Luna Park Chalk Art Festival, September 2013

The Luna Park Chalk Festival is a small, one day chalk festival located in one of San Jose's historic districts. Paintings are done on the sidewalks of the park, which gives us plenty of working space. But a one day festival limits what it is that we can do. This year we decided to do a trio of silly robots that we could pose people with in interactive ways.

San Jose, California boasts one of the best climates on earth. Temperatures are usually mild in September: overnight temperatures in the sixties and daytime temperatures in the 60's and 70's. Even in the winter, it is rare to see temperatures dip below freezing. And when it comes to rain, a normal year brings us between 12 and 18 inches. It hardly ever rains in San Jose before October and after May.

The Friday before the festival the weather was perfect: Blue skies, not too hot, not too cool. The day after the festival was the same: perfect California weather. So we were all caught by surprise by the downpour on the day of the festival. A half inch of rain fell on us between noon and 3:30 pm. (I know that some of you readers living in Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, and the North East are thinking: you light-weights! Well, 1/2" of rain in 3 hours is biblical for us. We were thinking about building an Ark!)

Over the years we have been rained on plenty of times. We have always been able to recover and finish the painting in some form or another. This is the first painting we have worked on where it was a total wash-out. If the festival had continued on Sunday we would have been able to recover. This is the risk of street painting in September.

Cheryl gets tapped on the head
Excuse me!

Wayne checks out the first robot
Hey! You!

Wayne grins while taping down a sign
This guy's head is almost as tall as I am.

Cheryl works on the second robot
Balloon head, with a carrot nose.

Cheryl tries to find her eyeballs
OW! My eyeballs! Where are my eyeballs?!?

Little girl and a robot
I didn't quite get what she was telling the robot. But he seems very interested.

Little girl gets tapped on the head
This kid. She's the one with the brains.

Mikki and Julia pose
Two very skeptical girls.

Full painting as the rain begins
And then the rain began. This is as far as we got.

Orange and pink robot as the rain begins
The rain starts to speckle the chalk.

Blue and green robot as the rain begins
The speckles get closer together...

Pink head as the rain starts
The head of this robot was approximately 10 feet tall.

View from the top as rain starts
The top-side image shows the distortion. The pavement is now more wet than dry. Hoods and umbrellas have been deployed.

Big pink head from the side
Sideways: pink robot head...

Side view of lower robots as rain starts
...and the lower robots.

Two robots after first rainstorm
And then it became wet enough that things began to flow. People always ask us, "what happens if it rains?" This is what happens.

Soft serve ice cream head flows downhill

Big pink head leaks toward food trucks
Away go troubles, down the drain.

Pink and orange flows
Underwater street painting

Oil slick of colors
We couldn't get this sort of color if we wanted to. Sometimes things are magic.

River flowing through painting after second rainstorm
Not only did our image get wet, but we discovered that the water from the path and the adjacent planting beds drained through our painting. There was a river of dirt and debris flowing across our painting.

String connects finger to pink balloon head
On Sunday morning (after the storm) we went back to survey the damage. Our background robot head looked like a balloon. So we drew in a string. Mud and tire tracks add to the damage.

Wayne gets tapped on the shoulder by faded robot
Wayne gets a poke from the shadow of iRoboti.

Completed painting with string
And then it was done. All that was left.

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