Sunday, July 5, 2015


Steveston Village. Canada Day. 10x10 ft pavement. 5 hours and loads of chalk. People stopped by with a variety of encouraging words to share, especially the kids! While in the zone, working on the orca, I heard a little girls voice asking me, Watchudoing?! I looked to my left, and there she was, just sitting beside me, a little girl with brown curly hair. I smiled and replied: "I'm coloring the ground, with chalk". After the painting was done, we revealed to the crowd that there was more than meets the eye. When they realized what was in front of them all along, they HAD to try it for themselves. Although we did not win the competition, I felt that we accomplished more than that: Six days prior to, when I accepted the challenge, I had zero knowledge of 3D chalk art. Since then, we progressed exponentially from trial and error using whatever free time we had. The reward was seeing the curiosity of a child ignite, witnessing adults being child-like for a brief moment, bringing smiles from those who chose to spectate from a distance or strike a pose with no reservations. It was an ambitious project for two and we made it happen Lily!

Mark Glavina was the brains behind this event. He is an artist-entrepreneur who owns Phoenix Art Studio in Steveston and travels around the world to paint and do workshops! It was nice of him to take care of the artists as each group was given an honorarium amount in dollars just to participate and entertain, 4 boxes of chalk pastels, food vouchers, a tent for shade and water as he walked around making sure we didn't pass out from dehydration.

These are the art supplies we used (coffee cup not included). We had to get creative with our tools. We used anything from zip lock bags, a rock, a shower curtain rod, paper plates, spray bottles and of course, the most effective and efficient tool, the human hand. (Photos: Hand courtesy of Lily Li and scenes by Xiangfeng Xu)

We were by the water so the wind was quite a challenge to work with as it would blow away the chalk we were laying down. (And it messed up the hair too.) There were two other girls and a boy with glasses who sat beside me and asked what I was drawing. I teased them a bit and said, it's big, black and white and likes to eat seals! The boy said Killer Whale! I said hey you just might be right. You're smart! One of the girls said, with a proud look on her face, yes he is...and he's going to Kindergarten. lol. (Photos: Hand courtesy of Lily Li and scenes by Xiangfeng Xu)

The ground was really craggy. You can see the raised edges that look like concrete waves. It was really unforgiving on the hands but there was no other way to pack in the chalk and get a good spread of colors to blend. (Photos: Hand courtesy of Lily Li and scenes by Xiangfeng Xu) 

This is what you will see if you look at it from the wrong angles. It will look distorted and stretched. We wrote some simple instructions on the ground and marked the spots where people should pose before we left. I went back long after the competition was over just to enjoy the boardwalk this time. As I passed by the spot, there was a family reading the instructions and taking pictures. They had a big smile on their face. That felt good.

Here's what the effect looks like when taken in the correct spot and angle. What happened to the fish you were to feed him Lily Li?

These are the other paintings done by the other groups. I didn't get to meet or see them but I do have the pleasure of knowing a couple of them. Here's a shout out to my good friends Bill and Olga for winning top prize! (I couldn't get rid of the shadows!)   


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