Sarasota International Chalk Festival, November 2012

We returned for our third year to Sarasota, Florida in November. This year, the festival theme was Circus City, honoring Sarasota's history as the winter home of the Ringling Brothers circus. We chose to celebrate the concept of the backyard circus, and recruited our young neighbors Jesse, Ava, Natalie, Giana and Isaac as our performers. None of them had ever been to a circus, but they were enthusiastic jugglers, clowns, lion tamers and ringmasters. The important role of Lion went to Fred, the geriatric orange cat who lives at Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto.

Painting of Natalie's head and arm
We started on Friday by pouncing the pattern, then Wayne painted Fred the Lion and Cheryl started with Natalie, our Ringmaster (and her brother Jesse's arm, since it was next to Natalie's).

Wayne paints Fred the orange cat
Wayne finishes up the apple basket Fred's sitting on.

Wayne paints Natalie's clothes
Wayne paints Natalie's clothes. Observant viewers may recognize the outfits that Natalie, Ava and Giana are wearing from the last painting in San Ramon--both paintings originated at the same photo shoot.

Painting of Natalie
Our Ringmaster is nearly finished.

Saturday midmorning painting status--Natalie and Ava are done and Giana has a red clown nose
By midmorning on Saturday, we'd finished Lion Tamer Ava and begun Giana the Clown.

Painting of Giana with just her clown nose painted
Giana had a big foam clown nose and her daddy's shoes on, transforming her instantly into a clown.

Wayne paints Isaac's shirt
Wayne starts to work on Isaac's shirt.

Cheryl paints Giana's face
Early afternoon on Saturday: Cheryl paints Giana's face. All of the figures have been at least partly painted at this point, and Wayne has splatted in the broken eggs.

Cheryl imitates the painting of Giana
Open wide and say aah! This photo gives a sense of how large Giana's head was (we called her The Big G).

View of the painting from above Giana's head
This perspective really shows how big Giana's head has to be to make the 3D perspective work.

Cheryl paints Isaac's hair
Late afternoon on Saturday: Isaac gets some hair.

A girl pets Fred the cat
This girl braved death to pet our fierce lion.

The painting as of Saturday evening
We continued working on the painting after the sun went behind some buildings, as it was easier to paint once the long afternoon shadows were off the street.

Cheryl paints Isaac's face
Cheryl works on Isaac's face in the early evening.

Cheryl paints Jesse's large head
On Sunday morning, Cheryl tackled Big Head Jesse.

Natalie from the upper left
An odd view of Ringmaster Natalie.

Close up view of Natalie
And a more normal view of her.

Ava and Fred
Ava tames Fierce Fred.

The view of the painting from the top with the passing crowd
By lunchtime on Sunday, the walkways had filled with passers by. The festival wisely directed all viewers in one-way streams throughout the festival, with plenty of places to cross the street and walk the other direction.

Wayne restarts the time lapse camera after lunch
After we finished lunch, we just had the circus ring to complete. No problem!

Wayne finished up the circus ring
Two hours later, the ring is just about complete.

Giana the Clown finished
Ta da! Giana the Clown.

Ava the lion tamer
Ava the Lion Tamer.

Fred the orange cat
Fierce Fred the Lion.

Jesse the juggler
Juggler Jesse.

Isaac the juggler
And Juggler Isaac (okay, we added the eggs).

Natalie the Ringmaster
And in the center of the ring, Natalie the Ringmaster!

View of the finished painting from the side
Side view of the finished painting.

Luigi adds a clown nose to Fred
Luigi thought Fred should be a clown, too.

Wayne and Cheryl pose with the finished painting
Ta da! The finished painting.

For a special treat, watch a time-lapse video on YouTube of the painting coming to life!

< Previous Festival | Street Painting Index | Next Festival >
Return to our homepage.