Friday, June 01, 2012


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:9 was a rain-filled event.  It was mostly drizzle, although steady, with the occasional heavier downpour thrown in here and there.  The sun came out as soon as we were done.

This week, I decided to do a piece I've been wanting to do for some time.  I paid homage to a few favorite modern artists whose work seemed appropriate for the medium of chalk.  Obviously, I wasn't going to be able to pull off Jackson Pollock.  I did, however, leave a few others out, since I knew (a) I only had an hour; (b) it was raining, which changed the texture and application of the chalk; (c) didn't want to do anything too technically complex; and (d) wanted to concentrate on the work of artists that I've been able to a few pieces of in person.  So, "Modern Art Cephalopods" was born.

"Johns" = an homage to Jasper Johns, his flag paintings, and his other works of Americana.  So a flag cuttlefish came into being.  The only thing I would change on this one is to outline the star eyes so they pop off of the yellow "canvas" a bit more.

"Rothko" = an homage to Mark Rothko, his canvases of color, and their subtle variations.  I liked the idea of an octopus, red with anger and spraying its black ink as it departs.

"Mondrian" = an homage to Piet Mondrian, his geometric pieces, and their five basic colors—white, red, yellow, blue, and black lines.  I made sure to include a red mantle, yellow eyes, eight black lines representing tentacles emanating out from the mantle, and sections of blue and white water.

"Picasso" = an homage to Pablo Picasso, one of my favorite artists.  I imagined what a simple squid or octopus might look like to him, something in the style of some of his tribal-art-and-Cubist-inspired portraits of women, and let my chalk do the rest.  I even included some "ink hair" in the upper left corner.


This was another set of chalk pictures that was rather fun to draw.  The wetness of the concrete, the difference in the application of the chalk, the inspiration of the "giants" of the art world, and the call of my Octopus muse all came together in what was a satisfying hour of playing with chalk.

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