Tightrope for Toyota

Most of the paintings I design via We Talk Chalk turn into hand painted 3D street paintings which are amazing and beautiful and super fun, and sometimes exhausting, to create! But over the last few years, I’ve created several digital 3D paintings that I paint in photoshop and then have printed on vinyl via our own vinyl printer or the client’s local vendor. Though they are much less ‘hands on’, they still provide the same impact and effect to viewers.

2017 has brought forth several opportunities for digital projects and I’m having a blast!! The first of the year was the expansion of the Shark painting at the Monte Carlo which I talked about in my last blog post. The second…An incredible display for Toyota and Bass Pro Shops (via MC2exhibits) and the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. This project was a dream come true. To design and paint something for such an incredible client at such an amazing venue was exhilarating to see brought to life! A 16 x 60 foot billboard and 35 x 40 foot floor painting coming together to create the backdrop for two Toyota Vehicles. Awesome!!

I started out by building a layout of the space and where the cars would be parked, and once canyon sketch was approved, I started painting via Wacom Cintiq and Photoshop. I think it took me about 7 days total to complete the image once I started painting. That includes test prints and adjustments. I created the files full size at 100dpi.

I sent the files off to the client for printing and was on pins and needles. The anticipation was unbelievable. When you create something in such a small space (your computer screen) you just hope and pray that all your calculations and tests were accurate when it is finally full size and ENORMOUS!!!! I was so nervous traveling to Daytona…what if I measured wrong? What if the viewpoint is blocked by something I didn’t know about (which is almost was…There was a pole about 4 feet away that could have been a huge problem, but thank goodness it wasn’t. phew), what if my math is off? (by the way…I’m terrible at math. Anything with numbers scares the crap out of me, but hey…you get passed the fear, check everything triple, quadruple times, and then say a lot of prayers that you nailed it. :). In the end, everything turned out perfectly! HALLELUJAH!!! I was sooooo happy. So, you can see the results below. The hot air balloon was a digital I added a few days before the Daytona 500. Toyota wanted more branding in the shot so I created that in a few hours and sent it over. They printed and stuck it up on the billbaord just in time.

Painting should be up for several months fairing good weather.

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30 inch test print of painting.
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Addition of Toyota Branded Balloon!
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The morning after install it rained. The vinyl was steadfast…it held on tight!
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Panarama shot of the painting with the vehicles parked.

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Water, water, everywhere!

Since my last post, I had the opportunity to expand the Shark painting at the Monte Carlo by creating a digital addition around the existing painting. We wanted to make sure that people were drawn into the space to view and pose with the shark – really transform the space as a whole. Monte Carlo’s Marketing team had the idea of using printed vinyl to cover the entire cement space around it. – Brilliant!

I digitally created an expanse of water with a dock that runs from the Shark painting to the sidewalk, life preserver, and floating planks for people to pose on. The trick was creating something large enough to cover such a huge space but not detract from the painting itself. Here are some fun pics of how it all turned out. The marketing team, who you can see posing on the first pic, create a fun ‘SHARK – NO SWIMMING’ sign! Love it.

If you’re in the Vegas area, the ‘Shark’, along with ‘Desert or Dessert’ will be on display through 2017.

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Trick-Eye Experience

New projects are always exciting and in all the time that I worked as a free lance artist my favorite projects were always the ones that required international travel. Painting in a Country you’ve never visited before or one that you really love and experiencing the culture and peoples reaction to your work is an unforgettable experience. But in the 5 years since our company We Talk Chalk has been in business, I’ve accumulated quite a few favorites because of the projects themselves…either because of the imagery, the scope, or the client themselves.

Our current collaboration with the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas has been a dream project for me for several reasons. I have the opportunity to design several anamorphic / 3D paintings for the property as semi permanent installations during their 2 year revitalization and rebranding…and, I essentially had an open theme for all the designs…AWESOME.

So, we (Myself, WTC Studio Artist Lyndsey Anne Morel, and my assistant Jarred Mendoza) just completed 3 paintings, live on site, to kick off the Monte Carlo’s ‘Trick-Eye Experience’. (Actually, Trick Eye was kicked off in December with two Holiday paintings of Polar Bears I created digitally. It was a last minute decision since we were already scheduled to create the live paintings in January. So the Polar Bears were a quick turn around and lots of fun to create.) The first two were titled “Desert or Dessert’ and sit prominently framing the Plaza Blvd Entrance of the Monte Carlo Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The whole Idea is for people to pose as if they are inside the bell jars…The Desert Jar has succulents inside like a giant terrarium and scorpions scaling the outer glass walls. The second is our favorite… ‘Dessert’ features a tower of Macaroons that you have to keep from falling over. It’s bright and colorful and fun.

The third live painting we did was a hungry ‘Shark’. Because who doesn’t love sharks these days? – from a distance, of course. Now that the live paintings are complete I will be creating a few large scale digitals to be sprinkled throughout the interior of the Casino for a total of 6 Trick-Eye Paintings at the Monte Carlo – for now 🙂

Here’s how things got started…

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Concept sketch and mock-up for Desert or Dessert painting. Simple pencil sketches within a photo of the location. Once Ideas were given the green light by the Monte Carlo team I moved forward with full color renderings.

Tools – Strathmore drawing paper, Strathmore Grid paper, tracing paper, mechanical pencils, Mac, Wacom Cintiq, Photoshop, Illustrator.

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Paper to Canvas

Since starting We Talk Chalk in 2012, I’ve designed almost every painting that we’ve produced. On average we’ve been creating about 100 paintings per year with our incredible team. So, I usually design 2-3 paintings a week. And considering I sketch 2-3 designs for the client to choose from, that’s over 300 sketches a year. lol…I didn’t actually realize that until now. Most sketches start out with a simple pencil or digital sketch and turn into full color renderings. This is nice because it lets the client know exactly what they will get. No surprises. It also allows our studio artists and assistants to see what I’m thinking for each and every inch of the painting. I can’t always spend a full day painting so I rely on my amazing artists and assistants to get things going while I’m creating sketches for the next painting.

My favorite designs are usually the ones where the clients allow us free reign (or close to it) on concepts. Of course, it’s always important to make sure our clients are happy and we convey their message in an intriguing way but it doesn’t mean we always ‘love’ the designs 🙂 And more often then not, the client won’t choose our favorite sketch…which means I have a ton of sketches that are just waiting to be used for another cool project. Here are a few sketches from 2016 that weren’t chosen!

