A Catalog of Brush Strokes

Painting with Participles

Participles Painted by Hemingway

Shifting the weight of the line to his left shoulder and kneeling carefully, he washed his hand in the ocean and held it there, submerged, for more than a minute, watching the blood trail away and the steady movement of the water against his hand as the boat moved. --- Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Participles Painted by Students

Flying through the air on the wings of a dream, the Olympic long jumper thrust the weight of his whole body forward. --- Cathleen Conry

The rhino, caught in the tangled rope, looked for freedom. --- Erika Schreckengost

Melody froze, dripping with sweat, hoping with all her might that they wouldn’t hear the noise. A beam of light swung out into the darkness, searching. --- Becky Swab

The clown, appearing bright and cheerful, smiled and did his act with unusual certainty for someone who had just killed a man. --- Christi Flick

Painting with Absolutes

Absolutes Painted by Anne Rice

The mummy was moving. The mummy’s right arm was outstretched, the torn wrappings hanging from it, as the being stepped out of its gilded box! The scream froze in her throat. The thing was coming towards her---towards Henry, who stood with his back to it-- moving with a weak, shuffling gait, that arm outstretched before it, the dust rising from the rotting linen that covered it, a great smell of dust and decay filling the room. --- The Mummy by Anne Rice

Absolutes Painted by Students

Mind racing, anxiety overtaking, the diver peered once more at the specimen. --- Erin Stralka

I glanced at my clock, digits glowing florescent blue in the inky darkness of my room. --- Jenn Coppolo

Jaws cracking, tongue curling, the kitten yawned tiredly, awaking from her nap. --- Tara Tesmer

Painting with Appositives

Appositives Painted by Cornelius Ryan

Plowing through the choppy gray waters, a phalanx of ships bore down on Hitler's Europe: fast new attack transports, slow rust-scarred freighters, small ocean liners, channel steamers, hospital ships, weather-beaten tankers, and swarms of fussing tugs. Barrage balloons flew above the ships. Squadrons of fighter planes weaved below the clouds. And surrounding this cavalcade of ships packed with men, guns, tanks, and motor vehicles, and supplies came a formidable array of 702 warships. --- June 6, 1944: The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

Appositives Painted by Students

The volcano, a ravenous God of fire, spewed forth lava and ash across the mountain. --- Ben Quagliata

The old Navajo woman, a weak and withered lady, stared blankly. -- Jon Vadnal

The waterfall, a tilted pitcher, poured the fresh, pure spray into the creek. The essence of natural beauty, tranquil and majestic, it seemed to enchant the forest with a mystical rush that echoed throughout the untouched virgin paradise. --- Allie Archer

The fish, a slimy mass of flesh, felt the alligator’s giant teeth sink into his scales as he struggled to get away. --- Lindsey Kannen

Painting with Adjectives Out of Order

Adjectives Out of Order Painted by Doyle, Carr, and Peck

And then, suddenly, in the very dead of the night, there came a sound to my ears, clear, resonant, and unmistakable. --- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conon Doyle

The Pavilion was a simple city, long and rectangular. --- Alienist by Caleb Carr

I could smell Mama, crisp and starched, plumping my pillow, and the cool muslin pillowcase touched both my ears as the back of my head sank into all those feathers. --- A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

Adjectives Out of Order Painted by Students

The woman, old and wrinkled, smiled upon her newborn great-grandson with pride. --- Stephanie Schwallie

The boxer, twisted and tormented, felt no compassion for his contender. --- Chris Hloros

The cheetah, tired and hungry, stared at the gazelle, which would soon become his dinner. --- Zach Vesoulis

Painting with Action Verbs


The runaway horse was ridden into town by an old, white-whiskered rancher.

The grocery store was robbed by two armed men.


The old, white-whiskered rancher rode the runaway horse into town.

Two armed men robbed the grocery store.


The gravel road was on the left side of

the barn.


The gravel road curled around the left

side of the barn.

Active Verbs Painted by Shawn and Jerry Jividen

First Draft

Rockwell was a beautiful lake. Canada geese could be heard across the water bugling like tuneless trumpets. Near the shore, two children were hidden behind a massive maple tree. Watching quietly, they hoped to see the first gosling begin to hatch. Tiny giggles escaped their whispers of excitement.

Final Draft

Rockwell Lake echoed with the sounds of Canada geese. Their honking bugled across the water like tuneless trumpets. Two children hid behind a massive maple tree. They silently watched, hoping to see the first gosling hatch. Tiny giggles escaped their whispers of excitement. --- Goose Moon by Shawn and Jerry Jividen

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