Journal Items

Redwood City Chalk Festival 2017 - Chalk is Cheap

Sometimes it is easier to say you will paint something than to actually do it. I have painted a lot of Monarch Butterflies all over the Bay Area, but putting my butterfly magic on the Court Square for the Chalk Festival in Redwood City was a complete different story.

Photo Credits: David Coleman

Photo Credits: David Coleman

For the third year in a row, artists from as far as Sacramento to San Jose came to Redwood City to share their passion and creativity. For two days, we were drawing street paintings and illusions, while visitors walked among us enjoying the art, food, and the Fourth of July Parade.


People had the chance to see my Monarch Butterflies come to life before their eyes as I began and completed my large-scale chalk art piece in just two days. I tried to turn my butterflies into a 3D painting. The first day, I left the house at 5:45 a.m. and worked until sunset. It was the first time that I attended a Chalk Festival. So I still had to figure out my technique in the process. The asphalt didn’t take the charcoal paint well. So I worked rougher and didn’t do much blending of colors. The second day, I started with the sunrise and finished around 2 p.m. As soon as the sun came out it was hot as we chalked on the pavement. After a while you lose yourself in the work. It becomes quite meditative. I’m very grateful for my sponsors Kris Johnson and Julie Pardini. Kris Johnson and his family supported me during the event and let me stay at their place. The event was very exhausting, but a great experience!

The process and vulnerability of the piece remind me of sand mandalas from Tibetan monks. I’m sure the chalk paintings will be left on the Court Square for a time, but they are very fragile. So better go soon, if you want to see them in full glory.