All my sketches end up in Photoshop, even if started in pencil, for finishing touches and sending off to client. I’m using a Mac Pro, Wacom Cintiq 27 HD (which I LOVE), and an Epson 1400 Printer. When I’m traveling I use the Wacom Cintiq Companion. They make my work so much easier. Can’t live without them 🙂

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New Mural and Memories made

Since my last post in April, I held our first Montross Mural Studio workshop and created 7 new murals in the neighboring town of Colonial Beach! It’s been a long summer of street painting and murals but the workshop was a highlight 🙂

So, the July Mural Workshop went really well and I had a great group of students. As mentioned in a previous post, I had an artist from Guatemala, 2 from Arizona, 3 local artists and our scholarship winner from Washington and Lee High School. 3 students were able to stay in our dorm style rooms which was really fun. It was great to have a house full of talented artists! And the fact that Remco, Luc, and Lyndsey were there made it even more fun!

We all had a great time together exploring the murals, the area, and our design skills. What started out as a wildlife theme ended up as a bucolic farmland scene featuring Wild Turkey, stag, and farm-house. Bridget of Bridget’s Bouquet where we painted the mural, lives on Nomini Farm and really wanted us to represent the wild turkey in the painting. And, of course, we gave it some 3D flare with the big turkey flying out of the top of the image. What really made this workshop special was the great teamwork the students displayed throughout the class. Though each student designed some part of the mural separately, we were able to pull together each element to create on cohesive design. Then when it came to painting, everyone helped everyone. It was Wonderful!

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Fredericksburg Star

Robert Hedelt of the Fredericksburg Star has written several wonderful articles on the Murals we’ve created in Montross and now he’s promoted Montross Mural Studio! I’ve pasted the article below but you can also follow the above link! Thank you Robert!

As one of the world’s premiere muralists and street painters, Melanie Stimmell Van Latum has visited the great cities of the world for clients ranging from Calvin Klein to various festivals.

But the artist fell so in love with the Westmoreland County town of Montross that she’s opening a mural studio there. She’ll teach up to five seminars a year.

Van Latum, who operates We Talk Chalk out of Los Angeles with husband Remco, announced recently that they have bought a property they’ll operate as the Montross Mural Studio.

Their plan for the house with a large outbuilding in the middle of Montross is to offer seminars of varying lengths where students can learn everything from mural-making to faux finishing to plein air painting.

The first is a seven-day, retreat-style session that will start July 6. It will include walking tours of murals, mural design, concept and composition—and the couple’s specialty—3-D concepts.

Several clients have already signed on for the class, which is limited to a dozen students. One of those will be a student from the county’s Washington and Lee High School under a scholarship from the studio.

As I noted in an earlier column, the well-traveled artist first came to the state when she was hired by the town of Montross to paint murals as part of a revitalization project.

She returned last year to paint a series of seven more murals to close out that project.

Van Latum said she fell in love with the small town because of the warmth of the folks she met there.

“People were always coming out to watch and talk to us as we did the murals,” she said. “Anything we needed, they were willing to help. There is just a wonderful family feeling to the town.”

The artist—the only female to hold the title of master street painter in both Italy and Germany—said that warmth made a lasting impression.

“I’ve been all over the world doing this, over 17 years now, and this was the first time I actually said to myself that I would move here in a second,” she said. “The people here are just so welcoming, so nice.”

Returning to her L.A. home, she and other artists who’d worked on the Montross murals found themselves trying to find reasons to come back.

“We were having dinner one day and suddenly it came to us,” she said. “What if we did classes, retreats? We could return every few months to hold courses on muraling and other topics. The idea turned into us buying a property in Montross.”

She said the house, a bit of a fixer-upper, included a garage large enough for classes, storage and more.

The Van Latums have found a contractor and work should start on the home and workshop space soon. She noted that there’s already a project for the July workshop: a new wildlife-themed mural for the business Bridget’s Bouquets in town.

Van Latum started muraling after falling in love with the art form at her first street-painting festival. She said she likes bringing others to the art.

“I’ve always taught and done workshops for murals and street painting,” she said. “It lets artists get their hands in it and see if they like it.”

Van Latum makes no bones about the fact that the new Montross studio is both a business venture and a way to pay for a second home.

“I love the idea of our son spending time in a place like this,” she said, ticking off draws that range from green, lush forests to waterways for exploring to weather that includes rain and snow—two things that are in short supply in L.A. lately.

The artist noted that she will also soon be doing murals in another Virginia town, Colonial Beach.

She said five murals will be done there through a grant, on buildings ranging from the town office to a condominium to a new bathhouse.

“They will be vintage inspired, postcard style, like the original Montross murals,” said the artist. “These will have a more seaside feeling, one a postcard of an old casino on the shore, another of girls splashing in the water in old-style bathing suits.”

Van Latum said there are times of year when mural work lags due to weather.

“November through February are slow, and sometimes middle of the summer is slow as well,” she said. “It will be nice to plan for that, heading to Virginia then to do some workshops and relax. It will be a nice change of pace.”

For information about the new studio’s seminars, costs, registration or more, go online to montrossmuralstudio.com or call 804/668-7223.

 

Montross Mural Studio is my ‘YES’

When the idea of Montross Mural Studio popped into my head Remco and I had a vision of it growing into a place that would host students and artists from around the globe. ‘Dream big’ right? I certainly did not expect to have that be the case for our first workshop or even within the first few years. What I did expect was a few artists from the Northern Neck area to sign up for the inaugural 7 day workshop (this July) and see what it was all about. Word would spread, and, hopefully, we would become a creative hub in what I consider a most magical and historic area.

We are exactly 3 months from the Grand Opening of Montross Mural Studio on July 6th and we have a ‘Few’ local artists signed up as well as an artist from across the country. Arizona to be exact. And pinch me, because we do, indeed, have our first international student. She will travel all the way from Guatemala to Montross to learn, from me! I am so honored to have anyone sign up at all this first round to be honest. Remco says it’s the insecure artist in me but really…you never know what you willl succeed or fail at until you try. There are no guarantees…but in the words from my last post…Every ‘no’, gets you closer to the ‘yes’ that will change your life. I think I just found my ‘YES’.

Montross Mural Studio Scholarship

On April 1st we announced the Montross Mural Studio Scholarship winner! The incredible recipient, Kayla Payne from Washington & Lee H.S. in Montross, VA, will join my week long Mural Workshop this July. I’m so happy to have her…She is bright, talented, ambitious, and has some wonderful goals for her future as a creator.

