Friday, December 2, 2016

Marietta Chalktoberfest 2016 - part two, and more ...

The Thanksgiving holidays delayed my writing the second part of this post.  We spent over a week in Tennessee with our daughter's family and the grand-children.  The weather was mild and sunny as we drove to and back from Brentwood, Tennessee.  I was surprised at the amount of color still left on the foliage.  I drove through the Chattahoochee National Forest, away from the main freeways.  As we drove past Cloudland Canyon State Park, in the upper elevation, it seemed that the red, yellow and gold colors were still prominent.  The bronze of the oak and beech trees and the red of the sourwood and sumac trees provided a magic canopy of warm hues to the highway.  The highway is GA 136 in northwest Georgia, going from Resada through Villanow and LaFayette, to Trenton and then into Tennessee.

The bad drought kept the colors on hold I think.  It was not easy taking photos though because the highway is narrow, very curvy with thousand-foot deep canyons, and the dense woodland by the roadside hide the view.  As we drove up high in the hills we could see smoke in the distance.  It has kept so dry around the South that there have been numerous wild fires.  Another reason is that parts of the forests are dying from absorbing pollution.  When we left Greater Atlanta we could smell the smoke in the air - and see a smoky haze, too.

When we returned home, a couple of days ago, I went in the front and back yards to take pictures (tree foliage shown in heading collage.)  It had not been cold and some of our annual planters were still looking good.  Some black walnuts were lying among the dead leaves and in just a minute or two I gathered a basket full of them.  Usually the squirrels eat them, but if they did they still left many nuts.  I am not sure what to do with them, as I know it is quite difficult to remove their outer shell.  The leaves are not falling from the trees very much and the whole yard has a golden glow.  Our cat Cody is happy napping though and does not look outside.  On Wednesday (Nov. 29) if finally rained; the first day in many weeks.  I hope it gave some relief and stopped some of the raging fires in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in Tennessee.  It is such a tragedy.

Now I need to finish my post on the chalk festival in Marietta that took place on October 8 and 9, 2016.  You can see part one of my post here.  The theme this year was "Old Masters."  The chalk drawing in the heading collage was done by Craig Thomas from Cape Girardeau, MO; below is a close up.  Naomi Haverland of Denver, Colorado, drew the Jan Van Heck painting.  Naomi has won 5 awards at the Denver chalk festivals.

There was so much talent there.  It must be quite tiring to draw like this, working mostly on your hands and knees.  Please click on collages twice to enlarge.

Sean McCann from Minnesota made his drawing on a large standing board.

Graham Curtis of Petersburg, Pennsylvania, drew "The Deity enthroned."  He began painting 16 years ago on a whim.  He says "The nature of this art form is delightful... The temporary nature of the art, the comradery of the artists at street painting events is unique and a very rewarding experience."

There was a large crowd around the drawings.  It was fun to people watch, too.  Most spectators were taking pictures with their cell phones rather than with cameras.  Many were drinking and eating in outside cafes around the square, or near Zion Baptist Church (founded in 1866 by former slaves) or on top of the Strand Theatre - "Have a Brew with a View" ... looking at all the drawings from above.  By looking at the drawings from below, on the ground, the rest of the view was mostly of people's feet ...

The name of each artist was on the pavement, next to the chalk drawing and the artist's sponsor.  Most often there was also a picture of the original artwork.  There was a little metal pot where people could place their ticket to show their vote for the drawing of the "People's Choice Award."  Below, in center of collage is The Bitter Draught of Adriaen Brouwer, Flemish 1640, drawn by Kevin Powell of Marietta. In the bottom of the collage is the tag showing that the artist is from Mexico - Margarita Botella Morales from Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Being up, away from the chalk drawings is a better view point to take pictures, but since I was close to the ground I usually took several pictures - from the left, the right, and in the center to decide which was the best camera angle.  Here is an example below.  This is the drawing of Willie Zen, of Long Beach, California, titled Boys Eating Grapes and Melon, 1645 from Bartolome Esteban Murillo, a Spanish Baroque painter, 1617-1682.  (Do not forget to click twice on the collage.)

I would also place my camera above my head, to provide some added height, and aim at the drawing.  But then, it is a half hazard way and it is easy to cut some of the drawing off as shown below in the bottom two photos, or to show my shadow, as seen in Zuleika Hodges' drawing of The Girl with a Pearl Earring from Johanness Vermeer, Dutch 1632-1675.

