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Budding branches: Spring

 

Artist: Maureen Flynn-Burhoe
Assistants: Cheryl, Shamim (need 2 or 3 more)

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

Budding branches: Spring

Abdul-Baha talked about how the seasons changed throughout the year. In winter some trees and plants do not look as if they are alive but in early spring if you get really, really close to them you can see tiny little buds appearing, sometimes they are very red, and as soon as you see the first one, you know the plant is going to be OK. Gardeners in Calgary often wait until there is no more frost at night before they plant their new plants and that is next wekk! By the end of May plants are popping up all around us and trees have their new leaves. Grass is growing and Calgary becomes green again after a long and cold winter.

In Abdul-Baha’s words:

“The meadows become fresh and green, the trees are adorned with verdure and fruits appear upon them. Then the winter comes again, and all the traces of spring disappear. This is the continuous cycle of the seasons—spring, winter, then the return of spring. But though the calendar changes and the years move forward, each springtime that comes is the return of the springtime that has gone; this spring is the renewal of the former spring. Springtime is springtime, no matter when or how often it comes. “

When Abdul-Baha was talking about spring He was also talking about religion and how it changes but is always the same.

Steps

Warm-up exercise: Living branches from Caragana trees, cotoneaster, etc,  in Mason jars close to children. Study them. Touch them. Pretend you are a caterpillar climbing up the branch. Draw the path the caterpillar is taking without looking at your paper using 2B pencil. 1 minute drawings. Put a branch on your paper. Imagine it is already painted on, then remove it.

Step 1: 20 min: 2:00 – 2:20

  • Draw a line that is 1/3 from the bottom of the page. That is your horizon line.
  • Using sponges paint in your sky using yellows or pinks or soft orange colours. Try to make the sky at the bottom of the page lighter than the sky at the top of the page.
  • Using your sponge paint in colours of early spring on the ground soft pinks, browns, and grays. Cover the entire sheet of your watercolour paper with a layer of paint, not too thick because this is only layer number one.

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

  • Paint the branches in the foreground using warm colours like reds, and oranges and browns. Remember they are not too thick because they are very young branches. Each branch will be slightly different from the one beside it.

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

  • Paint little buds on some of the branches. They can be dark red, light red, soft whites and greys like pussy willows or they can be yellow-green little leaves. Remember it is spring time and these are tiny new growths and there are not too many of them.

Materials

  • 8 standard rectangular tables needed
  • Paper: 1 sheets good quality paper per child pre-cut into 20” x 15”
  • 1 or 2 small sheets of newsprint per child for practicing
  • 6 – 8 sheets for demonstration
  • Easel and board for demonstration, clips
  • Newsprint for demo, practice: 5 large pads
  • 20 sharp 2B pencils, pencil sharpeners, 20 erasers,
  • 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
  • Palette knives
  • Labeler
  • 2 easels
  • Partially completed project in stages, painted,
  • 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?),

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,

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, 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 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
  • 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)
  • Theme of late spring  (2 minutes);
  • Demo painting of background (at easel),  5 minutes or less
  • Techniques: colour mixing: MUD good and not so good. Use of sponge, 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 painting will be different, encourage the person next to you by telling them what you like most about their painting, 2 minutes
  • Step 1 2:00-2:20 helpers give children their 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, background, with sponges, colour mixing, Helpers guide children with colour mixing and to remind children to not use too much water or paint for this layer.
  • Step 2: 2:20-2:40 ,
  • 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 standing back from painting to see it. Then returning to finish it. (2:50)
  • Clean up, 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 trees, etc.

Objectives

  • Baha’i teachings: springtime same but different, renewal,
  • Painting techniques: colour mixing, care of brushes, palette, distance, horizon, Sky is not always blue, trees are not always brown,
  • Vocabulary: horizon, background, foreground,
  • Drawing techniques: branching lines,
  • Design: choosing colours for spring, different lines, 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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