In choosing Kayla, I did have the unfortunate responsibility of rejecting the other aspiring young artists who applied for that same scholarship. To them I say, It was an incredibly difficult decision for me to make. You are all wonderfully talented. One of my great professors at Art Center once told me…’It doesn’t matter how many ‘NO’ responses you receive – each one brings you closer to the one ‘YES’!!! that will change your life. I believe this 100%

Alvin Ailey Day

Today was a really fun and creative day at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. I am on their education roster for the Arts Teach program but also create several street paintings a year during their special events. Today was one of them. Alvin Ailey ‘Revelations Celebration’ in the Centers Plaza welcomed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with free activities. One being a dance along with dancers from the show and another being the Alvin Ailey street painting I created with the little attendees. Kids just love the opportunity to express themselves and ‘get a little dirty’ 🙂 Here are some fun pics of my mini helpers. They did a great job!!

The Alvin Ailey engagement runs April 6th – 10th https://www.scfta.org

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New Revitalization & Renovation!

It has been several weeks since announcing our new business, Montross Mural Studio (A division of We Talk Chalk), and a lot has happened. Remco and I have purchased a property with an incredible workshop in Montross where we will host our Montross Mural Studio workshops. After a little TLC, the house will be an incredible place for us right in the village. We will start renovations this April! The workshop, however, is in great condition. Just needs a little paint and has a ton of space for us to hold classes, have a gallery space, and even paint a 3D street painting.

Since we now have a permanent Studio address, we have been graciously added to the Northern Neck Artisan Trail and will be on the new map that comes out this Spring! Thank you Artisan Trail Network!

And, last but not least…I am so excited! After seeing the Murals I created in Montross, the city of Colonial Beach, VA is commissioning me to create 5 murals for their town revitalization. Pinch Me! This is so thrilling as we move to start our new business in the Northern Neck. A special Thank you to Holly Harman who is my liaison and promoter, and Terry Cosgrove, Montross Vice Mayer, for his incredible help in all things Montross!

 

 

 

 

 

Montross Mural Studio – July

Registration is open and I am so excited to see who will be joining me for our inaugural Mural Workshop. Since I first announced our new venture, we have decided to expand our scope to include Faux Finishing, Street Painting, Plein Air, and Soft Pastel workshops. There are so many great things to try your hand at in this world. Why settle for just one 🙂

Check out what we will be doing for the 7 day Mural Workshop this July…

 

https://montrossmuralstudio.com/workshops/

Montross Mural Studio

Here is it! www.montrossmuralstudio.com

Will you join me on my new adventure? This is going to be so much fun. 7 days learning and creating murals, visiting historic sites, sketching, and picnics in a creative and inspirational environment. Sign up to be the first to receive updates on schedule and pricing the first of the year. Space will be limited to ensure one on one attention and the charming setting Montross is known for.

 

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Happy 2016

Happy New Year! What a great 2015 it has been. We Talk Chalk had a very successful year and we created a lot of really exciting projects and had several repeat clients! I had a great time creating a few personal projects in The Netherlands last July for the World Street Painting Festival and another in Houston for the Via Colori Street Painting Festival. But as this year comes to a close I thought it was time for some revamping! So, I’m excited to start 2016 with a new look and feel for my personal website. The most exciting part of this is that everything I do can be found via MelanieStimmell.com My Street Painting, We Talk Chalk, Fine Art, Street Painting Academy, and new Blog are all accessible via my main menu and makes things so much easier! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

To make 2016 even more exciting, Remco and I are embarking on a new adventure…Montross Mural Studio! After returning from an amazing trip to Montross for the final stage of their revitalization project where 10 of my (We Talk Chalk) original murals grace the walls of the small town, population 320, we found we missed it dearly. It is such an incredible town and the people make it truly special so I can’t wait to return this summer to lead a mural workshop and retreat. It will be 7 days of creativity and inspirational scenery!

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Please sign up if you are interested and I’ll be sending out info via email once we lock in dates and pricing.

Nashville Chalk Fest

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We Talk Chalk is honored to be organizing Nashville’s first street painting Festival, Nashville Chalk Fest! April 11-12

Nashville Chalk Fest is a free, 2-day street painting festival with entertainment, food, and family fun; featuring sidewalk chalk art by professional artists, hobbyist, and art enthusiasts from across the country. This will be the first of what we hope to make an annual tradition of the Nashville Chalk Fest event benefitting the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences.

The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences has provided hearing and speech services to patients of all ages and their families for over 60 years, offering every patient compassionate, personalized care. Housed within the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences are the Preschool for Children with Autism and the Mama Lere Hearing School. All net proceeds will benefit most significantly the Preschool for Children with Autism and the Mama Lere Hearing School as well as other hearing and speech programs.

Last weekend was my second visit to the Music City to help organize and hold street painting workshops for the local artist community. We are really excited about the artists that have signed up. It’s a talented group and we can’t wait to see what they create. As the Featured Artist, I will be creating a 15 x 15 foot 3D street painting that ties into the incredible non-profit the event benefits. The event will host 2 Guest, Out of Town Artists, as well as 20 – 40 local Nashville artists.

We look forward to a great event and hope to see you there!

Date: April 11-12, 2015
Location: Belcourt Avenue and 24th Avenue
next to Fannie Mae Dees Park
Times: Saturday, April 11 from 9am-7pm
Sunday, April 12 from 11am-6pm

 

 

Global Ready Challenge in 3D

We Talk Chalk was commissioned by Verizon Wireless to bring life to their Global Ready Challenge! We created 5 large 3D street paintings to represent 5 continents of the World. Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia. All were on exhibit around the ever lively, Austin, TX over a two week period. Spectators were invited to find, pose with, and post a pic with each painting for a chance to win a trip around the world!!! Brand Ambassadors were on site dressed as ultra cool pilots and flight attendants 🙂
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3D Heineken Rocks!

It was very exciting creating this 3D street painting for Heineken Chicago’s Union Square Park. Our anamorphic wall/ ground painting fit right in at the North Coast Music Festival, which was attended by 20,000 fans on each of the three days Labor Day weekend. This project was neat because all of our team, at some point, added their own touch to the painting. It was Also very exciting working with some amazing fluorescent colors over a dark base. It was our first time working with a few of these bright colors so it was very cool to see them bring the painting to its final stages. We are glad to have been a part of this project and look forward to creating more 3-D three paintings such as this one and using vibrant colors once again.

 

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Malala Chalk Art

On the day Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s youngest recipient to date, We had the very special honor of being able to create a work of art at an extraordinary event…Variety’s Power of Women Annual Luncheon. The luncheon featured the most prominent charities to benefit women including the Malala Fund. Our Chalk Board installation was a framework for the amazing women, such as Reese Witherspoon (pictured below with our painting) who are great supporters of the organization.

