Monday, May 3, 2010
Art on a Rain Barrel
To commemorate "Clean Water Day", the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) is holding an Art on a Rain Barrel Festival on May 15th. As part of this event, I volunteered to paint a rain barrel that will be auctioned off later this summer for a VINS fundraiser. You can find out more information about the event by clicking here.
When my Aunt first told me about this event, I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to mesh some natural science with art. I contacted VINS about participating and went to go pick up a barrel to paint. Then just a few days later, I was contacted through my work about presenting a river model flume that we use as an educational tool to demonstrate river processes. So, turns out I will be at the event as both an artist and a scientist.
I decided to paint my barrel with a fish theme, and feature some of the Vermont fish associated with a healthy cold water cobble bottom stream ecosystem. Below is a composite photo with a key to each of the fish species. I was originally planning to include invertebrates and different types of algae, but then decided to just keep it simple.
I took some liberties with the colors I used for some of the fish, and made the fish a bit larger than real life, sort of mimicking the way everything looks magnified when snorkeling under water. I wanted to make sure to include some of the habitat features that are critical for cold water fish species, such as cobbles and gravels free of excess sediment and large woody debris for cover.