Santa Barbara I Madonnari Festival, May 2011

We were sponsored for a third year by plastic surgeon Howard Gross, MD, and decided to challenge ourselves by combining three Alphonse Mucha paintings: Topaz, Amethyst, and Emerald from his Gemstone series. Alphonse Mucha was a painter and poster artist from the Art Nouveau period at the end of the nineteenth century. His paintings feature beautiful women surrounded by lots of detail. The joke among street painters is, "he who paints the Mucha finishes last." As we were unable to stay for the third day of I Madonnari, we had to break that curse. To add to the challenge, we decided to skew the paintings so that if viewed in the right place they would appear to pop up off the pavement.

We were joined by our crack backgrounder Jack (his sister Megan had a previous engagement) on Sunday.

Three paintings by Alphonse Mucha combined into one painting
The original paintings (with modifications to fit the space).

Cheryl poses with the backgrounds
We started on Friday because we knew this painting would take longer than our usual 16-20 hours. That day we tried to get backgrounds for the three medallions complete so we could transfer the details over the backgrounds on Saturday.

Center of the Topaz medallion

Wayne adds spots to the center medallion
Wayne adds spots behind the center figure.

Cheryl finishes Topaz corner background
Cheryl adds a background around the Topaz figure.

Amethyst girl partly painted
The Amethyst figure has a face but no hair, and Wayne has begun work on detailing her medallion.

Cheryl and Wayne work on the center figure
Cheryl works on her hair while Wayne continues work on the surrounding medallion.

Wayne and Cheryl continue working on the center image
By Saturday afternoon we had the top part of Amethyst and most of her medallion done.

Sunday morning status
Sunday morning status--there's a lot to do in one day!

Closeup of Amethyst at lunchtime on Sunday
By lunchtime on Sunday, Amethyst was nearly complete.

Sunday Lunchtime status
Wayne had been busy at work on the Emerald medallion.

Cheryl smooths Emerald's nose
Cheryl smooths out Emerald’s nose.

Wayne Jack and Cheryl smile
Wayne and Jack work on the background while Cheryl continues on Emerald.

Cheryl and Jack at work
Jack was very careful as he worked between the two medallions.

Jack paints himself into a corner
This is what's called painting yourself into a corner.

Wayne adds details to the Topaz medallion
Wayne spruces up the Topaz medallion.

Jack shows off his green hand
Jack has a green thumb, and other verdant digits.

Wayne stretches over the painting to smooth some of the background
Wayne shows off his yoga training to reach a bit of loose chalk.

Wayne lifts Jack over the center medallion
Jack was really painted into a corner on the left side, so Wayne came to his aid.

The painting viewed upside down from the top
The view from the top.

the finished painting

close up view of Topaz
Closeup of Topaz

closeup view of Amethyst
Closeup of Amethyst

Closeup of Emerald
Closeup of Emerald. We decided to name her armrest (and the snake in her hair) Fluffy. We're not sure what Fluffy-the-Armrest really is...there are snake and feline features to it, and perhaps a pig nose. Dragon, maybe?

upside down Amethyst
Another upside down view

Completed painting with Wayne and Cheryl
Here's how it looked on Monday morning.

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