From tree to paper to tree.

Linda DeCarlo’s fourth grade classes at Franklin Elementary School in Reisterstown embarked on a project for several weeks that included crayon drawings, pencil sketches, texturizing and painting. For Kassidy Shani, the project culminated in her work being displayed at the Baltimore County Student Art Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum.

Kassidy is one of more than 100 county elementary and middle school students whose artwork was on display from Mar. 1-12. “I didn’t think my artwork would get chosen,” said Kassidy, 10, who lives in Owings Mills.

Kassidy enjoyed the process of drawing and sketching a tree, as well as layering recycled materials including cardboard and tissue paper to add texture. The last step was painting with oil pastels on top of the materials and blending the background to the tree. Kassidy chose yellows, greens and browns. She made the leaves red to honor the colors of fall.

She said she surprised herself – her artwork actually looks like a tree.

When DeCarlo considered which work of art to share with the Walters, she evaluated all of the works of the entire student body.

“I view successful art work that exemplifies the concepts of the lesson. In this case, drawing/collage/painting in a tree focus,” she said. “Then, I look at the names. Kassidy’s tree artwork encompasses all of these medias well. Her choice of color made her tree shine!”

Said Kassidy: “My dad told me I’m the hardest critic on myself. I tried my best and I did well. The next time when I do something like this, I should take my time and it could be an even better picture.”

Kassidy’s mom, Jodi Shani, said she was excited for her daughter. “We’re very proud of her,” she said. “She’s a very creative person and talented with many different materials.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer.

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