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The 2014 Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael, California

Published in: Daily Photo

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Did you ever draw on the sidewalk with chalk when you were a kid? I remember doing that a lot… Sometimes we’d use real chalk when we were lucky enough to have some, and sometimes we’d also use these white rocks we’d just find on the ground around the neighborhood.

Chalk rocks, we called them.

Yeah, I was never as good at street art as these folks here…

Behold the marvelous madonnari of Marin County!

Last weekend El Hub and I went to an Italian Street Painting festival in the town of San Rafael. Basically, the town closed off a section of street, and then a bunch of madonnari, which is Italian for “street painters,” created works of art right there on the asphalt with chalk.

All of the works were somehow themed around the 1940s, with some of them more lighthearted than others, but there were lots of different styles and subjects represented.

It was very cool watching the artists work, and I actually saw a couple things that reminded me of applying eyeshadow.

One girl cracked a big piece of chalk into smaller pieces she then sprinkled over a section of what looked like her subject’s leg, and then worked the smaller pieces together with her hands to create a wash of color.

Totally reminded me of messily applying liner on the lids and then smoothing it out with a buffing brush.

One of my favorite works was the one of Vivian Leigh from Gone With the Wind (there’s a pic down below). It almost looked like a photograph. The blues and greens in her eyes were so beautiful…

Oh, incidentally, while I was there I also had my first Rainbow Popsicle in about 20 years! :)

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So, what happened to the paintings after they were done? I’m not sure, but I spoke with someone later that day who said that they’re all just washed away…

They’re photographed extensively, and there’s a raffle and donations to raise money for different causes and charities, but yup. Pretty soon they’re gone.

12 Comments

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  1. Deanna says:

    Those chalk drawings are simply amazing! It’s really too bad that they get washed away. Wouldn’t it be great if streets were painted with images like those?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deanna,

      I would love that! And what if the streets were just decorated like that all the time until the rains washed the paintings away? :)

  2. Jen says:

    I love the street art. Gorgeous. I also thought that popsicle you had looked delicious! :)

  3. This brings back such great memories of seeing street artists create art in busy Italian plazas! These artists are so talented. I’m sad that I missed this as I also live in the Bay Area!
    Carolyn @ The Makeup Writeup recently posted … Burberry Lip Glow Balm Review (including comparisons to Burberry Lip Mists)

  4. Kwmechelle says:

    The art work was simply amazing! Some of them looked surreal! Thanks for sharing these. As a child, I used to draw really well but, sadly, I lost that skill after not cultivating it. I like to think of makeup as my medium!

  5. Kim says:

    It’s incredible what these artists can do with chalk – those are some stunning drawings. And what a beautiful day for it. Though, probably not for them. It’s no doubt pretty steamy on that pavement, hunched over for hours. Their hard work really is amazing! :)

  6. Sylirael says:

    Oh gosh, people are just so talented :-) It makes my heart happy to see thngs like that – especialy given that pavements are usually either boring grey, or covered in unspeakable things…
    Sylirael recently posted … Rogueish Eloquence and Aragornence! Gandyl the Grey Eye Comics From Aditi and Nikki!

  7. Oh wow, these are truly works of art! Too bad they’ll soon be washed away :-(
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … A Zoe Hart-inspired make-up look with wearable black smokey eyes and a soft natural lip

  8. Allison C says:

    Oh, thank you for sharing those gorgeous pastel drawings with us! I loved seeing them. Fortunately, photography can help preserve their beauty
    Allison C recently posted … Giveaway: Makeup Bag with Assorted Products & Samples

  9. Natalye says:

    these look so cool! I love all the different colors of chalk
    Natalye recently posted … Ready for the French Riviera! – Too Faced: A La Mode Eyes Palette Review and Swatches

  10. Phenomenal job done by the artists.. I wish i could be there and pick up a piece of chalk and start filling the sketches.. :)

    and your rainbow stick.. sluurrpp!! :P
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Eye Makeup Tutorial: Gothic Green

  11. I am a street painter in Florida, and we are OK with the fact that the art washes away. We call it job security! It gives the work a specialness and immediacy, plus you can work really big and not have to worry about where to store the canvas. ;-)

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