Splish Splash Reading Bash Anamorphic Chalk Drawing

The George F. Johnson Library has asked me to do a number of chalk art sidewalk drawing classes over the years, and recently wanted me to come to a Summer Reading event called the Splish Splash Reading Bash to create some artwork for the kids. I decided to use this as another chance to practice a 3D anamorphic chalk drawing as immediately an image of a cartoon fish came to mind, so I sketched up a quick concept of a hole in the sidewalk filled with water, and a lounging fish with his favorite book on the ground beside him.

I arrived 3 hours early to make my speed drawing, but bad weather kept threatening the event. Some last minute changes made the mural drawing much more difficult as I moved off of the sidewalk and under cover by the main doors to hopefully protect me from any rain. The surface here, however, was a fine tooth cement and not blacktop or pavement, and I quickly found out that it wouldn’t hold the chalk nearly as well as other surfaces. It was tough to create any rich colors, and slight breezes would puff much of the powder away.

This section was also sloped for access to the nearby bike rack, and that change in surface angle made creating the proper 3D perspective exceptionally hard. Add to that a town work crew using leaf blowers and weed whackers kicking dust and debris across my work area (not to mention one giant stick launched into my foot like a projectile) as well as a killer hornet sting on the back of my arm and it made for, well, difficult conditions to say the least. Still, I worked with the limited time I had and was complete by the start of the event.

Unfortunately my run of bad luck continued as that threatening sky opened up with a summer shower forcing people to seek cover for about 20 minutes until the rain passed. And they sought cover right on top of my mural. That’s right, wet feet, stroller wheels and dripping clothes stood on the art during the storm, and the end result wasn’t pretty. I can’t really blame them, they had to get out of the rain, but it was still tough to watch.

I did manage to get these photos from the event though, so enjoy the progress, feel free to wince a little at the people standing on the art, and as always please let me know your thoughts and comments below.

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