Clover Creek: A Bug’s Eye View

I was honored to be chosen by the Bethel School District to make a painting for the new school in Frederickson, WA – Clover Creek Elementary. The commission was managed and paid for by the Washington State Arts Commission. After meeting with the State people and the school people we decided to engage the children with an oil on canvas dream-scape representing the native plants and animals of nearby Clover Creek. I contacted local experts to put together a list of flora and fauna that are truly native to that very specific place. From the list I then chose things that would be fun to paint and fun for the kids to look at. 
I started last spring (see the cherry blossom?) with my pal Barry who helped me devise a way to paint a twelve foot tall canvas in a seven foot tall studio. 
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

First I had to prime it in the only space large enough to fit an 8×12 canvas – the street in front of my house.

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
And we’re done.
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
Next Barry installed his ingenious invention of a two roller system with a breaking mechanism in the studio. 

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
I started by color washing the canvas with a lovely purple grey and then began to paint a couple of Fringe cup flowers – looking at both photos and the actual flowers which were blooming in my garden at the time. 

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
Since the painting is a “bug’s eye view” I looked at plants from below to get the right perspective. 
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
I had to look at this little Inside Out Flower with a magnifying glass.
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

The studio felt pretty small for such a large piece. 

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Painting the Salal berries. Who knew they were such sculptures? 

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Here are the Salal berries finished and photographed from the top of the canvas as it lay flat on the floor waiting to be stretched. 
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

I stretched the painting at Clover Creek Elementary School with the expertise of conservator Peter Malarkey. He put the stretcher together easily and then stretched the canvas onto it by lying underneath. (The expansion bolt stretcher was manufactured by Museum Services in Minnesota.)

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Then he checked for wrinkles with a flashlight. 


Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
The painting was installed by Tim Purtill of Atomic Art Services with some very tall ladders and steady nerves. 
Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View
 My heart was pounding during the installation. I look a little freaked out.

Clover Creek: A Bug's Eye View

Thank you to Mike Sweney of the Washington State Arts Commission for his patience guiding me through all the paperwork. 
The plants and animals of Clover Creek: A Bug’s Eye View are –
Vancouveria hexandra

 inside-out flower

 

 

Lonicera involucrata

twinberry
Gaultheria shallon

salal
Maianthemum dilatatum 

false lily-of–the-valley

Rubus spectabilis

salmonberry

Maianthemum stellatum

starry false solomon’s seal

Tellima grandiflora

Fringe cup 
Equisetum

Horse Tail

Cladonia

macilenta

Lipstick Cladonia

Dicentra formosa

Pacific Bleeding heart

Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus

moss

Cladonia chlorophaea

Pixie Cup Lichen

Misumena vatia

Goldenrod Crab Spider

Monadenia fidelis

Pacific Sideband Snail

Pseudacris regilla

Pacific Tree Frog

Papilio rutulus

Swallowtail Butterfly