Venus Born in Bakersfield

Sounds kind of wierd but Bakersfield has a wonderful street painting festival put on by the Bakersfield Museum of Art. I was featured artist in this years festival. I had a great time.
My friend Holly came up to help me with the 12 x 16 foot painting. I did the Birth of Venus by French painter Cabonel.

We drove up on Thursday morning to begin the large work. We drew it all out and I was able to start painting. I finished two and a half cherubs and Holly finished the top half of the sky. Unfortunately, when we came back Friday morning much of the image had been washed away by sudden thunderstorms. Emily, the festival director, was nice enough to lay a plastic drop cloth over the image but once it started pouring it didn't seem to make much of a difference. You can see the remaining image in the first photo. It has the imprint of wrinked plastic over the cherub.

Holly and I spent much of the day wondering around Bakersfield looking for something to do.

Here is what we did on Saturday and Sunday. A record finish for a 12 x 16. I didn't think we could do it...

Bronze Medal In Italy Street Painting Festival

I traveled to Italy to compete in their International Street Painting Festival. I competed in the top category as a Maestri and painted an image I designed called 'The resurrection'. It was composed of two lovely works of art I found. The face of Christ with the crown of thorns is from a drawing by Italian artist Guido Reni. The lovely angels blowing their trumpets are part of a stunning painting called 'resurrection of the Dead' by, I believe, a French artist named Mortez. I painted the angels before in a memorial painting of Pope John Paul II I did a few years ago. I loved them so much I had to paint them again.

Anamorphic Street Painting

Julian Beaver and his art

I'm sure you've been passed the email with the 3D sidewalk art. Everyone has seen them.
They have become hugely popular over the last few years and there is a huge desire for 3D effects for corporate and special events.

Kurt Werner and his Absolut painting

I will be attempting my first 3D painting this next weekend in London, Canada. I was asked to be a featured artist for their first ever street painting festival and the requested I do a 3D image. Luckily they are patient with the fact that I haven't painted one before and didn't even really know how. I'd like to walk you through the process I used to design my painting.

The first think I did was a lot of research. I found several websites that discussed the formula but I found most of them a bit confusing as I am just awful with all things 'Math' related.

Here are the ones that I found...

Ok. I tried to read through those and make sense of them but couldn't quite wrap my brain around the formulas. Then I found this site...
Brilliant!!! It lays it out step by step with images which is exactly what a visual person such as myself really needs. Check them out.

This is the image I designed. I was asked to design something religious because my painting space will be in front of a church. I decided to paint angels. I had some reference of a lovely model I hired that I thought would be perfect. The figures I would have coming out of or at the edge of the opening in the ground had to be viewed from above, so luckily the pictures I had were taken from above. The model was seated on a low couch and I was standing, looking down on her. You can see that with the two seated figures the faces are viewed in 3/4 or profile but you can see the tops of the legs instead of the sides. This is very important. It allowed me to let the bottom half of the legs on the lowest figure hang down into the whole.
The middle figure sits on a ledge in front of the last angel that is standing. Because she is in the back and standing, I could use a regular standing figure. The whole I created is a circle in perspective. It is edged with stone and tapers down to a smaller opening. I drew all of this hoping that it would work properly once I applied the formula.

So my concept was to have the 3 angels looking down upon earth from heaven. So you can see I've added halos, wings, and robes to my 3 models. I added the doves flying up through the whole to add to the effect. The banner at the top will include the title of the festival "Expressions in Chalk". Check in for the actual formula I applied to this design and the final results.

More to come!

When the Pastel Doesn't Stick

In street painting one of the most important aspects is the surface of your painting space. It is crucial that the area you are working on takes the pastel well.

  • Asphalt works the best for many reasons. It is textured enough to grab onto the pastel and it is that rich dark gray that really makes the colors pop.
  • Concrete can be a decent surface to work on but not prefered. It can be too slick, especially if it has a concrete sealer on it.
  • Brick and stone can actually turn out to be a really interesting surface to work on. As long as it, like the concrete, doesn't have a sealer on it. It will give you a wonderful pattern or crackle effect to your work.
Recently I was commissioned to paint on an indoor cement floor. I had purchased black tempura paint in case it had a thin coat of sealer on it. Sometimes, if the sealer hasn't made the cement too slick, you can paint a watered down layer of tempura paint in your painting area. This will allow the pastel to adhere to the surface much better.

In my case, however, the cement was too slick, almost like a marble surface - really smooth and shiny. The pastel would not stick at all. I tested a small area with the tempura paint and let it dry. I then tried painting on top of that with a few pastels. It wasn't working. Instead of painting on the tempura, the pastel was actually scratching it off. Not good.

