Chalk It Up to Art in Pasadena
We arrived early to the 22nd annual event held in Pasadena at the Paseo Colorado courtyard. It was a bright and hot Saturday for what is allegedly the world's largest street painting festival. With over 600 artists in attendance, the pavement was cordoned off with hundreds of blue squares with grids that would reveal the final masterpieces. This is serious business. Chalk in every pastel color under the rainbow, unless you are Shuji Nishimura and you are working in greyscale (didn't know there were that many shades of grey chalk).
We watched Shuji work from the left hand corner, with what looked like the beginning of a Beatles homage. Pieces ranged from the fantastical to the the surreal, with subtle shading and combinations of chalk and water in perfect proportions to create bright, beautiful colors that gave some of the art an almost 3D quality. Some were massive in scale, requiring the entire weekend to complete, while others were simple and whimsical and almost done by late afternoon. Another standout was a Bruce Lee Portrait from a well known chalk festival artist – William Lin. Can't wait to see the winners posted on the official site this week. http://www.pasadenachalkfestival.com