6.01.2016

I Madonnari 2016

OOFAH! I Madonnari this year was brutal! This was my fourth year doing it, and my first year sponsoring myself. I had all my gear lined up the day before, a friend to crash with in Santa Barbara all weekend, and my photo picked out and printed out. I thought I was prepared for what the weekend would hold. 

My lovely friend, Gina Gomez (I've raved about her work before), let me use her stunning photo of a sunflower field in Tuscany. I knew it was going to be an intense piece but I felt I was up for the challenge. 

Saturday came and I drove up to the Mission to get started! I picked an 8 foot by 8 foot square, the same size that I had last year when I drew the Duomo in Florence. It was a great location too, probably the best I've had all 4 years! 

I drew out my grid and helped my friend Christi from Gypsy Studios grid hers before starting my sunflower monster. 

Saturday went great, even though the sun came out. I was able to finish the sky, hills and start the sunflower before calling quits. 
It was all going so well...until Sunday morning when I woke up at 5:30 to the sound of raindrops...

Not a lot, but enough to make me nervous when I drove over at 8:15. Sure enough, the Mission actually got rained on. It washed away my grid, sketches and most of the work I had done Saturday. I was too wet to even try fixing anything. 

It was a pretty somber mood at the Mission. Artists just circling and surveying the damage of all the work. Luckily, Christi drove up shortly after and we went in search of brunch and mimosas while we waited for things to dry up. 
Once it was dry around 11, we had the arduous task of fixing the damage and getting some new work done. Sunday was rough, and unfortunately I didn't finish. So for the first time I actually had to work on Monday! Che palle! 

Monday was great though. A lot of friends and family stopped by to say hello, and I even had a little visit from that bee up above! Lots of little munchkins wandered by too, saying how much they loved sunflowers. I think a lot of people took photos of me with my square because of how well my hair matched the colors and sunflower craziness! 

I worked for almost 10 hours on Monday, and I finished it just in time for the sun to set and the light to be perfect. There were lots of ladders floating about so I was able to hop up one and snap and overhead shot of my beast. 

Guys...I LOVE this piece. I thought I loved the Duomo, but this beast blows that one out of the water. It might just be because I ended up spending over 25 hours working on it or because it was a photo by someone I really admire, but I really do love how this one turned out. 

I'm excited for next year already, especially since I plan to take a photo this summer while visiting the Cinque Terre to use for next year. The countdown has begun...

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