I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

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Update by Robert Bernstein
May 29, 2019

In my first article (below) I highlighted how the 33rd annual I Madonnari Chalk Painting Festival was off to a good start on Saturday with rain forecast for Sunday. Here is an update now that the event is over!

Here are all of my photos arranged in galleries by day along with my favorite picks from the weekend!

I am grateful to all of the artists who took the time to talk to me and to pose for photos! Some of them appeared in my first article and I will not repeat those.

Rima was a former resident at St Vincent's and was very grateful for the services they provide. Here she was honoring them

This anamorphic piece was one of my favorites and artist Wayne Renshaw kindly posed for this shot

Here it is in its proper perspective!

This artist had come from Puerto Vallarta as part of the Santa Barbara - Puerto Vallarta Sister Cities project to create this grand piece

Cecilia Linayao was back for yet another year to create a magical piece of nested levels of reality!

I will pause here to note that I was honored to be chosen as the photographer of the year for the I Madonnari T-shirt design! Here my photo from last year was used for the T-shirts, the aprons and the note cards!

The art piece was "Eel Garden Party" by Ann Hefferman. Here Ann posed with her piece from this year!

Lisa Lohmeyer created a cafe scene with Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh and Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring". Note that each of these are figures in paintings because Kahlo and Van Gogh did themselves in self-portraits

Kieran Meaney is a talented artist who posed with her creation

Kieran is also the daughter of architect and artist Tom Meaney and she was the subject of his creation! She kindly posed with that piece as well!

Jay Schwartz was another featured artist making a large chalk painting at the foot of the Mission steps

Rod Tryon and I worked together long ago at the Goleta Valley Voice. He created yet another magnificent anamorphic piece this year and posed with it

My friend Sharyn Chan worked very long hours to finish up her showcase piece at the foot of the Mission steps. Her artwork was a collage of three great dancers. From left to right: Gillian Murphy, Heather McGinley, Liudmila Konovalova. The photos of the dancers came from the New York City Dance Project:

I met a couple Wayne and Georgia Hart of "Lompoc Chalks" which has their own chalk painting festival in June. The Notre Dame piece that I featured in my first article was from Lompoc Chalks. That piece was done by Don Fletcher.

Meredith Morin created this giant depiction of Lily Tomlin

Marlon Yanes created one of the most stunning pieces in the festival this year. He did not originally intend it to be anamorphic. But he was inspired by his artist neighbors to make his anamorphic. Which just added to its impact!

I have many more stories from artists but I am already way over my quota of images for an article! Thanks to Javier Garcia who created the Fiesta dancers. Thanks to Vicki Richtman who created the boy and 
dog piece. Thanks to Carolina Vanstone who created the Trumpeter Swan. Each kindly posed with their art in my photos.

I encourage you to browse all of the galleries here!

The entire event is a fund raiser for the Children's Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The Project serves 50,000 children in more than 100 schools with visual and performing arts workshops and performances throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.


By Robert Bernstein
May 25, 2019

The 33rd annual I Madonnari Chalk Painting Festival is off to a good start on Saturday with rain forecast for Sunday.

Here are all of my photos on Saturday! Here are a few photos from Friday evening, too.

Ana Fagan has been making chalk paintings for Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS) for years. Here she sketches out her plans for this year

Jenny of Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute was far along in creating a girl with piercing blue eyes. She was fairly sure that it would not rain and if it did she thought her girl would be OK in the rain.

This anamorphic piece was one of my favorites on Saturday. If you stood in just the right spot the figures jumped out of the pavement into stunning three-D!

Sharon Chan is the featured artist this year with her creation at the foot of the steps well underway. She told me she started back on Tuesday! She has been working on huge pieces at I Madonnari for many years. But this is the first year she received this honored position!

Architect Tom Meaney is known for the extraordinary subtlety of the skin tones in his art. His pieces always involve family members. He was kind enough to share one of his secrets with me: He mixes commercial pigments with his own special chalk formulation. In addition to the chalk he adds bees wax, Ivory soap, linseed oil and wallpaper paste. His special formula gives fine gradations of tone as well as giving the chalk an extra bit of endurance.

These artists were honoring the efforts to restore the Notre Dame cathedral after the recent tragic fire. They explained to me that this was based on a photo they had taken from the upper level of the
cathedral. I expressed my envy as I have been in Notre Dame several times but never had the time to wait in the long line to go to that upper level.

This young artist was nearly finished with her magnificent piece. She said this was taken from a photo of her sister

These young artists are still in high school yet they are already creating quality chalk paintings

Delphine Louie Anaya I originally knew as an energetic swing dancer who was an art teacher at Laguna Blanca. She lives in LA now, but comes back each year to create ever more magnificent art! Here she depicts a yak which is a very important animal in the high mountains of the Himalayas

Most of the artists I talked to had plans to cover their art to protect it from the forecast rain. Some were working together to cover several pieces at once. This is far more effective than each one acting alone.

I am very grateful to the artists who took the time to pose during their long and challenging creation process. And grateful to all of the artists for their beautiful contributions.

I like to go each day and watch the progress as the art is created. I also return on the morning after to photograph pieces that were not quite done the last afternoon and/or that were too crowded to photograph!

Please stand by for more photos later. Let's hope some of the best pieces can be saved from the forecast rain.

The entire event is a fund raiser for the Children's Creative Project, a nonprofit arts education program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. The Project serves 50,000 children in more than 100 schools with visual and performing arts workshops and performances throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

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PitMix May 28, 2019 09:57 AM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

The ones where you feel that you can step into them are amazing! Thank you to all of the artists that sacrificed their knees for us. Seems very physically demanding.

sbrobert May 28, 2019 08:33 AM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

Here are my latest photos and more will be coming! ========================================================================== http://swt.org/events/chalk2019/

sbrobert May 28, 2019 08:32 AM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

SHASTA GUY yes that is Lisa Lohmeyer creating an amazing piece. Yes LUVADUCK it is inspiring to watch creative people creating something positive together.

Luvaduck May 27, 2019 01:46 PM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

Planning and working together to cover in-progress art is a warm reminder that creative people are rarely destructive. They know no one exists in isolation even when they are alone/miserable/angry and rely on the hope things will improve.

Shasta Guy May 27, 2019 12:35 PM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

Very nice Robert! One of your photos caught my Peets friend Lisa working on her Vincent Van Gogh themed drawing (#86).

sbrobert May 27, 2019 12:16 PM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

Thank you for the very kind words! Here are my latest photos from Sunday! ========================================================================== http://swt.org/events/chalk2019/day2/

a-1571535206 May 26, 2019 03:07 PM
I Madonnari Chalk Paintings Final Round

As always, it is magnificent to see the talent and beauty of the creators and their creations. What a happy looking bunch. So glad the rains held off and the artists have been graced with nice, cool weather. THANK YOU for the wonderful photos and terrific descriptions and for introducing us to the artists, too.

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