Fortunately, I had enough time to solve the problem in a hurry. I decided I needed to purchase canvas and black gesso. My painting size was 12 x 12 feet. Unfortunately I could not find 12 foot canvas so I had to buy two 24 feet of 6 foot canvas to piece together.

I thinned the gesso with about 1/3 water to 2/3 gesso in a paint tray and rolled the black color on the canvas. This was not easy in a hotel room with only 4 foot walkways :). I laid it out to dry the best I could and made sure each piece was 12 feet long.

The next morning I piled it all into the taxi and headed to the location with duct tape in hand. I laid out the two panels, gesso side down, and lined them up to make a 12 x 12 square. I used the marvelous duct tape to tape the seem of the two panels together and carefully turned it all over.
I then, carefully and evenly duct taped the edges down to the cement surface. Brava!! I had a wonderful 12 x 12 foot painting surface that tricked many a folk into thinking it was the cement itself.

Once the painting was finished it was sprayed with pastel fixative and carefully rolled up on a 12 foot tube and taken away to be hung in an office building.

Here is the final result.

San Rafael Street Painting

This is a painting called The Prayer by Adolphe William Bouguereau. It took me a few hours to draw and two days to paint. I am really happy with how it turned out. The street was just recoated so it was smoother than normal.

I ended up using a lot more blue and lavender in the skin tones to give her skin that translucent glow. I'd love to hear comments.

Santa Barbara Street Painting

Here I am street painting in Santa Barbara's 20th Anniversary. My boyfriend Mark surprised me and came up to help. It was his first time streetpainting and he did a great job. He painted in the background for me and offered to paint the Grazie Church. It looks great! Soon he'll be painting his own square.

Lyndsey, friend and co-worker stopped off for a few hours to paint with us. It is always really helpful to have help even if it is only for short while.

We had lots of wonderful compliments and think once the painting is finished it will be one of my favorites that I've done so far. It was nice to have my parents come by and see my work as the featured artist. This is my 5th year painting for the festival and it is such an honor to have the prime spot at the steps of the Mission. My parents sat and watched us paint for a while along with several spectators. To see the in progress photos and more visit

Here is the finished image as it looked on Monday 12pm...Finished just on time! I think that is a record for Santa Barbara Featured Artists!!

Street Painting in London...Canada

My friend Julie Kirk and I have been invited
to London, Canada to paint in there first Street
Painting festival put on by the Imaden Street
Painting Performance Group. We are very
excited to be a part of their inaugural event.

August 5th - August 7th 2006

Check out their website!

Street Paintings Swirl into Watercolors

I was in Napa, California this weekend at La Strada Dell' Arte Festival.It was exciting to be chosen as this years featured artist so I chose a very ambitious image to paint. The painting I chose is called 'Freyja'.

I saw it for the first time in a book of Mythology. I believe Freyja is the Norse Goddess of Love.
In this image she is flying through the air in her chariot pulled but two cats and surrounded by a flock of pudgy cherubs. She cries tears of gold as she searches for her roaming lover. It is a beautiful image by Scottish artist NJO Blommers. It is the first time I have heard of him but worth looking into.

The first day of work began with cloudy weather which soon turned into a thunder storm.

This is the picture I took as the rain was streaming in under the plastic tarps and through the painting. I think it is quite beautiful. It creates these beautiful streams of marbelized color. Just after taking this picture we all ran for cover. The image was gone within a few minutes except for a ghosted remnant that stained the pavememnt.

People are so sad to see these paintings go and ask if I am hearbroken to see it washed away. I tell them that it is part of the process. The tradition of street painting is all about the ephemeral quality of the art. You know will only exist as a work of art until someone accidentally runs through it leaving a pattern of shoeprints or tire tracks. It is at the mercy of mother nature and the inevitable accidental spilled drink or overnight sprinkler system. Part of the beauty of this artform is that is is only there for a moment. For a moment it is beautiful and perfect in someones eyes. Then it is gone forever.
To read more about this weekends event visit me at

Street Painting Makes Wall Street

Today's Wall Street Journal features an article on Street Painting.
It is so cool that such a periodical would feature such a paupers sport.
Streetpainting festivals in the U.S. are almost always in the name of charity. That is why so many of us work our fingers to the bone. Well that, and we love it.

I am very excited to say that I am featured in the 2nd column under the photo. The paragraph talks about the painting I will be doing in Santa Barbara Memorial weekend. Who would have thought my name would end up in the Wall Street Journal? Me! I can barely figure out the tip on a $35 dinner. Artist's brain...I struggle with the numbers.

