Monday, September 15, 2014


Many thanks to all who came out for our 6th annual Big Chalk Draw.  We had a beautiful cool morning and a fresh slate of parking lot for a fun morning of community art.  Looking over the pictures from the event reminded me of some of my favorite aspects of group art making.

First there is just the great energy of people making marks together.  It was fun to watch people gather throughout the morning.

As we worked and drew I loved the shared projects that emerged.
Sometimes one person began an outline and others added details or lots of color.

Sometimes a drawing seemed to suggest a story and other artists added to the tableau with new ideas.

Tracing each other was a fun way to play with inventing characters.

Then there was the fun of watching designs emerge from the mosaics of colored sections of cracked black-top.

I loved watching drawings inspire other drawings.  The large fish was drawn very early in the morning and later inspired a whole school of baby fish.  The younger artist modeled her drawing on the bigger fish but also added her own unique style.  Great practice observing and connecting with another artist through viewing art.

Nearby I loved watching the emergence of this sun over mountains.

It was only later that I saw it had also clearly inspired another similar peaceful scene nearby.

Our sewing teacher began this geometric pattern of traditional quilt blocks and other artists soon added blocks of their own design to what she began.

On the other side of the parking lot a group created a friend tree with hands and feet for leaves.  This reminded me of how great it is to mark beginnings and endings with group art making.  Last spring we had several groups in the studio make art pieces for friends who were moving away.  The end of summer marks both a beginning of school and an end to summer so it is fun to see this celebration of friendship at this transition time.

While I watched lots of activity around this grid, it was only when another adult pointed it out to me that I realized the children had been playing a game.  "Find the face" was like a maze drawn on a grid for kids to play the puzzle.  This brought to mind how important it is to get the story behind an image to really understand it.  I was also thankful to the woman who observed and shared the story with me so I didn't miss the chance to know about it.

Thanks again to all participants for a great morning of creativity, collaboration and fun.  Thank you also to all who brought school supplies for Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services and to Bethlehem Baptist Church for the use of their parking lot so ours was free for art.
Many thanks as well to Louise Kraft for her great photo essay of the event in the Mount Vernon Gazette.
Below is a link to a time-lapse video reducing our 2 hours of chalk drawing to two and a half minutes.

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