Day 3: Wheelism | Art Space | John A. Barry And Bill Carmel | |

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About this blog: John Barry is the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which he applies paint to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. With Bill Carmel and other associates, he has bro...  (More)

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Day 3: Wheelism

Uploaded: Jul 22, 2015

Multivalent painting: the kids get all kinds of wheels spinning: scooters, skates, bike, toy cars and trucks, bike wheel on axle, wheel on rollers. One object of today's activities is to cover the tape forming the figures with pastels. Bill shows the kids how to form secondary colors from primaries, as well as how to create pastel primaries. Once he has finished mixing, the kids are on a roll.

First, the little ones dip the toy vehicles into the mixed hues and work, more or less, within confines of geometric figures' taped borders. It's a warm, sunny day, so the paint dries fairly quickly. With the figures filled, it's back to the Razors. We ask the kids to view the canvas as an "obstacle course" and try to thread their way among the figures without running over them. Some of the figures are densely packed, so missing them altogether is impossible. But the kids do a pretty good job of skirting the triangles, trapezoids, etc.

A brief period of drying and it's on to inline skates. Almost all the kids?even the little ones?can handle a scooter. Skates?kind of an old-school means of conveyance?are a different story. Not that many skaters in the group. At this point, we've abandoned the obstacle-course metaphor, and the kids roll wherever they want. Filled-in figures are primary solid colors, so the lines crisscrossing them add nice visual interest and complexity.

Another period of drying. Before we get to the bike, the roller and disembodied bike wheel see action. The wheel's tread produces a curvilinear pattern, whereas the multi-indented roller surface gives striated streaks. These striations mirror patterns produced by skate and scooter wheels. Depending on a rider's weight, thin skate/scooter wheels push paint to the sides as the rider's relative heft bears down on the wheels' center. The finishing touch is the bike, depositing a touch of red. Its knobby tires add dimension to the previous patterns. Paint occasionally splashes out of its well, dropping random drops on the canvas.

Had we more time, another couple of layers would have helped fill in the canvas; the kids would also have had time to try the Thomas the Tank Engine tricycle. But we've accomplished our goal of covering most of day 1's primaries and day 2's figures with pastels as shown in this photo.

Tomorrow, the final day of camp, will bring the big ripoff.
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Posted by Barbara, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 30, 2015 at 6:21 pm

WOW! John and Bill and your crew! This work in progress looks GREAT already! Love the desription of all that went into the process of applying the colors! Another fantastic creation for you and the kids! Hope to help again, with your next project!
Super Great Effort!!!

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