 2 on the other and 1 on the end, leave space between them for helpers?
  • Set-up easels beside paint supplies table: 1 or 2 for demo sheets, 1 for  demonstration, clip for newsprint at front (depending on sunlight (avoid strong sunlight or other distractions behind demo easel in line of vision of children)
  • Supplies table: top of table and in 2 Rubbermaids (balled up newsprint in 1 Rubbermaid), 5 large pads on table; scissors in plastic box on table until needed, returned immediately after use); 3 16 fl oz bottles of red, blue, yellow, 4 bottles of white, 2 bottles of black
  • Before session set-up individual palettes each with yellow, red, blue and white (c. 2 – 3 tablespoons), not too close to edge, leaving large space in center for colour mixing. Keep palettes on supplies table until needed. Small quantities of black paint  in 20 separate containers to be given only when needed for eyes and final details. Children sometimes mix too much black with all their colours removing the vibrancy of individual colours.)
  • Put 20 brushes  all together on supplies table in large mason jars, pencils in large mason jars, erasers in mason jars,
  • Half fill wide-mouth mason jars with water, keep on supplies tables
  • 20 washcloths for recyclable rags in plastic container on supplies table
  • In Rubbermaid under supplies table: paper towels, cleaning cloths
  • Place 2 buckets 1 empty for used water, 1 ¾ full for clean warm water near demo tables for children whose hands are paint covered. They can go accompanied to the washroom at the end of session but hands need to be rinsed first.
  • On supplies table masking tape in marked plastic container for holding paper on table
  • 5 – 10 staplers with staples in marked plastic container on supplies table
  • Fishing line (or other fine material with similar strength)  on supplies table
  • Helpers 1 for every 4 children: set-up at least 30 minutes before workshop, during workshop and for clean-up c. 30 minutes
  • 5 water pitchers for refilling water (on site at rented centre) on supplies table

Session 1:45PM – 3:00PM

  • Introduction workshop theme and artists and friends (5 minutes or less), name tags for everyone? (12-15 minutes 1:45-2:00)
  • Story of dream of fish (2 minutes); full story to be read out loud while children are drawing fish
  • Demo drawing of fish outline (at easel with felt pen note large eyes, placement of mouth, varied fins and tail, texture using scales, choice stripes, circles, colours), cutting, stapling, filling, closing, hanging, 5 minutes or less
  • Techniques: colour mixing, black paint for eyes, white paint to circle eyes, black paint for small details at the end, keep brushes clean, keep water clean, how to clean brushes, 3 minutes or less
  • House rules: stay seated and let helpers help as much as possible; ask for help and say please and thank you; follow the 3 steps; special materials so concentrate and focus on painting; paint on your hands, not a problem, use buckets first, be sure to wash up after session before you eat;  everyone is different, some like details, some don’t, each fish will be different, encourage the person next to you by telling them what you like most about their fish, 2 minutes
  • Step 1 2:00-2:20 drawing and cutting, helpers hand out papers and pencils to children 1 minute. Helpers help with taping paper together (not much tape, just enough so they can cut the two sheets together, for younger children or those that want help, cut it for them)
  • Step 2: 2:20-2:40 , painting both fish, helpers collect pencils from children and give them palettes to the “right” of child (notice left-handed children when they are drawing; put palette on left), mason jar beside palette, paint rag between palette and child, Helpers keep adding paints as needed,
  • Painting finished by 2:40 20 washcloths for recyclable rags in plastic container on supplies table
  • In Rubbermaid under supplies table: paper towels, cleaning cloths
  • Place 2 buckets 1 empty for used water, On supplies table masking tape in marked plastic container for holding paper on table
  • 5 staplers with staples in marked plastic container on supplies table
  • Fishing line (or other fine material with similar strength)  on supplies table
  • Helpers 1 for every 4 children: set-up at least 30 minutes before workshop, during workshop and for clean-up c. 30 minutes
  • Step 3: 2:40- 2:50 Stapling, filling and hanging. Filling fish with newsprint with helpers, stapling fish 5- 10 minutes (2:50)
  • Clean up while helpers are making hangers for fish, rinse hands in warm soapy water to remove excess paint. They can go accompanied to the washroom at the end of session but hands need to be rinsed first.
  • If time allows show and tell at end. Thank you applause for all participants and helpers.
  • If children finish early, provide them with smaller sheets of paper to paint waves, etc.

Objectives

  • Baha’i history: learn about Baha’u’llah’s early life
  • Painting techniques: colour mixing, care of brushes, palette,
  • Drawing techniques: shapes and textures,
  • Design: choosing colours, shapes, originality, creativity,
  • Practicing virtues
    • Service: helping others
    • Courtesy: creating an environment for art as form of worship
    • Creativity
    • Kindness: encouraging others
    • Fellowship
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