A heartfelt thank you and congratulations to a very courageous young woman. Thank you Malala!

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http://variety.com/t/power-of-women/

3D Painting Impresses at Science Fest

Last month, We Talk Chalk’s Lynn Okimura, took a trip to Los Alamos, New Mexico to install a 3D street painting at the Los Alamos Science Festival! Because of how our 3D street paintings are created to convey illusions, we thought it would tie in perfectly with the event’s SMART Art Contest. The We Talk Chalk team created this 12 x 12 foot anamorphic piece in studio to demonstrate how science meets art. In the painting, stacks of science books form the traditional New Mexico landscape and are accompanied with New Mexico wild life, element symbols, and lab tools.

 

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Color Yourself Healthy in our 3D Street Painting

Last month, We Talk Chalk took on a new delicious and nutritious challenge for NUTRILITE™! It was their 80th year celebration!! With all of the fruits and veggies bursting from the bottle, the colors really popped off the wall/ floor painting. This piece not only turned out to reference NUTRILITE’s “Color Yourself Healthy” Campaign perfectly, but also became of the the We Talk Chalk team’s personal favorites. It was very interesting to learn about how the different colors in fruits and veggies can not only benefit our bodies for today, but help better them for the future as well. The NUTRILITE™ brand offers you and your family a complete range of supplements and health-related products designed to address the nutritional needs of anyone at any life stage. It felt great to showcase this piece at the company’s private corporate event and have everyone as excited as we were that it turned out so fun and lifelike.

 

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We Talk Chalk Artist David Lee

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David at work in We Talk Chalk Studios. Interview by Rick Madera

David Lee is an amazing painter with experience in 3-D street painting as well as photorealism. When he was a child, his mother would throw newspaper in his crib to stop him from crying, he would distract himself by ripping the newspaper into shreds. David explained that this still applies to his life today. Although he does not shred newspaper anymore as a pastime, he still uses his hands to create art as a personal expression.

As David got older, his aunt sparked his love of creating art when she purchased his first acrylic paint set. A copy of a Rembrandt painting he would see at his neighbor’s house from time to time also inspired him. It’s because of that Rembrandt painting that he appreciates paintings with beautiful images that emerge from darkness. In addition to his families encouragement, he also had a great mentor at the Boys and Girls Club in Oceanside who financially supported several art painting courses for him, which refined David’s art skills.

David enjoys painting people or life-like objects as well as sports themes…He’s a huge Charger’s fan!! His dream project is to go to small towns and paint murals that best convey each town’s story because every town has a past, a present, and a story to tell.

David responded to We Talk Chalk because we create work similar to his usual public art projects. His first task in creating a 3-D anamorphic painting with us was to fill on a huge 30 x 40 foot image for Toyota which was on display at SEMA, Las Vegas. As a muralist He feels 3-D street painting is similar to creating a painting on the wall. It’s just horizontal. David describes working with We Talk Chalk as being like a member of the band, where every member plays an important role; the bass and drums are the foundation while the guitar and trumpet add the finesse.

We are happy to have David as a member of our band.

We Talk Chalk Kicks a Revitalization into Gear

We’ve all seen those DIY shows where a team sweeps into town and completely redoes a backyard or house for an incredibly fantastic reveal just a few days later. While we know it is TV, it’s still quite clear that you can make a big difference for someone or something in a fairly short amount of time. May 29th, Anat Ronen and I landed in Richmond, Virginia to do a little redo of our own armed with some paint and a handful of brushes.

I’ll back up to a few months ago when I was contacted by the lovely Holly Harman – a member of the Montross, VA Revitalization committee (and owner, with her husband Terry, of the lovely ‘Art of Coffee’. The only coffee shop in town). She asked if I would like to submit a proposal for their special mural project for which they had received a grant. We received news that ‘We Talk Chalk’ was awarded the project!!…we were to create 3 murals, vintage inspired, to brighten up the town and really start to make it a destination. So, Anat Ronen and I packed our bags for a 10 day revitalization in a town of 350 people. To be honest, we really didn’t know what to expect, other then hard work, hot weather, humidity, and no Starbucks 😉 Really, none of the usual places you find in any small American town…no fast food, chain stores or hotels reside in the area. Instead, we found beautiful parks, lush green forest, charming coffee, art and antique shops, and most of all…incredible people.

Over several days of painting, we encountered the wonderful individuals who call Westmoreland County home. Here are a few pics of what we did…

 

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‘Bridget’s Seed Pack’ 13 x 15 foot anamorphic mural

 

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‘Nomini Tomato Label’ Before Photo – Westmoreland County Museum
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‘Nomini Tomato Label’ Detail of 9 x 35 foot mural – Westmoreland County Museum
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‘Nomini Tomato Label’ 9 x 35 foot mural – Westmoreland County Museum
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‘Vintage Montross Postcard’ Day one of 12 x 24 foot mural – Carrot Cottage Building
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‘Vintage Montross Postcard’ Detail of 12 x 24 foot mural – Carrot Cottage Building
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‘Vintage Montross Postcard’ Addition of 5 x 9 foot ‘Lady Cardinal’ mural – Carrot Cottage Building
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‘Vintage Montross Postcard’ 12 x 24 foot mural – Carrot Cottage Building

 

In addition to the 3 original murals, we were also asked to restore a vintage coca cola mural, on Montross’ Coca Cola distribution building (from 1932), that had faded significantly over the last 15 years. Originally painted in 1999 by Dianna Snell, this mural was based on a vintage postcard. Anat and I took a day to revamp all the colors and restore it to it’s original beauty. Though a little stressful, it was actually a lot of fun.

 

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‘Coca Cola Sprite’ Before photo of Vintage Coca Cola mural – Coca Cola Building
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‘Coca Cola Sprite’ Detail photo during restoration process – Coca Cola Building
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‘Coca Cola Sprite’ Photo of finished mural restoration – Coca Cola Building

 

Special Thanks

In all my years of travel and painting in cities around the world, I don’t think I have ever received a warmer and more appreciative welcome then we did in Montross. We met and spent time with people that I will forever call my friends. (A few people may even find their initials hidden in the murals…you know who you are 😉 A Special Thanks to our very gracious hosts Holly and Terry, who welcomed us into their beautiful home and fed us each day from their delectable ‘Art of Coffee’ menu. It’s impossible to name everyone who made our visit special but know that you all made it more then a ‘project’ for us. We are looking forward to the possibility of returning to Montross in October for Phase II of their revitalization and for Fall Fest!! By then they will have new street lamps, park benches, and street signs settling into their marvelous view. It’s a beautiful place to visit…I’ll definitely be back 🙂

 

 

A little about Montross

With Kings Hwy running right through it’s center, Montross sees thousands of passers by a day. It is the seat of Westmoreland county and has a Courthouse, Museum, Inn, Coffee & Art Shop, Antique Shops and is just a few minutes from the breathtaking Westmoreland State Park. In 2000, Montross was featured on television’s Late Show with David Letterman. In a segment called, “Biff Henderson’s America“, comedian Biff Henderson visited the small town’s museum, Bargain Shop, Sheriff’s Department, the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, and the Potomac River.

