Sarasota International Chalk Festival, October 30-31 2010
Sarasota was a high point for us this year. It was our first street painting festival outside California, and the first time we flew in to a festival. The organizers brought in a lot of painters from around the country and around the globe: one of the three feature artists was Edgar Mueller from Germany, five artists came from Italy, another came from the Netherlands, and there were at least 15 of us Californians painting the streets (including another one of the feature artists--Tracy Lee Stum--and most of her crew). We had a chance to meet a lot of artists from Florida and the East Coast, too. Flying to the festival meant we had to consider every ounce of chalk we took, so we didn't try to take our usual 80 lb. assortment of colors, and we built new lightweight seats to use.
The theme of the festival was Halloween, so we asked four of the neighbor kids (ages 2, 3, 4 and 5) if they would pose for us in their costumes. Ava and Giana from across the street came in their crayon outfits, and Jesse and Natalie from down the street were the Frog Prince and Frog Princess, respectively. We photographed the kids on a rainy Sunday while they ran around our living room (which resulted in a lot of very cute, very blurry photos). From those photos we put together a painting that could be interactive with the passersby--people could pose with the painting so that they looked like they were handing out candy to the kids.
We got started early on Saturday--and soon realized that because Sarasota is near the western edge of the Eastern time zone, the sun rises and sets later in the day. At 7:00 AM, the sun wasn't up yet, but we weren't the only street painters ready to go that early.
Once we had the painting outlines pounced, Wayne posed to see if the illusion worked.
We've learned that there are two good ways to make a 3D painting "pop" or look like it's standing up: one is to view it in a camera lens, and the other is to do what Wayne's doing here...sort of. Cupping your fingers around an eye like you have a telescope is the necessary part (make sure you keep that eye open and the other one shut, not vice versa). Raising one leg, putting a hand behind your head and humming Yankee Doodle are better tests of one's gullibility.
We started with Giana (age 2) because she was the best kid for people to pose with.
Giana looks absorbed in what's in her pumpkin bag, but in reality, she wouldn't keep her hat on until her mom handed over her iPhone. We swapped out the iPhone in Photoshop, mostly because it just looked like a black rectangle. She looked like a little businessman checking her email (albeit while dressed as a yellow crayon).
Jesse was next, and we soon found that his eyes would follow you.
This image gives some sense of scale. Jesse's face was at least 2 feet tall.
The Frog Painter meets the Frog Prince.
Note the lovely ears Wayne made for our hats as our Halloween costumes.
Headshots of the Frog siblings.
Wayne starts to work on Natalie's fluffy tiara.
At the end of the Saturday, with the light fading, Cheryl paints Jesse's hand (it got touched up again Sunday morning when the light was better).
Sunday morning: Ava has a hat and is starting to get a face.
We had a visitor check out the painting very closely.
A view from the side showing Ava's five-foot-tall hat.
Cheryl dressed as a ladybug for Sunday (spots provided by Alice). The antennae made for interesting shadows on the painting.
Our sponsors Jermiah and Nathanael pose with the painting.
Ta da! Finished!
Closeup of Giana.
Closeup of Jesse (Let me introduce his Frogness).
Closeup of Natalie (Sweet little princess).
Closeup of Ava. I love how all four kids have different expressions.
A bystander demonstrates the painting's interactivity by giving candy to Giana.
Wayne and Cheryl pose with the completed painting.
The view from the top--all strrrrrretched out!
Jesse appears to peek at you through the crowd.
Closeup of Natalie and Ava.
The painting pops!
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