Anatomy of a Summer Camp Project: A Visual Essay, Phase 1 | Art Space | John A. Barry And Bill Carmel | DanvilleSanRamon.com |

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By 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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Anatomy of a Summer Camp Project: A Visual Essay, Phase 1

Uploaded: Aug 14, 2016
This summer marks the third art camp event my associates and I have staged at Los Medanos Village in Pittsburg. The first year, the kids painted a 7 x 15–foot canvas by using skates, scooters, and bikes as their “brushes.” The second year, they created an underpainting, taped geometric shapes on top of it, painted over those, and then removed the tape to reveal the shapes. Once again they used wheeled vehicles, the tools of the trade for trAction Painting.

This summer, they painted t-shirts, but not with silk-screening. This and subsequent blogs represent a visual essay of the preparation, process, and results.

Day 1: Prep



I select a 9 x 12 canvas that has been used in previous projects as a pavement protector. The primed canvas is crisscrossed with lines and a few splotches resulting from those projects. I lay out the approximate placement of the t-shirts on the canvas.






Next I apply a light wash of white gesso over the “underpainting.”


Day 2: Placement



The canvas and t-shirts go to Pittsburg, where each camper chooses a shirt and tapes it onto the canvas.



Seventeen shirts taped and ready to paint. I have masked off an irregular rectangle on the front of each shirt. After the shirts are painted, the kids will have a mini “canvas” on which to draw, write (their name, a story…), or just doodle. Next day, we paint.
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