We've been enjoying the sights of Paris for rather a long while! In fact, I think I had more days of posts on Paris than we actually were there.But before we head off to the Netherlands and London, I had to take a break to talk about one of my favorite artists!
If you've read The Marmelade Gypsy long, you will know that Rick has two great sons and one of them, Greg, studied art and is making his way in the world as an artist.
Not long ago, he was invited to do a presentation at the Detroit Institute of Arts on his specialty, chalk. The day would include an interactive temporary installation on the walk of one of the DIA's courtyards.
So, on a bright sunny morning in June, we gathered at the DIA, under an Alexander Calder statue to be active participants.
It was a time for friends to convene and celebrate Greg!
Greg had stenciled the word "BLAM" in a long, repetitive row down the sidewalk and painted around it in white. He used very ancient and traditional materials to do this, which was part of his "thing."
BLAM signified lots of things, but in Detroit, one of the associations is gunfire. He wanted to turn the word on its head and bring out the meaning of amazement.
There was lots of last minute prep.
Rick helped him get the whitewash down on the sidewalk.
Then, everyone was to chalk around the outside of the design on the walk itself.
I have to admit, there were a lot of smiles as everyone got into the act!
It was fun to be a kid again -- to draw with materials that we knew were temporary, that could smear, where you couldn't be precise. You just created your own world with color.
I, of course, remembered my Gypsy boy.
There were a variety of wonderful designs. You might recognize Rick's bike, Kate's parrot, and lots of wonderful color mixes.
After some time doing this, we went inside, where Greg gave his talk about using chalk as a medium, its history, and the urban art of creating art on sidewalks and buildings. He described his technique and showed one of his larger commissioned pieces, a chalkboard to hang over a bar and across from a mirror.
Of course there were plenty of photo ops as our good friends Kate (and Mike), Judy (and Dick) and Jenna had to get a group photo in front of one of Greg's large chalk art commissions.
Then he asked us to go outside and draw over his painted work -- to make our "BLAM" of art ourselves.
While there were a number of friends and family, we were especially excited that lots of strangers were taking part as well.
I especially loved seeing the little kids with work!
And when a scout troop that had been touring the museum came out, they got a quick lesson in chalking from Greg and set off to create their own work.
Families with children of all ages took part. It was joyful in every way.
A lot of people left the DIA with smiles on their faces (and chalk on their pants) knowing that we were all a part of creating something artistic -- even if it might disappear with the next big rain.
And speaking for Rick and myself and for Greg's mom, I think, we were all really proud of our own personal family artist!
Because, anyone who can do this with chalk has more patience than we do!
And I think we all agreed, it was a BLAM good day!
And my recommendation to you? Get your inner BLAM out, pick up some sidewalk chalk and enjoy! It's tons of fun!
A note on the photos with this post: Some are mine; most of them come courtesy of Michael Maurer Smith, Judy Winter and Kate McNenly, all of whom brought cameras and captured things far better than I ever could! Thanks, all!