Mark Wagner & Clayton Thiel chalk drawing at the Youth-in-Arts annual Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael CA, June 13-14 2009.

This year we followed our interest in pushing the 3D aspect of chalk drawing. We created our sketch using foam core and made a 3 dimensional maquette that we light and photographed.

We started Friday evening and needed to be done Sunday by noon for we were both going to a wedding. Clayton and I have been chalk drawing at this festival for the last 4 years. Clayton was actually going to leave Sat. night at 6pm. I was going to stay late and then finish solo on Sunday. We had our work chalked out for us.

We continued with our splattered chalk and cracked street technique.

This years theme was a prayer for the Urban Animals: raccoon, crow, rat, pigeon, ladybug, deer, snake, coyote, fish, etc… My dog got into a bloody fight twice with a raccoon in one week recently in my front yard, really ugly and disturbing for everyone involved. We wanted to send some good energy to all these animals that we know are having a hard time surviving in our human controlled environments.

And then we had urban animals show up! Clayton’s grandson came to visit and hitched a ride and being a great photo opportunity for many people passing by.

Here I am, Mark Wagner wearing a Kids’ Chalk Art Project t-shirt. I created a project that set a new World Record for the largest chalk drawing in 2008.

I was personally moved this year by the people who I meet. There is something magical and mysterious about these chalk drawing festivals, especially this one. A place where hundreds of artists create for hours and hours, where thousands of people come to see, watch, and interact.
In the evening it gets quiet, but there are still people working, still people walking around after dinner.

But something else is present for me, the conversations with kids and adults was amazing. Something seems to open and be present when so many artist and people get together – it’s beyond words – I guess I will leave it at that!