This weekend I will be painting my 8th street painting for Houston Via Colori, sponsored by the Center for Hearing and Speech. The festival is a Rain or Shine event so as I sit here sharing that with you and hearing the rain coming down I want to reminisce on past experiences and the other year we appeared to be rained out.
It was 2009 and we, as good artist troopers, showed up downtown. The rain had impeded progress…As good rock stars donating our artistic work for a wonderful cause in a 2-day festival where we crawl on the ground in our hands and knees to do what Michael Angelo did on his back and produce art on the downtown Houston pavement right outside of City Hall…we were ushered into the VIP tent while the Via Colori crew decided it was good to proceed or not. This tremendous crew does a fantastic amount of prep work for us.
When we typically arrive at the festival we already come with our supplies and event T-shirt. The squares we paint on are already marked on the street, we know who our sponsor will be, we have a tent with additional supplies at our disposal, there is food and beverage for us, and we can begin to set up for our masterpiece, because I should tell you that each artist does his very best work that weekend to lay on the ground and create a breathtakingly large piece of temporary art that takes two days to create in front of 3,000 people, and know that it will be safely washed away on Sunday evening by the Houston Fire Department, all to support the work The Center for Hearing and Speech in Houston.
As we tinker and do our rituals to prepare ourselves for our work the morning sun begins to shine on our artwork between tall sky-scraping buildings. The paintings begin to take form. Cameras begin to arrive, the live music begins to beat in various corners of the festival, and food smells, laughter and gasps are heard as the public parades between squares.
The themes are all family-oriented and speak to each artist. They are what the artist wants to share with the Houston audience.
In 2010, I joined a team of 8 artists to create a design by Melanie Stimmell. The image included classical themes, cherubs and some of the real young rock stars that the Center for Hearing and Speech serves. Loving to work on classical art, I was very excited to participate. I got to work on my 13×13 foot area and helped paint other cherubs, clouds and connecting art to finish the 1,800 square foot piece in the two-day.
Earlier that same year, I was invited to create a classical piece for Debra Duncan’s morning show, Great Day Houston, on Channel 11. The theme of her show was Viva Italia, and I got to greet her as she arrived on her bike–in European mode– at the station with my little Italian skills of bella and ciao, so I focused on what I do best, the international language of art and brought together this piece by Raphael. I chose the piece because I had recently found that the piece was being recognized as the last piece of art created by Raphael, one of my favorite artists since I had studied him in school–several moons ago.
My love for the classics inspires my art work every day. It has moved me to bring this work to the Houston Via Colori, either through the representation of the work of the masters, or through my own creations, and to share it with the community at a bigger scale in downtown Houston.
So as I sit here waiting for the rain to stop and remember the fun I’ve had in this free family festival, I think of the opportunity to contribute, in art, to this great event offered by the Center for Hearing and Speech. I can relish on the adventure of creating live artwork, bigger than a canvas, in this weekend gathering of over 200 artists to share one of my favorite things and contribute to the community.
This year will be no different, I have prepared a composition that will include a second illustration from my book, The Lady of the Turquoise Pendant, to offer an opportunity to share my art and to teach about the Aztec culture through a visual artistic interpretation. The generous sponsor of my square this year is Key Energy Services, a key business representative in our community.
I hear the rain stopping. I will leave you now and prepare to head downtown to do my piece of the Via Colori production. Hope you can come down and see it.
P.S. If you take a picture of my work, send it to me so I can post it on one of my upcoming posts. Include your name so I can credit your work too.
P.P.S. If you want to see more of my work you can visit my website!
❤ Love and Peace