What is almost as elusive as the Humboldt Marten itself? Paint shirts and messy projects!
Taking art supplies and a lesson on the road is a dream come true for a retired elementary teacher! The Humboldt Museum's Humboldt Marten Painting Workshop has now logged nearly 450 miles, stopping to paint at 3 schools.
What I've learned with this project is that kids, whether 6 or 16, are enchanted by the marten's story. As a species, it is not listed as threatened or endangered, but it is. However, researchers from Oregon State University FOUND a small group of Humboldt Martens along the Oregon Dunes over the summer! Their study and documentation is a rare find, too!
Historically, Humboldt Martens lived right here in Humboldt County. They have not lived in the cold, wet, sand dune environment and frogs have never been their main diet. Given that, it is with elation that they have "adapted" into an area that is safe from building, pesticides, and poachers. One high school student pointed out that they may still be prey for some larger mammals, but he thought that Oregon would have plenty of smaller animals to give the marten a better chance of survival. I loved that statement!
Painting with acrylic paints with forks gave way to more discussion about line, shape, texture, and layering than expected! It gives me inspiration and a push toward putting together more BLENDED art lessons and hitting the road!