Art Techniques | 18 May 2016Street Painters: The Performers Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Would you spend hours creating a masterpiece with the knowledge that it will soon be destroyed? That’s exactly what artists who create street art with chalk do. The Art of Chalk shows us exactly what it means to be a street painter. Rod Tryon working on a resplendent peacock at the Santa Barbara I Madonnari Festival in California. Roughly translated, madonnari means “painters of Our Lady” in Italian. Pastel on pavement seems like an unlikely pairing, yet this combination of medium and surface has yielded some of the most amazing ephemeral works seen in the twenty-first century. Street painters take chalk, pastel, and any other dry medium to pavement, sidewalk, plaza, or other urban trafficked location to make their works. A spectator might view it as a daunting undertaking, with environment, weather, pedestrians, traffic, and all sorts of other elements potentially impeding the process, but street painters know the joys and benefits of creating such fragile work, despite the odds of its survival. This ethereal painting of a mermaid by artist Ketty Grossi transforms the block pavement into a sea of light and color. Often bold in character, street painters are in many ways performers. They relish sharing their creative process. These works are created over the course of a few days in full view of the public, and passers-by are often curious about the creative process, which with street painting they can see in action. That often sparks interaction between artist and observer, who may ask: What is the street painter drawing? Why is he or she drawing it? How long will it last? What happens when it rains? A fan of classic cars, Julio Jimenez created this montage of American cultural icons, Batman and Robin, with the Batmobile being the centerpiece. For many street painters, the infusion of energy generated by working in public is a core motivation for practicing the art form. While most traditional art forms are practiced in a studio, which can be isolating in some ways, street painters use the outside world, creating a dynamic not often found in the visual arts. Street paintings share an affinity with Tibetan sand paintings, live music, and theatrical performances, all of which are created in the moment and exist briefly but beautifully for the viewer’s consideration. These paintings may not last long—a few days at most—yet the wealth of experience they offer for both artist and viewer is something quite extraordinary. Vera Bugatti’s original designs demonstrate a masterful understanding of composition, color, and chalk application. Buy from an Online Retailer US: Chalk, a ubiquitous and versatile implement made from limestone, is much more than a humble tool for jotting impermanent notes. With a wide range of uses in art and design, chalk is quickly becoming a favorite of artists around the world to create impressive works of art. In The Art of Chalk, noted street painter Tracy Lee Stum takes an inspiring look at the many exciting creative applications for this easily accessible medium. With a historic overview of chalk’s origins as an art medium, and how its artistic uses have evolved over the centuries, this book is a wealth of knowledge for anyone looking to get creative with this time-honored art medium. Featuring the impressive work of some of today’s most prominent artists and designers, The Art of Chalk explores helpful and inspiring techniques used in typography and lettering, fine art, and the intricate, elaborate, and mind-bending chalk designs known as street art. In the resources section, you’ll even find a detailed listing of chalk festivals held around the world. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.