To avoid the drawing to look distorted and a bit weird in a photo is to take the photo from a ladder.  Fortunately, this year again, I found myself next to the professional photographer who takes pictures on his ladder.  He graciously agreed to use my camera for a couple of pictures and took them on top of his ladder.  Below is the chalk art drawing by artist Chris Carlston of Denver, Colorado, who was sponsored by the Mazloom Law Firm.  You can easily tell the difference between the photos taken from the ladder and mine which are the two photos at the bottom of the collage.

The photographer is Craig C. Houdeshell.  His biography says that "He was born in Ohio and his education was in engineering, but he also has formal education in music and art.  Building on these disparate educations, Craig approaches photography with the practiced detail you would expect from an engineer and with the heart of an artist."  He has attended many chalk festivals including the one in Venice, Florida, another one in Sarasota (see Jay Schwartz' Skeleton Mona Lisa below) and Clearwater Beach (see Matt McAllister green masked man.)  He has also received several prizes for his photography (see his beautiful pre-dawn sky photo below.)  You can see more on his web site here.  (Photos courtesy Craig C. Houdeshell.)

While looking down at the drawings and seeing many sets of feet I photographed about 28 dogs among all the sneakers, boots, flip-flops, sandals, etc.  Having two cats at home and no dog, I was pleased to catch so many dogs, at least with my camera.

As we ended our circle promenade around the Marietta square we walked by the public chalk competition.  This non-professional chalk competition had been divided into Youth, Teen, School and Adult groups.


 We had enjoyed our afternoon enormously.  What a treat to look at such superb artwork.  All these fabulous artists spent many hours crouched on their chalk drawings and it would all fade away - ephemeral splendor.  It did not rain for weeks after the festival so vehicles drove over colorful roads around the Marietta square for a while.  What a wonderful giant canvas this had been.  I found out that Cuong Nguyen's Pavonia won the People's Choice Award.

Cuong Nguyen, originally from Vietnam, is a passionate and gifted artist.  His rendition of Lord Frederick Leighton's Pavonia is outstanding and sensitive.  The colors in his drawings are quite smooth and soft - the face looks lifelike and exquisite.  The award was well deserved.


24 comments:

ELFI said...

Il est tôt le matin .... Je reviens dans la journée...c'est magnifique!!

Elephant's Child said...

Wow, wow and wow.
I am so in awe at the artist's work. Thank you for taking us along.
Sadly our summers are always marked by fires. And this year is no exception.

bayou said...

Dear Vagabonde, what a sublime post! I utterly enjoyed all your photos and thank you so much for sharing! I don't know if there is something similar to discover in Europe but I doubt it. Have read about the fires and all that drought, hope there will be more rain coming for you soon. Sending lots of good wishes across to you. Love, Anke

claude said...

Je l'ai déjà dit, j'aime beaucoup ces dessins sur l'asphalte. Cela me rappelle ce que je pouvais voir à Paris. Les auteurs ont beaucoup de talent.
Je reviens de dessous les cocotiers et suis encore un peu dans le gaz. J'espère que tu as bien reçu ma réponse à ton dernier message.
Bises

Mitchell is Moving said...

Your photos from the road and the yards are magnificent and the chalk artists are so gifted. Amazing that they're able to produce such masterpieces knowing they're so temporary.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I enjoyed this post and the photos of the chalk drawings. One of the names in the post was Houdeshell and there is a family that lives up the street by the same name so I sent a note to him about that.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

This is such a lovely post - of many colors.

DJan said...

Oh, I so enjoyed those chalk art pictures. I miss the ones we used to have here, which was finally discontinued because of cost, I guess. That winning picture is indeed well deserved of a reward, but they are all wonderful. I also enjoyed the pictures of the dogs and feet. :-)

Jenny Woolf said...

It is most remarkable to me how so many artists can do such amazing copies of pictures. And even more remarkable that they would want to do them in such a perishable medium as chalk.
I'm sorry to hear those beautiful forests are suffering from pollution.
Here, strangely, the autumn foliage stayed a longer time than usual, although now it has finally gone and we are settling down for winter...sigh....

