Indio Chalk Festival, Day 3.

I awoke to a cloudy sky.  There had been a forecast of possible overnight rain, and I had put a tarp over my painting, though it was not big enough and I could only tarp about 60% of the finished part.  As I was starting to get ready to leave, it started to rain.  There wasn’t any time in which to hurry any faster.  It rained a little as I drove the 40 miles to Indio.  When I got there, Mamun (the city planner) was walking out to the parking lot.  He said to me ‘It rained hard here overnight, it’s a disaster, it’s all gone.’  $%&#$%^. Then he confessed he was joking.  $%&#$%^, Mamun!

We did have some sprinkles during the day, much of the morning I had most of my work tarped, even under the canopy.  It cleared up in the afternoon, though there is still a forecast of rain overnight.    Here’s the progress.

Indio Chalk Festival

Some clouds and a bit of space going in.

Indio Chalk Festival

All the sky is done now.

Indio Chalk Festival

Here come the clouds – in more ways than one.

Indio Chalk Festival

I’m hiding it from the rain here, some is blowing in under the canopy.

Indio Chalk Festival

Space is finished, now to add space objects.

Indio Chalk Festival

All done except for those cracks I found I can fill with chalk easily

Indio Chalk Festival

Some of the crowds, some of the clouds. It actually got a lot** busier than this, but I was busy at that time.

Indio Chalk Festival

Totally finished. “The artist as part of the environment”. 8’x8′, chalk on blacktop.

Let’s go check out some of the competition.

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 1

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 2

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 3

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 4

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 5

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 6

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 7

Indio Chalk Festival

Competitor 8

Judging is at noon tomorrow, but we have to be done by 10am.



Indio Chalk festival, Day 1.

I spent much of the day folded up on Miles Ave in Indio, wearing out my fingerprints, making my knees and hips sore, and straining my back.  This is for a big competition.  Well, big for me, anyway.  I’ll let the pictures paint the thousand words as my fingers are sore from rubbing chalk into the blacktop.

Chalk festival entry progress

Chalk festival entry progress

Here we go!

Chalk festival entry progress

Laying the grid to guide my outline

Chalk festival entry progress

The outline

Chalk festival entry progress

This is what it’s called

Chalk festival entry progress

I look like Darth Vader at this point

Chalk festival entry progress

Progress on the face

Chalk festival entry progress

Face and neck mostly done

Chalk festival entry progress

More corrections on the face. Being faceblind isn’t easy – I think** it kinda** looks like me, but I’m not sure.

Chalk festival entry progress

The waterfall on the left of the face, and the sky in between

Chalk festival entry progress

The field is in. I’m not entirely happy with this part and might rework it later.

Chalk festival entry progress

Blocking in the left hand. OK, I’m done for the day.

Sonnet Challenge #18

A good friend is currently in a place that is unenviable, having been diagnosed with a brain tumor and then a lung tumor.  It seems that the lung tumor is, and the brain tumor might be treatable.  Yesterday she had to give a speech to her Toastmaster group about Uncertainty.  We were talking on the weekend about this and the fact that she had just received the copy of Busting the Bard that I sent, and I said I was always open to subjects for inspiration for sonnets.  So she challenged me with her subject ‘Uncertainty’, and when a sonnet promptly fell out of the end of the pen, she found inspiration to include it in her speech.

We stagger on uncertainty’s straight path,

a hodge-podge mix of dust and stepping stones

that zigzag through our lives and cut a swath

of chaos, for we know not where it goes.

Between the forest of many different trees

that hang low branches that might offer fruit,

succulent nutrition or poison’s tease,

and grow so thick that we cannot see through

to surety.  This path, these trees are set

and we must follow, gamble right and left

at forks, and clueless how to place the bet –

our lives – to flourish or to be bereft.

So flip the coin of vague uncertainty

the other side is possibility.

Sonnet Challenge #17

I seem to have spent so much time recently on travelling and teaching, there’s been little time to paint (except commissions) or write, though the most recent trip to the Phoenix area produced another eight sonnets which I have yet to even type up.  Nevertheless, even without prompting from something or someone, occasionally a poem will fall out of the end of the pen.

Happiness is a gray stick
A thick, gray, gnarly four-foot stick to hold

and lean on, when you have Atlas’s day;

warm wood to grip, not metal, when you’re cold;

a friend to prod dark paths and find your way

between elations clouds, chasm’s dark eyes.

Such is the stick of happiness, who prods

you on from gray dawn to a bright sunrise

with steadiness solider than carrot gods

that promise futures.  Happiness is now,

it takes tomorrow when it becomes today;

yesterday’s a less, not a furrowed brow –

or just a tale that we can laugh a way.

When you walk with the stick of happiness

you’ll go through life with more, and never less.

Sonnet Challenge #15

This suggestion was ‘the frustration of a red light that never seems to change’.  It reminded me of an incident in the high desert when I was driving up to a show there.  I took a ‘short cut’, which turned out to be the shopping strip.  There was a light at every driveway.  I think I must have passed 30 or so lights.  3 of them were actually green.  I think two I got caught at twice, and one particularly badly time light I was behind it red 4 times.  But before that light, here’s a true story…..


The Long light.
I wanted to rush orange but didn’t dare,

my mirror shows a cop is right behind.

We’re at the light that’s turned to red and there

we sit.  And sit.  And sit.  And then I find

the light ahead’s red too, and one car waits

for nothing.  Just like us no vehicles cross

the intersection.  Green!  Ha! He still bates

his breath ahead on wheels that gather moss.

It’ll turn by the time I get there, that’s for sure.

Can’t race – the cop in tow – I thus proceed.

He’s green!  He goes….. but quickly red once more!

I feel the hopes of getting home recede.

We stand and burn gas, stress until we’re mean

at lights that take so, so long to turn green.

Sonnet Challenge #13

“Mongolian Archers” is another of the challenges from Eric in Ventura.  I don’t know if Eric also likes bows and arrows (I suppose all guys are sometimes still in touch with that part of their inner 8 year old) but this was another topic that sent me to Wikipedia…

Mongolian Archers

The horn, the wood, the sinew form a curve.

Fit in the feathered stock and then – release!

The arched trajectory that we observe

was not invented as a thing of peace.

But games are where such archery is fun –

at the Nadaam we will compete at ‘sur’.

But short camel-hide baskets never run!

Our bows have been designed for hunting fur-

wrapped food, and shooting from your galloping horse –

distinct advantage over knights with spears

until development had run its course

and guns and bullets made the west our peers.

But if you’re hunted, if you are our prey

And you can hear that draw – away!  Away!

Sonnet Challenge #12

Eric in Ventura is again the challenger for “Peter Rabbit”.  I’d never read the book so I had to do a bit of research.  (If you like my sonnets, please send wikipedia some money.)

Peter Rabbit.
I’m just a boy inside a rabbit skin –

my mother’s words red rag to this young bull –

“The garden’s dangerous, so don’t go in”

the push I needed with the garden’s pull.

The lettuce was delicious, carrots too,

tomatoes, celery, cucumber!  Argh, too much!

To fix this tummy ache, parsley will do.

But here’s the man!  I must escape his touch.

I’ve shed my coat and shoes and slipped away….

The shed to hide in but oh no, I’m found –

I run, sneak past the cat, ahh, there’s the gate!

And now I’ll streak back home on safer ground.

Mom yelled, “The garden’s not the place to be!”

Sent me to bed with sweet chamomile tea.