Submitted with permission

BETHEL — Art can heal. Literally. According to an article in the British paper, The Telegraph, scientists found that appreciating art can ward off diseases. Art improves brain functioning. When showing people a work of art they considered beautiful, those people’s blood flowed up to 10 percent to the brain, giving them nearly the same as the feeling as looking at a loved one, says the website Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being

To help tie up the summer with a creative twist, art teacher Ashley Broderick at Crescent Elementary School provides The Bethel Citizen with an art project for kids/young adults to do, either with or without their parents, to help everyone get those creative powers back in time for the new semester.

The artist who inspired the following project was named Mary Blair. Mary Blair was an American artist and designer. She was most well-known for the art she produced for Walt-Disney. She helped create for movies like Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. She was also a children’s book illustrator.

Let’s take a look at the materials needed:
-white piece of paper
-a pencil
-a sharpie
-paint brushes

The following art project was created by Ashley Broderick, and has been summarized here. For more details, please visit Ashley Broderick’s YouTube channel called, ‘Brushstrokes with Mrs.Broderick,’ at:

1. Grab pencil and white piece of paper
2. Draw a small square box in the left hand corner
3. Make another box on top of that one, so it looks like a castle
4. On top of that box, stack four different size squares and rectangles on top of one another
5. Now, go back in, and add different shapes within the squares. Whatever you would like, circles or rainbow bends, or maybe lines crossing
6. At the very top, add the flame of a candle, so you have two curved lines that look like a Hershey Kiss treat. Draw triangle inside.
7. At the top of the flame, draw two stacked circles. Then, add flag at the top of the circles.
8. Go to the bottom of the page. Next to the box we started with, add a much bigger box, and let’s turn it into a doorway. Draw a half-circle so it reaches the top, with a line down the middle of it. Don’t forget to add handles! Draw a few solid lines anywhere in the half-circle—have as much fun with this as you want!
9.Now on top of that box, make a long rectangle on top of it, so it’s against the original box. Draw a doorway shape inside of that. Draw a line down the middle. Then draw a line across the middle.
10. On top of that box, draw two triangles, with whatever design you want to draw inside. On top of both of those triangles, draw a circle with a flag attached to it.
11. Next to this rectangle, draw a smaller box. Draw a line down the center, then two lines diagonally off to opposite sides.
12. On top of this square, draw another square with three circles in the center.
13. Draw a big arch over this square, and fill it in with many lines. Add a flag!
14. Go back to the bottom of the page and make another square box next to the rectangle. On top of that draw a long rectangle on top of it. Fill it up with as many diamond shapes as possible! Don’t forget to add the flag on top at the very end!
15. Draw four stacks of squares in the last row. Fill them each with whatever shapes you like. When you get to the very top, draw a cone shape and add fun lines from top to bottom inside. Top it off with a flag!


Now you have your finished castle

Grab your crayons! Each little square is going to have one color in it! Each section is going to have the same shade with the watercolors. Start first with just your crayons so you don’t smudge anything. So if you color in your flame blue with the crayon, on the lines outside, take your blue paint, and paint the outside lines blue. So now everything is blue but in different shades! Remember with watercolors, the less water you use, the more color! So now go ahead and color in all the different squares with a different crayon, then go back and paint the areas around it with a corresponding color. It should be very colorful and bright when you finish!!!

Did you know…colors are not objective. That means the blue you see may not be the blue your friend sees. This is because, “The number of cones (photoreceptors) in the human retina is not constant,” according to But there’s more to colors than that. Colors have an impact on your mood. “Warm-toned colors evoke feelings of happiness, optimism, and energy so they are more closely linked with positive emotions,” says the North American Mental Health Professional Advice Council . 

When in doubt, throw the dark out; grab the lights, make a castle picture tonight, and show the world your creative likes.


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