Luna Park Sidewalk Chalk Festival, October 2008

As the feature artists for this new festival, we wanted to create a painting that referred to the Luna Park neighborhood that sponsored the festival. We thought we'd do something related to the moon, and that somehow morphed into an idea of doing something related to the famous children's book by Antoine de St. Exupery, The Little Prince. We skewed the image so that it looked like the moon and planets were circular and so the barricade looked like it rose up above the "hole" in the concrete.

We were dismayed to realize that the first rain of the season would arrive during the night between the two days we worked (the festival was a one-day event on Saturday, but we were able to work on Friday as well). It rained Friday night and off and on on Saturday, but cleared up in the afternoon in time for us to be able to finish the painting.

Cheryl traces over Saturn
After pouncing the image, Cheryl traced over some of the elements we weren't going to work on that day, in hopes that the tracing would survive the expected rain that night.

Wayne paints a barricade leg
We started work by painting a barricade, figuring that the city of San Jose wouldn't leave a gaping hole in the concrete without putting at least one barricade nearby. This is the view from the top of the barricade.

Wayne and Kathy at the sweet spot
We borrowed a real barricade to add to the illusion, which only works when the picture is viewed from where the stepladder is positioned.

Painted and Real Barricades
Here's the view of the completed barricade--note that the painted barricade has a shadow and the real one doesn't due to the weather.

Top edge of concrete added
Then we added the top edge of the broken concrete hole. When we left, the organizers covered the painting with a large plastic sheet with a (real) barricade underneath the center to allow rain to drip off the edges of the painting. That was the theory at least.

Overnight rain damage
After a wakeful night and hearing rain on the roof early in the morning, we returned to the park to find that while it wasn't currently raining, the tarp had blown off and most of the painting was wet.

Sprinkles lead to first pop-up canopy
We let the sidewalk dry for a bit and started work in the dry areas--fortunately, the Little Prince was one of them. When it started sprinkling a couple of hours later, we erected a pop-up canopy overhead to keep part of the artwork dry, though it kind of ruined the barricade illusion. The sprinkles stopped.

View of the painting area with pop-up tent overhead
Here's how the painting area looked with the pop-up tent.

Wet painting
Unfortunately, that wasn't the last of the rain. At around noon, the skies opened up again and we had water dripping and running around the edges of the artwork. We mopped up with rags as best we could to keep the water from washing the painting away entirely.

Wayne talks to a visitor
Finally, the weather cleared and we were able to work without bailing out the painting. This view from the side shows how we stretched the planets so that they would look round from the viewing position.

Closeup of the black sky and the Prince
A closeup of the part of the painting with the Little Prince, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Rose.

Pop-up tent removed
It took a while before we were ready to trust that the rain had really stopped, but we were finally ready to risk taking the pop-up tent away.

Wayne signs our names
We finished filling in the black sky, and Wayne signed our names.

Wayne and Cheryl sit by the hole
All done!

Wayne tries not to fall in the hole
Don't fall in, Wayne!

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