I Madonnari Chalk Festival

Over Memorial Day weekend, I participated in Santa Barbara Mission's annual festival, I Madonnari. It's a giant fundraiser to benefit the Children's Creative Project. Artists get sponsors for their giant squares in the parking lot of the Mission and have Saturday, Sunday and Monday to finish their piece! The sizes range from smaller than 6' square all the way up to 12'! 

The first time I did a square at I Madonnari was back in 2007 and again in 2008. But then in 2009, I studied abroad in Italy and nearly ever summer since I've been gone during Memorial Day weekend or missed the signup deadline! 

This year I was determined to actually make it into the festival, and also do a massively difficult giant piece. I decided to do an 8 ft by 8 ft square piece of my watercolor I did of the Duomo in Florence last year. A monster of a piece and a monster of a building! 

It was such a fun, long, messy and grueling weekend but I pulled it off! I was sharing the whole process on Instagram during the weekend and oddly enough the official Instagram account of the Duomo found my piece and liked it! A Duomo approved Duomo! 

Here's a peek at my I Madonnari weekend...
The most tedious part is getting the whole 8 foot beast grided and sketched out. I got to the Mission around 8:30 on Saturday morning and didn't finish this part until about 9:30. 

I think the part I'm most proud of is that dome! Ah! I still love it! It was pretty time consuming but so worth it to spend a little extra time to get the texture right on the tiles. 

The perspective was a bit of a doozy as well. SO MANY little green squares! I probably re-chalked this portion at least three times before starting to color it. 

The final piece! My sponsor, Tri County Court Reporters, sent over a photographer to get a nice overhead of the whole square which is really awesome to have. I'm much too short to take a photo like this on my own, even with the help of a step stool. 
This is probably my favorite photo of the whole weekend since it looks like I'm surfing on top of the Duomo. I went back on Monday for some last minute touch ups and my friend took this photo. 

Now the real problem is what piece to do next year! 

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