 

 

 

We Talk Chalk Artists Lynn Okimura

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Lynn Okimura has been bringing her brilliant directive eye, industry professionalism, and intricate painting skills to our We Talk Chalk team for almost a year now. She originally joined our studio team last August when we were under the gun to create a Guinness World Record breaking painting, commissioned by Smirnoff, in Bangkok’s Siam Center. Since then she has had her hand in almost every WTC project.

A California native with roots from Hawaii, Lynn is a talented UCLA alum with a BFA in Fine Art and an MFA in animation whose work has aired on tv and in New York’s Times Square. She’s animated on HBO’s “The Life and Times of Tim” and mixed media shorts for Disney. She has shown at film festivals across the country including The Hawaii International Film Festival, The San Diego Asian American Film Festival, The Los Angeles Visual Communication Film Festival, Seattle’s Bumbershoot Arts Festival, and New York’s Animation Block Party.

Being a classic overachiever, Lynn has her hand in multiple artistic ventures including being a Co-owner and Art Director of the DisposableArtShop.com and an Assistant Professor for the UCLA School of Film and CalArts where she has taught Interactive Animation and Mixed Media.

We are very happy to have Lynn on our WTC team. She will join , Ever, Remco and I this week in Denver for our special project with ‘Concert’s for Kids’

 

Street Painting Festivals…

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As our young Company revs up for what will be our busiest and most profitable month yet, I am reminded of all the time I spent volunteering my time as an artist. Whether for a street painting festival for charity, or creating a painting for a friend or acquaintance for mere pennies. Certainly, every one of those projects, and there were many, prepared me for what we are doing today and I am grateful for the opportunities to hone my skills and become the artist I am today. I will say, however, that the trend that we’ve set (and I see ‘we’ because our community of street painters is many) is destroying the potential for artists to be appreciated and compensated for their talents. The fact that we are willing to create an artwork for virtually no compensation is setting the standard for our own futures as creatives. Not a day goes by that I do not see an artists struggling, being taken advantage of, and giving their talents away for free, only to wish they were able to make a living as an artist.

About 11 years ago, I visited a little town in Mantova, Italy, called Grazie. This quaint little town has a church with a taxidermy alligator hanging from the ceiling, a lake with the biggest most stunning water lotus I’ve ever seen, and once a year, it is home to a little festival called Incontro Nazionale Madonnari – The original street painting festival. Irresistible for a young street painter who always dreamed of traveling the world, I had to go. To enter this event, it was important to send a letter to the association of Madonnari, asking for a humble invitation to paint in their festival. Once there I was instantly in love with not only the art form that I already had an affinity for, but also the amazing people and culture that keep it alive. I can go into vivid detail about the magical 24 hours of this event and the even more magical moment I won a gold medal for my street painting, but for points sake, I will take you to the end of this most memorable event. Following the festival’s awards ceremony, 200 hot, dirty, hungry, and exhausted Madonnari stood in line to receive their painting stipend. Each and every artist! Young, old, professional, amateur, winner, or looser, was handed a small white envelope containing compensation for their days work, from the city, and a velvet sachet with a souvenir bronze medallion marking your participation in the festival. What I saw was an incredible amount of respect for these artists and their talents that spanned the entire village and country for that matter.
So… What happened when this art form was brought to the U.S.? I’ll tell you in my next post. Off to paint!

We Talk Chalk Photo Shoot

The We Talk Chalk team had a really fun photo shoot with Pasedena Photographer Jessica Verma. We took some group shots for our website and some professional individual which was great. In the last few minutes of our shoot Ever and Lynn had a really cool idea for a semi-group shot. You can see what I mean…

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Here are some more of our favorites…

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Branching out in 2014!

So far, 2014 has been an exciting year for We Talk Chalk. We have already been involved in two projects, and are well on our way to a busy Spring.

Our first project was an eye-popping 3D street painting created for Butterfield Color. The painting was located in their spectacular custom Booth for the “World of Concrete” Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Within the booth, the piece was accompanied by Butterfield Color’s concrete flooring designs; along with benches, dividers, and a cozy fire pit, all created in concrete.

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The painting was created in three days by Lynn Okimura and I. We had a great time with the Butterfield team.

Our second project was for Jacobsen Lawnmowers at the GIS convention in Orlando, FL. The Image was a life-sized riding mower than you could pose on, propped up against a background of rolling grass, and giant golf tees. All together the painting measured a whopping 15×50 feet.

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The image was imagined and painted in our studio, and our amazing studio artists, Lynn and Ever, traveled to Orlando to complete the painting on-site before the start of the convention.

A new development in 2014 is that we have branched out our services with a new Mural division. With prolific Houston Muralist, Anat Ronen, at it’s core, we are very excited to be taking our skills in street painting to more vertical and Permanent surfaces. Anat is an incredible force and brings a new dimension to our services as a full scale visual solutions team. Check out Anat’s amazing creations…

And last but not least, we expanded our studio team with the addition of two assistants, Caroline and Rick. We are very excited by their potential and seeing their creative spirits blossom in our environment.
We wish them a warm Welcome!

League of Legends Championship

We had a great time creating this 3D street painting for the League of Legends Championship in Los Angeles. With only a few days of lead time, it was a lucky coincidence that our good friend Alex Maksiov was in town to help paint it in studio. Alex is an incredible artist and member of the We Talk Chalk team from the Ukraine. He was on our Guinness World Record team in Bangkok last month.

So Alex and I painted the image, then had to head over to create paintings in DownTownDisney while We Talk Chalk’s Remco and Lynn installed League of Legends at the Staples Center. They had a great response from the LL crowd and had a visit from quite a few costumed characters. Here’s a pic of the final painting and a shot of the Korean League of Legends Champions!

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Foire de Paris Features 3D Street Painting

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Julie and I have been very fortunate to be able to do what we love for a living and we’ve been doing it for many years. Last year, when we started We Talk Chalk with Remco, we dreamed of big clients, steady work, lots of creativity and inspiration. After a year and a half, we are so proud to say that we are living that dream. Sure, there is always more to aspire to and it’s all hard work but we are so, so grateful for the incredible start we’ve had as a company.