Mae Travels said...

It's good to hear that you had a nice visit with your children/grandchildren for Thanksgiving! I'm enjoying your descriptions of the chalk festival.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Linda said...

Beautiful photos....and what lovely art!

ELFI said...

deuxième visite.. toujours aussi beau! biz

David said...

Vagabonde, The drought was and is a huge problem although we've now had some rain with more coming. We had some minor brush and field fires near us but nothing threatened our immediate area. We're about 70 miles from the disaster at Gatlinburg. I'm still a bit stunned that the Emergency Planning Folks didn't order an evacuation at least from the mountainside homes when the high winds were forecasted.

This has been a big year for nuts...at least in our yard. We have been overwhelmed by hickory nuts and acorns... The squirrels aren't even looking at our bird feeder and the local deer are regular visitors in order to partake of our acorn crop. As for walnuts, nothing but bad memories. My mother was a weaver (among other artistic skills) and she liked to dye her own fabric. Walnuts were one source of dye and my hands were stained for weeks at a time!

Love the chalk work art. One of my stepbrothers used to participate in a similar event down in south Florida.

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

rosaria williams said...

What a gorgeous art display you caught for us, and we thank you so much. Glad to see you got to enjoy family time at this time of the year. Stay safe.

Nadezda said...

Hi, Vagabonde! I see your way to and from daughter's house was very beautiful, I liked your pictures of Cloudland Canyon Park, despite the highway was narrow. I also liked your cat Cody, and the view through your window to the backyard. The "Old Masters" chalk festival is such amusing, there are many amazing paintings and painters. I prefer the picture by Murillo's "Boys eating.."
Very talented work!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful Autumn color on your trip . And the chalk art simply amazing. Have never seen anything like that...what remarkable talent. In one way, it does remind me of sand castle competitions and Hopi sand art which both of which we have seen... creating non-permanent art for the beauty of the moment. Of course nowadays with today's cameras and skilled photographers like you, the art can be immortalized.

Magic Love Crow said...

If you are going to open the black walnuts, have gloves on! They stain everything! I know people actually use the walnuts in art or even to stain wood. And, if you are going back to my mom's times, they used to make black walnut vodka! Have fun with them! LOL!
Wow, with all the art! Stunning! So nice of the gentleman to take the photos for you!
Wonderful post!
Big Hugs!

Roger Gauthier said...

Intéressant, photos magnifiques. Quel automne.

Ces feux un peu partout… je ne peux m'empêcher de penser qu'ils arrivent de plus en plus souvent, à une fréquence sans cesse accrue, dans ton pays. Ton pays manque d'eau, la sécheresse sévit à trop d'endroits en même temps, et pour des périodes qui n'en finissent plus. Et il fait de plus en plus chaud, ça ne peut pas manquer, ça brûle. Il nous faut nous poser de sérieuses questions, nous tous sur cette planète, avant qu'il ne soit trop tard.

Jeanie said...

Those chalk photos are magnificent. I am in awe of such talent!

I'm so glad you were able to get away to your daughter's and that their area hasn't been in danger (or yours, for that matter, as I hear there have been terrible fires in GA too). I have one friend whose family vacation home from long ago was destroyed in the fire near Gatlinburg. They haven't owned it for years but still -- so many memories.

Are you busy getting ready for the holidays? I'm doing my best to find my merry. Still in the dumps I think, since the election. It's the way it will be but every day there is something that happens that makes me go, "What???!"

Happy weekend, dear VB. Miss you and it's nice to see your post!

Vicki Lane said...

What amazing work! Thank you for taking us along!

sandy said...

Amazing chalk paintings. I use to go to these chalk festivals once in awhile when I was up in San Luis Obispo. Such talent.

Carol Crump Bryner said...

It's amazing that artists put in so much work on these "temporary" pieces of art. They are so wonderful. It proves that sometimes the process is the important part of art. It must have been fun to watch them perform this magic. And I love your photos of feet and dogs.

Kay said...

These are such gorgeous photos and the sidewalk art is totally incredible!!!

Reader Wil said...

Beautiful post! I like your thanksgiving/Christmas cactus and the watercolours are " magnifique"! I also enjoyed seeing the drawings on the pavement and the autumn colours. Thanks for sharing.
I wish you a wonderful 2017!

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