Anyhow, I had just 2-3 days to prepare for this, I had done large scale art in a very, VERY long time... as in... since college, so my arms weren't ready for it, but I persevered, so I sent Andrei to buy chalk and chalk pastels (it is what you need to really succeed at sidewalk chalk art.
Well, I actually wanted to go art supply shopping myself, but Andrei volunteered, he would be my partner in crime through this and I assumed he knew what chalk pastels were since... well, since I have nearly every single media known to man around the house and he had JUST seen my chalk pastels from a couple of weeks ago when I chalked my hair blue just for kicks.
I was wrong.
He texted me to let me know Walmart didn't have chalk pastels at all, something I found incredibly odd since I knew they carried them and very cheap too.
I told him not to worry and to just get the chalk, I had sent him running my errands knowing full well I should have gone so it was my fault.
Saturday morning arrived, we packed the chalk Andrei had found, water, ice, gatorade and I couldn't find our sunscreen... I then proceeded to forget to pick some up like a dum-dum.
The set up for the festival was great, and Winter Garden is a super cute all-American type of town, their downtown is so pretty and everybody at the festival was incredibly nice. A group of lovely ladies got us situated and our square of 6x6 pavement had been already properly taped down with our names and everything.
They were very organized, so much so, that they even had shade (tents/umbrellas) for us to share and help keep us from overheating... and water, they even had free water. Like I said, these peeps were awesome.
So I forgot my sunscreen... and by the time we parked... I remembered my cushiony foam tiles had been left right inside my front door on my way out... CURSES!!! My knees are still hurting from the kneeling...
Anyway, we kept on going, the weather was nice, super cloudy and ominous:
We got down to chalking... I freehanded the illustration as fast as I could and gave Andrei a general area to work with... the sky. I forget not everybody is an artist from the beginning, so when I asked him to color the first flowers and he asked me for directions as I huffed and puffed trying to make the chalk stick to the pavement I realized I should have made a map just for him so he could go layer by layer... a good thought for next year.
After a bit of huffing and puffing our piece of art was looking like so:
Andrei looked around and saw that a lot of Artist were using pastels. I explained that they were way more smooth and vibrant than your average sidewalk chalk, hence why I had asked him to get a ton at walmart. He then pointed out that walmart did indeed have those pastels, but he was confused by me adding "chalk" to the name... and then we quietly argued about pastels and how I had to say chalk to make sure he didn't get oils and how everybody knew what chalk pastels were (the artists around me agreed).
Of course this convo didn't win us anything, but he decided to go to Joanns and get some pastels now that he knew what they were. This was still pretty early on in the morning. We arrived at 8, but could have been there an hour and a half earlier... and next year we probably will to beat the sun.
But I digress...while he was gone I fixed a couple of things on the chalk rendition that were bugging me, like her eye:
When Andrei came back laden with gifts of chalk pastels I started to really go crazy with the color. By this point the festival was officially open and in full swing, people kept stopping by and complimenting our handy work, which made us feel happy because it is really demanding, overall when you haven't done this in forever or at all!
The hours kept passing, we only knew what time it was from the announcements made over the loudspeaker for raffles and events, before we knew it, it was nearly 4 pm. My arms and legs were killing me, I had been kept hydrated by the awesome festival volunteers, shaded by a large patio umbrella they had provided, but I was at the end of my rope, I needed real rest, food a cubic ton of water and home.
I asked Andrei to help me pack up our stuff and start applying the finishing touches... because my brain was cooked and I was starting to get mighty red... and believe you me I don't burn easy.
Also... I might now remind you, or introduce you to the fact, that Andrei has OCD tendencies... he was way worse when we first were married, but I have managed to help him figure them out... give the man a task to color one area of pavement though, and a task that takes me 5 minutes can take him well over one hour (he likes to get things JUST right, plus he doesn't have training, which makes it harder).
I decided not to fight him and let him OCD it a bit with the blue, I went and sat under a tree and drank so much water I felt I could explode... so I was happy.
Finally he was done... or as done as he was going to get without me killing him, so we packed our junk and admired our finished piece:
The Winter Garden Art Association let me know they will have professional photos of each of the works online for us to get later, so I am hoping their camera is better than my cellphone. Also since we left early I have no idea if I even placed, I'll try to figure it out and let you guys know lol.
I learned a lot Saturday, had a blast, hung out with my best friend, met a bunch of artists and got to know my community better. It was a beautiful day in an idyllic setting, so even when I was sore beyond comprehension, covered in chalk and toasted to a crisp, I was so very happy, and I can't wait to do it all again next year.
Thanks so much for all your encouragement you guys. A year ago I wouldn't have gone out to a festival like this, much less drawn/colored something this big and in public without having a major panic attack due to anxiety.
This project has been helping me heal, the fact that I moved away and found a new place to call home, somewhere where dear friends are giving me encouragement and so much support, it all is starting to bring that girl I once was back to the forefront, and it feels wonderful.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.