Sarasota International Chalk Festival, November 2013

In November we returned to Sarasota Florida for the 2013 international chalk festival. This year, Sarasota celebrated Veteran's Day with the theme of "Legacy of Valor." We decided to celebrate a Legacy of Valor with a reenactment of the famous painting by Emanuel Leutze of General Washington Crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolutionary War. To do this we gathered a platoon of revolutionary students and set the scene with a stage of home-made props: a refrigerator box for a boat. Hockey Sticks, push-brooms and a rubber duck. Sofa cushions made perfect stand-ins for icebergs (Who knew?). Meanwhile, in Sarasota, an outstanding bunch of artists recreated the original painting right next to us.

Cheryl works on our George Washington
The adventure begins with General George "Olivia" Washington standing proudly with her troops.

The first two figures and the flag before the rain on Friday
Lieutenant "Sophie" has Washington's back. This was about as far as we got on our first day of chalking before the rains came in.

The flag and first two figures after the rain stopped on Saturday
Following the rains we started again on Saturday morning. The damage was relatively minor, with the flag taking most of the hit. (Insert "Star Spangled Banner" metaphor here)

Cheryl works next to Olivia, Sophie and Sean
While the flag dried out we moved forward with General Washington and Corporal Sean, our flag man.

Cheryl works on Olivia's hands
Cheryl, looking the wrong way.

Close up of Sophie and Sean, our flag bearers
The seriousness of the crew.

Wayne works on Sean's scarves
Wayne working on Corporal Sean's uniform.

Right-side up view of Wayne at work
With the flag completed, General Olivia standing proud, Lieutenant Sophie guarding her back and Corporal Sean bearing the flag, we finished our work for Saturday.

Looking down the flagpole at Wayne
Distorted view from the top of the image.

Our former sponsors helped draw a rubber duck and lent us their rubber ducks for the painting
On Sunday the sponsor of the first square that we painted in Sarasota visited. They brought along some rubber duckies to keep the one in our image company. They also let us know that their ducks were named "Jake." All of them. Individually and collectively.

A little line of rubber ducks...all named Jake
Pictured: Jake the duck, his brother, Jake the duck, his other brother, Jake, his medium brother, Jake, and his little brother, Jake.

Anna and Manny's disembodied leg
Private Anna, oarsman (and the disembodied leg of our pilot Manny).

The crew begins to take shape...still missing a boat
Our one legged pilot Manny and Everett, our other oarsman, sweep into place.

View from the top of George's hat
The distorted top down view.

Wayne and Cheryl pause for a photo
Nearing the seventy five percent level. The crowd of people flowing by reaches its peak. (More than 100,000 people came to the festival!)

Cheryl finishes up the roiling river
Cheryl makes waves as things are getting into ship-shape!

Stenciled symbols: this side up, no stamps, no kings, and liberty
One of the silly details that was little noticed: No Stamps. Liberty Bell. This Side Up. No Kings.

Stenciled redcoats on the ship prow
How many Redcoats has this crew taken out?

Close up of Everett
Oarsman Everett detail.

Close up of Sean
Corporal Sean detail.

Close up of Anna
Oarsman Anna detail.

The ducks gather around
Jake, Jake, Jake, Jake and Jake detail.

View from the top of the finished painting
The completed image top-down.

Wayne and Cheryl help row the boat
Cheryl and Wayne rowing down the street (merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily of course).

Finished painting
Washington Crossing the Back Yard, completed.

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