We just spent a week in one of the most beautiful cities in the world for a project with LaSolution and Foire de Paris, the largest Expo in France. We created 3 paintings in studio in the themes of Earth, Air, and Water. Attendees could Watch Nature Soar, be a Pilot for a Day, or Kiss a Siren. The airplane painting was probably my favorite…It turned out really cute. But really, we were really happy and proud of all 3 paintings and had so much fun painting them. It was really nice to create new work that leaned more towards fine art then commercial.

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Our new technique allows the paintings to live well through numerous rains, footsteps, and busy mommy strollers.

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Sail away with our 3D Street Painting

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Julie and I had a great time in Newport Beach creating a painting for Lexus. They wanted a Sailing inspired painting to promote their brand at the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race and Strada dell’Arte, a new street painting festival. We created a wall/ground integration with an 8 x8 foot false wall that my father built. Completely mobile and amazing, we were able to display the top half of our sunset sail scene and continue our painting down the street leading up to the actual Lexus SUV. By Sunday, people were posing on our 3D Yacht for pics and enjoying perfect weather in Balboa Penninsula.

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We Talk Chalk at Strada dell’Arte

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Come check out We Talk Chalk this weekend, April 20th & 21st, in Newport Beach, California. We’ll be creating a 3D street painting for 2013 Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race launch party and Strada dell’Arte. The event will draw huge crowds so we are excited to represent Lexus for this special event. We will be creating a wall/ground painting using an 8 x 8 foot false wall built by our resident carpenter, Gerald Stimmell, and the painting will continue out 20 feet so that guests will be able to pose on the painting as if you’re sitting on their own personal yacht. It’ll be fun. Along with our piece there will be over 25 artists creating ‘Ocean’ inspired street paintings.

Historic Balboa Village is beautiful. With two boardwalks, a pier, shopping, restaurants, and a ton of water sports to partake in, it’ll be a wonderful weekend!

 

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Chalk Paintings in 3D

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When we first began street painting, everything was created with soft pastel…most people would call it chalk painting because of how familiar we all are with the old school chalk boards and hopscotch from our generations childhood. The early traditions of Street Painting…and the true Madonnari styles still present with traditional Italian street painters, still rely on the use of soft pastel alone. Wether hand made or store bought…the beauty of soft pastel on asphalt is in the true Madonnari Culture.

It’s funny now to think about our company name…We Talk Chalk. We rarely create an entirely soft pastel painting these days. With the high demand of 3d street paintings for corporate events, advertising, and special events, clients really want to be able to become part of the work. That requires something a little more durable then the traditional soft pastel. These days we do our best to stay as flexible as we can because we know every event will be different. Over the last year we’ve learned, and developed several options so we are able to create on those tricky surfaces we aren’t able to actually apply paint or pastel to. Whether it be a slick shopping center floor, a permit that only allows 5 hours for said event, a location that won’t allow even the tiniest bit of tape touch the ground, or an event forecast full of torrential downpours, we have solutions.

We are ever evolving and standing up to new challenges presented to us by clients or locations. We never say…’It can’t be done!’

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The Heart of Bangkok Meets 3D Street Painting

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It’s only a week until We Talk Chalk begins it’s sweep of Bangkok with it’s team of 10 world famous artists creating 3D and 4D street paintings! As one of the founding partners and creative directors of We Talk Chalk, I had the pleasure of traveling to Bangkok for just a few hours to take part in a press conference for the event at Ratchaprasong. Arriving in the city the night before, the day of the press event was a whirlwind of painting location visits, meeting the local major sponsors of the event, turning out a small 3D street painting (a brilliant green tree frog!) and taking part in an interview with other local artists and event organizers. The people who were part of the event lined up to take turns sitting on the 3D painting for photos, and were very gracious and excited about seeing the upcoming artwork – as are we to create it!

A red eyed treee frog comes to life!
A red eyed treee frog comes to life!

 

Over the next couple weeks we will be unveiling some of the designs and actual paintings as they are created, giving those who are not local to the event a chance to watch things unfold. Beyond just “another street painting event”, artists will be creating 3D Street paintings, as well as “4D” paintings – 3D with added elements in a sensory, complex perspective or augmented reality to take it to the next level. This type of event would be special anywhere it happened, but to the city of Bangkok this is an unprecedented event – the first of it’s kind in the city, and only the second in the country of Thailand as a whole (The first event being the festival organized using We Talk Chalk artists last year in the Thai city of Chiang Mai. We are not only thrilled to travel to such a rich culture and beautiful land as Thailand, but honored to be part of the inaugural group of what will hopefully become just the first of many such activities in this amazing country.

For more on this interview and the event itself, check out this news article:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Distorting-realities-30200116.html

The Airport in Bangkok is filled with a number of large art pieces reflecting the local culture and history.
The Airport in Bangkok is filled with a number of large art pieces reflecting the local culture and history.

The Good Old Days…

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I did my first street painting back in 1992. At the time, I had no idea what that little festival in San Juan Capistrano was starting for me, it just sounded like a fun thing to do for a beginning art student. I had never seen a street painting before, although I had a broad notion in my mind of what it was, possibly fueled by a scene in an old movie, “Little Man Tate”. At that first festival there were maybe 15-20 paintings, and I thought it would be “such a great idea” to paint something as if it had broken through the ground, so I came up with an image of Neptune being pulled by 3 horses, coming towards you. Out of that small gathering of artists I won second place, a small cash prize, and a new found love for the medium that, unbeknownst to me, would be a major factor in my life.

When I look back over the years at that simple painting now, it makes me laugh…but I’m also kind of proud of myself! It was embarrassingly amateur, but at the same time, obviously captured at least a few others the way it captured me, or I wouldn’t have won a prize. Life takes it’s funny twists and turns, and I certainly had no clue what was waiting for me around the bend!

Over the next few paintings I sort of turned a snobby nose to those who did more traditional images, such as master copy paintings – so unoriginal in my immature mind – until I tried my first one. It was in the completion of a copy of one of the Sistine chapel panels that I realized just how much work went into making a nice master painting, as well as how much I learned in that one day about light and color and just plain old painting.