Well, enjoy the article and I hope you can make it Memorial weekend to see my 'Allegory of Art'.

See you on the street.

A Letter From the Street Painting Council In Italy

The Santa Barbara Street Painting Festival recieved a letter from Cesare Spezie, the wonderful man responsible for the International Madonnari Competition in Mantova, Italy. I met him several years ago when I first participated in Italy. He was just adorable - despite the fact that he didn't speak a word of English and I spoke almost no Italian - we still had the warmest, most welcoming conversation. He is always so kind to the artists, especially the few American they welcome.

Street Painting Tutorials

Check out my new site

It includes helpful tips, information, and step by step demonstrations for artists.
The Painting Wizard network includes sites like and It is still in its beginning stages but growing everyday. Check in frequently for new posts.

Featured Street Painting

I have finally finished with my design for this years featured piece at the Santa Barbara Street Painting Festival. It took me about two weeks to complete the design using elements from 5 different paintings and 3 photographs. I composed the painitng to be 12 by 16 feet. The theme is the History of Street Painting and the title of the piece is Allegory of Art: From Canvas to Asphalt. See it created Memorial weekend ...May 26 -29th at the Santa Barbara Mission.

See How This Image Was Created At

Wall Street Journal Street Painting Article

Next month the Wall Street Journal's Liesure and Arts section will feature an article on streetpainting and the 20th anniversary of the I Madonnari festival in Santa Barbara. I was interviewed today by a reporter from the paper and spoke of my role as this years featured artist and the image I am designing for the special event. Should be for sale around the 20th of May.
Get um while they're hot!

Napa Street Painting Festival

I was honored to be invited as this years Featured Artist at the 2nd annual Napa Street Painting Festival. I painted in last years event and had a great time. I painted a painting called "Bridesmaide" by Millais. I am still deciding on the image I will paint this year but I have to make up my mind soon...May 19-21st

Street Painting Featured Artist

I will be this years Featured Artist at the Santa Barbara Street Painting Festival. This will be there 20th anniversary so it is a very special year. This was the first festival in the United States and one of the largest and most popular street painting events. This is my 5th year painting there and my first time as there featured artist. Very exciting. I have been asked to do an extra large painting in front of the Mission on the history of street painting in the Italian tradition. It is something that should be easy for someone who has been doing this for 8 years but really, I have been a little stumped. I want the image to include images of the Madonna and child, of course, but without making the image too religious. While the tradition has it's roots in religion, the evolution has taken it to something much more accessible to people regardless of there beliefs or backgrounds.

Street Painting of the Mountain Mist

This is a detail of the image i painted in Germany the last time I was there. It was for the international streetpainting festival in Geldern which is about an hour from Dusseldorf. It was my 2nd year participating as the only American artist. I won 1st place in the Meisterklasse which is the equivilant to the Maestri category in Italy. Geldern is a lovely little town with the nicest people. The best thing about Geldern is the ice cream. With the money I make in coin donations from streetpainting spectators I buy myself a little treat (Ok, by little I mean huge. But streetpainting is a lot of hard work in what can be pretty severe weather conditions). They have about 3 ice cream parlors in the small town square with the most outrageoulsy decadant creations you have ever seen. Beautifully sculpted into a frozen mountain of sweet, mouth watering delights, the ice cream is garnished with an avalanche of chocolate and fresh fruit garnish.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

A Street Painting In Progress

This is an in-progress shot I took in of my work in the 12th hour of the 24 hour international street painting festival in Mantova, Italy. My 3rd time at the festival which always takes place on August 15th for their religious holiday- the Feast Assumption. You begin painting with the ringing of the cathedral bells at 6pm on the 14th and finish painting with the closing bells at 6pm on the 15th. Most painters, including myself, work through the night in hopes of finishing enough to take a break when the sun really kicks in around 2 or 3pm the following day. With over 200 artists, most participants are Italian but there are also artists from Germany, Holland, and the US.

The festival is split up into 3 categories.
Simplici- the lowest category which every artist has to begin in.
Qualificato- Only a 1st place win in Simplici allows you to paint in this level.
Maestri- 1st place in Qualificato must be received. This is the highest honor you can receive.

By winning two 1st place awards I am now a Maestri but have yet to win the Maestri 1st place award.
I will be traveling to Italy this summer to participate in the festival and do my best to win that coveted prize.

Street Painting History

Streetpainting started in Italy around the 15th century with artists painting images of the Madonna and Child outside of churches and cathedrals. They were termed Madonnari. Madonnari today has evolved into a much broader term. Madonnari paint everything from the Madonna and religious themed images to highly realistic anamorphic pieces that trick the eye.

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