Methow Valley 3rd graders create Textured Trees

March 2020

by Ashley Lodato

Education Director, Methow Arts Alliance


Third graders at Methow Valley Elementary School learned about the use of texture in art by creating engraved trees and soil. Scratch art is a type of direct engraving, which means cutting or incising an image into a surface.  

Scratchboards are a means of creating an image by starting with a black surface and scratching through it to reveal colored layers below. In the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs and is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties. We associate textures with the way that things look (implied texture) or feel (tactile texture).


Under the guidance of teaching artist Anne Venable, students scratched their trees, aiming to create coarse, rough, smooth, rugged, fluffy, lumpy, bumpy, polished, slick, jagged, irregular, and ridged textures on their trunks, limbs, leaves, and in the soil below. The textures are implied by the use of engraved patterns and crosshatching; they are the textures suggested by the artist, even though there is no texture to touch or feel.


Some of the artwork is displayed at the Methow Arts office on Glover Street in Twisp and can be viewed simply by walking past the building and looking at the framed art. Featured student artists are Methow Valley 3rd grade students Lyric Ashford, Harlan Bakke, Bayne Buzzard, Kaylee Cole, Zoie Dubowy, Rowan Kelley, Vinny Scarsella, Tova Slostad, Nolan Smith, Sutherland Stokes, Lucy Troyer, Avery Vracin, Oona Vanbianchi, and Jude Wicken. 

This residency was brought to students by Methow Arts’ Okanogan Region Arts Education Partnership.  The partnership serves more than 5,200 students and 370 teachers across Okanogan County with arts programs in classrooms in the Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Bridgeport, Pateros, and Methow School Districts, and in the Paschal Sherman Indian School. Residency sponsors in the Methow Valley include the the Public School Funding Alliance, ArtsWA, the Methow Valley School District, Icicle Fund, the Robert B. McMillen Foundation, and the Methow Valley Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington


INFO: Methow Arts Alliance, 509.997.4004,