The history of street painting is rooted in traditional iconic images, and goes back well over 500 years. 3D street painting is relatively new, with a recognized beginning in the early 1980’s, though I’m sure there were moments in time that one person or another tried something much as I did with my Neptune painting. For both myself and Melanie, while we have become accomplished at 3D street painting, we will always have a love for 2D painting and the traditional images of history. Maybe it is our classical painting roots, maybe it is just a traditional love for history – either way, it doesn’t really matter, we have both learned so much over the years in doing those various copies, as well as 2D compositions, and we have mastered painting in that form, taking what we have learned as skilled painters to that next level of 3D and now 4D street painting, much like we will complete in Thailand next month. The few images here show some of that skill and love and time that we have put into those works. One thing I have always t

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old my students, going back to fundamentals does nothing but make you a better artist – I’ve said that from my own experience, as well a

s that of countless old masters who have paved the roads before me.MadonnaConBambino sb2004 la_jolla_10 valencia2000

Want a fun design?

It’s a new year for all of us – including the artists here at We Talk Chalk! As we look forward to the many new paintings that will come along this year, there are a couple of recommendations we can give new clients as they consider their design.

• 3D paintings involve making vertical elements look realistic – in order to do this, consider what 3D elements will be part of your design. Architectural? Objects? Organic, such as trees and so on? It can help to keep in mind that the design will most likely be vertical in design because of these elements, i.e. taller rather than wider. And that the more these painted items are “Above ground” the longer – and more distorted – the design will be. Putting the elements below the ground and below the natural eye level will help them stay less distorted in the painting, which, in turn, makes them easier to understand if your viewer isn’t looking through a camera.

• Most companies think almost immediately about brand, and how to include it in the painting – but most of the viewing public is savvy enough to know when they are getting an ad pushed at them. If you can keep the branding down to a minimum you will naturally get more public response in photo sharing, interest in the painting and so on. Choosing a design that is fun and creative captures the interest of your viewer. This can be a hard sell with many companies, but try to remember what the final goal is. This doesn’t mean no branding at all, but whatever can be done to keep it subtle will help, more than you realize. In the long run, 100 shares because of subtle branding is more successful than 10 shares because the image was overloaded with advertising. And creativity can bump that image from 100 shares to 1000…and isn’t that really the point?!

Street Painting; Beginnings

Where it all began.

Julie and I have been street painting for quite a while now. Me for about 15 years, and her for about 25, I think. We’ve heard and told, many stories of where street painting began. Whether it was to new festivals, workshop students, or for an interview, the story always the same…500 years ago in Italy, artists began street painting as a way to make money. Some injured veterans, some just wanting to share their work for a bit of spare change. The days of busking and donating time and creativity in exchange of a bit of street to paint on are still part of a long history of this Italian folk art, especially in Europe. But over the 500 years since it’s inception Street painting has evolved immensely. Today it can be seen all over the world as self expression, promotions, advertising, and exhibition. Just look at what we do for a living. We have a company dedicated to offering this art form as a service to events and companies all over the world.

Because of such an increase in interest and activity, street painting festivals have cropped up all over the country and through-out the world in the last 20 years. But where did the ‘festival’ idea come from. Well, the idea of an ‘organized festival’ began in Mantova, Italy where once a year on the holy day of the ascension, artists would spend 24 hours painting a beautiful religious image on the streets in front of the church. The wonderful thing about this event is that each artist, regardless of status, style, or popularity, is awarded a monetary stipend and medallion at the end of the event. This not only shows an appreciation for the work the artist has done but also gives them a small fund to cover their expenses for the day.
From the beginnings of man, we have found a way to create imagery in some way or another. Whether it be cave paintings by primitive beings, or stunning canvas works by Dutch Masters…we have a desire to tell our stories and share our dreams with stunning visuals. The same can be said about street painting. In the 1500’s, Italian artists began painting images of the Madonna and Child on the streets outside of churches and cathedrals. They lived off the donations tossed onto their works in appreciation. Once complete, the artist would collect their coins and soft pastels and move on to another town or city to create a new artwork. Each painting left to wear away over time with footsteps, wind, and rain.

In 1425, the first fair dedicated to the Mother of God on the day of her assumption was recorded. A day of community, culture, and enjoyment, was infused with the work of Madonnari. The First ‘Madonnari’ (Italian for Street Painter) Festival was performed on August 15th, 1973 when a researcher of folk traditions, Gilberto Boschesi wanted to recognize the value of the art created by these artists over hundreds of years. Together with the Mantua Tourism Board and the City of ProLoco Curtatone, Journalists, and Art critics, named the painters and peddlers of ‘Sacred Images of Madonna and Child,’ “Madonnari.” The artists present created Christian inspired images in the hopes of claiming the title of “Maestro Madonnaro” and a gold medal. A display of technique and creativity, artists work is on display as they work from the evening of August 14th, after the blessing of the chalk by the Bishop of Mantua, until 6pm on the evening of August 15th. 24 hours of work and attraction as people stroll through the night air to view the works of over 200 international artists.

The Festival has continued to take place at the Santuario Grazie Di Curtatone every August 14-15th. Prizes are still awarded in each of their 3 categories of participation… Semplici (Simple, beginner), Qualificato (Qualified), and Maestro (Maestro, Master). Prizes range from Gold, Silver, Bronze medals, to honorable mentions. (Julie and I both have won several medals at this event including the top honor.) It remains one of the most respected and coveted events in the world. Now with artists traveling from all over the world, every street painter dreams of attending. It is the Original, from which events all over the world have imitated. And we thank them for being our inspiration and guide.
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*http://www.madonnari.curtatone.it

We Talk Chalk moves between 3D and 4D

We are so excited to be traveling again to Thailand this year. We Talk Chalk has been invited back for an incredible event in Bangkok! Our team will be made up of 10 of the best 3D street painters in the world and we will be creating works in 3D…and 4D! Stay tuned for some really fun and inspiring images as we head into 2013 with incredible new adventures.

Sarasota 2012!

Both Melanie and myself returned to Sarasota’s International Street Painting Festival this year with a lot of painting on the horizon – as well as deciding to complete our own 2D painting, we were also asked to be part of the small team of artists helping world renowned street painting master, Kurt Wenner, complete his 20’x60′ circus installation, which included a completely new element of a second, removed ground plane adding to the incredible illusion! This was a huge honor for both of us, and one that we not only enjoyed tremendously, but learned so much over the course of the 8 straight days on painting. One of the things that is so engaging about street painting for both of us is that, no matter how good you get, there are always new things to learn and try out – especially when it comes to illusion and the extreme mathematics used to create it! Other artists on the team came from all over the world – Italy, Germany, Australia, Mexico – and it was truly a pleasure to work with all of them. Kurt was very giving to everyone, sharing his techniques generosity, as a wonderful teacher as well as artist. Melanie and I felt honored towards the end of the week when we were part of the even smaller group asked to oversee the installation of the final pieces to the puzzle, as Kurt had to leave to head back home for other business. As we completed that installation, we were also working on our own painting, “The Gypsy Fortune Teller”, a 2D painting that was composited from various other photos and paintings to create a new design. After so much 3D work over the last 10 months, it was certainly nice to work on something that required fine tuned painting skills, one of the strengths we bring to the 3D world – not only have we mastered much of the 3D illusionary effects, but we bring an ability to paint that is far beyond the quality of most of our competition, making what we do a “cut above”. Being at Sarasota, and being able to capitalize on both ends of what we have worked so hard to become excellent at, was inspiring and thrilling for us, and a wonderful motivator to our quieter winter months, when we can plan designs for the next year and work in our studios on our oil paintings for a short bit!

