Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, February 26-27, 2011

We returned to Florida for our second out-of-state street painting festival, this time to Lake Worth, a suburb of West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast. Lake Worth has celebrated street painting with a festival since 1994, and we were honored to be invited to participate. We had a marvelous trip and hope to return again next year.

We decided to do another interactive 3D painting, this time based on a giant jigsaw puzzle of outer space. We took a Hubble photo, added a planet (and the TARDIS just for fun), then posed our nieces Alex and Catie as the primary puzzlers. Since it was a space image, it seemed obvious that an alien should be helping out, too. Catie posed for the alien, so we called the alien Catie, too (pronounced the same, but spelled differently using an exterrestial alphabet). Our friend Janice MacDonald came up with the perfect title: We Come In Piece. We started work at midday on Friday and finished Sunday afternoon.

The original artwork
Here's the original artwork (skewed to match the viewer's perspective).

A bit of pavement with our names on it
Sometimes you just find that piece of asphalt with your name written all over it.

Black tempera paint layer
Lake Worth's asphalt is mixed with a lot of seashells, and pastels don't take to them. So the local tradition is to paint a layer of tempera paint (poster paint) before starting to chalk. Some folks use multiple colors to show the basic shapes of their painting; we just used one color, but we left holes where the asphalt shows through where we weren't planning to chalk. If you look closely, you can see one hole we forgot to include in our template.

Template pounced on tempera
This would've been an excellent chance for a humorous time lapse video, as the wind came up as we tried to pounce the template for our painting on the tempera layer. After much trial and blowing paper, we got it all ready for us to paint. By this time, the sun was setting, so we decided to start the real painting process on Saturday morning.

Closeup of Catie's head
We started with Catie sitting on her planet. Here's a closeup of her face in progress.

Cheryl touches up Catie's head
Cheryl scratches Catie's head.

Cheryl paints Catie's hand
Once Catie's top and bottom parts were done, we moved to the middle--Wayne painted her shirt while Cheryl added her arms.

View down the street showing Catie's big head
Catie is the younger niece, but for this painting she got to be the big sister. This is the view up Lake Avenue from our square. (Atlantic Ocean thataway)

Catie from the top
The view from the top.

Alex partly done
No shirt. No shoes. We'll get those tomorrow.

Wayne works on AlienCatie
Wayne at work on AlienCatie. The perspective and scale was working! This is about where we stopped on Saturday night.

Cheryl paints nebulae
Sunday morning, we finished off the alien's background, Wayne got to work on Alex, and Cheryl became Galaxy Girl, able to paint nebulae across the universe!

Closeup of Catie
Catie with some of the spaces filled in around her, and even a few stars (care of Starman--Wayne).

Cheryl looks across the painting at a girl posing
We'd brought a puzzle-piece-shaped rug remnant that we'd painted to look sort of like the space photo, and let visitors pose with it as if they were helping put the puzzle together. Best comment of the day came from a small boy walking by: "When are they going to put it together?"

A A lady in a pink shirt photographs a tie-dyed guy with the puzzle piece
People had a good time playing with our puzzle.

Savannah poses with the puzzle
Savannah and her sister had a good time posing with the puzzle. Cheryl tried not to sit on Alex' head.

Cheryl continues to paint space
More space gets filled in.

More galaxy painting
View from the corner

Cheryl paints galaxies down at the base of the painting
Almost done with this part of the universe.

Wayne adds stars
Starman Wayne sprinkles stars into the sky.

Wayne adds more stars
Wayne consults the star chart.

Wayne signs our names
Almost done! Wayne signs our names next to the TARDIS.

Wayne poses with the painting
Wayne poses with the puzzle piece.

Closeup of the alien
Closeup of AlienCatie.

The completed painting
All done!

Monday morning commute
The city opens the streets up to traffic on Sunday night (they were open by the time we met for dinner at 8). We returned to the scene Monday morning to see how our painting fared overnight. It was a little faded, and poor Alex had a tire track through her head, but the stars were still visible in the sky.

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