Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Learning is a Journey of Discovery

Captain Strong Primary School in Battle Ground, Washington

This mural was completed in January with the help of the 770 students and 100 staff at CSPS. About half of the students were at different schools last year and many teachers were transferred too because of school closures and changes, making this year a time of transition for everyone at Captain Strong. Principal Diana Harris wanted a project that would bring the school together as a community so she invited me to orchestrate the painting of a mural. It was a huge success, bringing everyone together and creating lots of enthusiasm as well as a beautiful finished work of art.

The beginning of the transformation


Butterfly life cycle

Circle time

Students and staff used Q-tips to make thousands of dots

The cougar is the school's mascot

Recess was a popular theme in students' concept drawings

See more photos of this mural

See The Columbian's online article about the mural

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Roots to Grow, Wings to Fly

Illahee Elementary School in Camas, Washington

This is the third of the elementary school murals. The first one was about twelve years ago at Fisher's Landing Elementary in Vancouver. They wanted a professional-looking mural and they also wanted all the schoolchildren to participate in its creation. My solution was this:
  • The school decides on a theme
  • All the children do drawings of what they'd like to see in the mural, based on the theme
  • I design the mural based on the children's concepts
  • I transfer the outlines to the wall and block in base colors
  • Each child paints using a Q-tip, one dot at a time, to fill in more colors
  • I paint detail areas such as faces and lettering.
  • A month after completion, the mural is clear-coated for protection.

It was a great experience for everyone at Fisher's Landing--the children were excited to be working on a project this big, the faculty and staff also participated by painting dots and supporting the entire process, and the finished mural looks fantastic.

This mural at Illahee is nine feet tall and eighty feet long and was completed in April 2007. It took a little over a month.