 

Sarasota street paintings a huge success!

Well, it’s taken a few days to recover from the craziness of a week long event of painting, but we are here to tell you that the paintings completed by both the teams of WeTalkChalk and Planet Streetpainting were a huge success – Five 3D paintings in all!

Melanie Stimmell Van Latum of WTC finished her composition on Sunday morning – accented by rock sculptures and even a live mermaid model that viewers could take their photo with, her painting was a huge hit with the crowd. Lines of people waited for their photo opportunity, and it was the small details – always beautifully painted by master street

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The live mermaid was a great draw for the camera-wielding public

painter Melanie – that really made the painting not just a nice visual effect, but also a stunning painting. Melanie’s affinity for highly finished painting techniques and beautiful feminine forms combined well with the theme of mermaids and ocean to create a popular attraction at the festival. Because of the fact that both Melanie and Julie’s paintings were mostly composed of pastel work (paintings of this scale are often finished with painted pigments rather than pastel due to time constraints), the rich details and close up painting work yields a beautiful final product. Melanie’s final painting ended up being a 15’x33′ painting on the ground.

Melanie and Julie began their paintings on Tuesday morning, so the long wait and effort ended up building crowd anticipation. By the time the paintings were completed, both artists had amassed quite a collection of votes for people’s choice, not to mention new friends and fans a long the way! The crowds at Sarasota tended to be very supportive as

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Melanie's painting in the International Street Painting Festival in Sarasota turned out absolutely beautiful

a whole,and truly appreciative of the experience brought to them by the festival organizers, who brought in some of the top talent from around the world to make this festival one of the greatest gatherings of artists to happen in the street painting world. Not only were WeTalkChalk and Planet Streetpainting in attendance, but also such notables as Kurt Wenner, Gregor Wosik, and Eduardo Relaro, not to mention some of the best Italian street painters to be found. Painting in such company was both an honor and a pleasure, as well as a great learning experience for all involved.

By Sunday afternoon Julie’s painting was also completed – a 20’x30′ design based on the Baroque theme of “The Four Continents”. Inspired by Rubens, but a completely original design, Julie’s painting included 8 figures – couples – representing the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and the America’s, as well as Neptune to represent the oceans, and a few random animals. Some 3D paintings are aimed more at viewing in person and some are aimed more at viewing

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a close up of Neptune and his seahorse located towards the back of the painting

through a camera. While both types of paintings work okay in the opposite situation, their strongest qualities show in the one they were designed for. Julie’s image was meant to be viewed more in person, a nod to the huge crowd that attended the festival. As such, minimal anamorphic distortion was used to help viewing from the side angles, and, similar to Melanie’s work, a strong reference to finished painting technique was used to help show the painting’s refinement in person. Julie’s love of Baroque themes and drama made for a dynamic use of forms within the painting that attracted a lot of viewers who came back throughout the week to watch as the painting reached completion. By the end of the week the extreme size combined with the paint technique and long hours of work meant that a nice long rest was needed to recover!

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9 figures and 600 square feet later, the painting was done!

As clouds began blowing in, the reminders of the temporary nature of street painting left all of the artists with an appreciation for Mother Nature waiting to wash off the paintings for at least a few more days. Luckily the rain that had slowed down progress a few days earlier, as well as threatened that final afternoon managed to never come. The next day was a typical Florida fall day and so the official “Viewing” day was sunny and beautiful – perfect for relaxing and enjoying a tough week of work.

the guys at Planet Streetpainting also found success with their paintings. The final Lego Terra Cotta Warriors painting turned out fantastic and drew a lot of attention. Two of the artists from the team went on to complete additional smaller 3D paintings on their own – Remco and Ruben – that were also well crafted and popular. As a whole, the partners dominated much of the festival attention and were a nice addition to the beautiful paintings completed by other artists, as well as helping to make the 4th International Street Painting Festival a huge success!

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One of Planet Streetpainting's final paintings at the Sarasota International Streetpainting Festival

Planet Streetpainting Taking Over the World??!

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watching this terra cotta army come to life is plenty of reason to head to Sarasota!

Our partners, Planet Streetpainting, are painting right next to us at the International Street Painting Festival in Sarasota, FL this week. It can be a little intimidating watching their “little” army come to life, and yet inspiring all the same….and the best part is that pretty much everyone who walks by their square leaves with a big smile on their face. How can they not – these lego warriors, inspired by the terra cotta warriors of China, are cute enough to make anyone happy, and big enough to make you feel like a kid all over again. By the end of day 3, you can see that Planet Streetpainting is well on their way to completion of this masterpiece. Over the next few days we’ll feature some blog posts about the similar work that the artists of WeTalkChalk are doing, as well as final photos from the festival after the weekend is over. In the meantime, read this article in the Herald Tribune to find out the hows and whys behind Planet Streetpainting’s latest XXL work of art – Congrats, guys!!

WeTalkChalk is off and running!

It”s been a long time coming, but WeTalkChalk has finally hit the ground! A collaborative project between top street painting artists Melanie Stimmell Van Latum and Julie Kirk-Purcell, as well as web designer and media extraordinaire, Remco Van Latum, WeTalkChalk is the answer to using street painting and chalk drawings as a savvy marketing solution. Throughout the years Melanie and Julie have often come together to create street paintings that casino online have been highly popular with the public. The strengths they each bring to the table are a great balance for one another and have meant that these two artists – both excellent on their own – have become a formidable team in the street painting world. Fellow partners Planet Streetpainting, already well known throughout Europe for their XXL 3D paintings, bring a flair for design sensibility and application which, when partnered with the expertise of WeTalkChalk, means that any event possibility can not only be met, but met in the most successful way possible. For more information on what projects WeTalkChalk and Planet Streetpainting are currently up to, keep an eye on this blog – we promise lots of exciting updates and inside tips on our work!