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Speed Painting

San Jose, CA






John Barry



Charter School Students Turn Scooters Into Brushes


San Jose, CA, May 20, 2015—We ran our third trAction Painting event with school kids at Discovery Charter School. I called it “Speed Painting,” because we had less than two hours for 40 second, fourth, and fifth graders to complete a 7 x 14 foot painting by using Razor scooters as brushes. Thanks to our assistants, the kids’ teachers, and an enthusiastic parent volunteer, we pulled it off. Once the kids got the hang of transforming these ubiquitous modes of transit into trAction Painting instruments, they laid down red, pink, and dark- and light-blue tracks on a yellow-gessoed canvas.


The teachers had prepped them for the event by discussing aspects of art, particularly as it relates to motion. When it comes to painting, not much can be more kinetic that zooming and skidding across a large canvas. Some kids went beyond simply making tracks and performed jumps, which occasionally caused paint to jump from its container on the scooter onto the canvas, resulting in rosy/cerulean Rorschachs that complemented wheel-wrought lines. JeanAnn had some of the kids who weren’t Razoring paint with toy cars on small canvases while they waited their turn to take turns on the capacious canvas.


The painting resides at the school. At some point we need to hang it and get a good digital image. The photo in this blog shows one of the painters in action and the nearly completed canvas. We now have to prep for our next event: a second trAction Painting summer camp. This year, the focus will be on geometry.



trAction Painting in the News


Our “trAction Painting Summer Camp” video ran several times in March on Contra Costa Television.


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