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Via Arte, Italian Chalk Drawing Festival

This weekend was a challenging one. I found myself with four children down at the ‘Market Place’ here in Bakersfield Friday morning- signed in to a Local Chalk Drawing Festival, nervous, hot, and a little exhausted! With little sleep I wandered the lanes looking at the other sketches which had been drawn earlier in the morning…my children tugging at my skirt, begging for ice cream, food, snacks, etc. needless to say I was a little over stimulated and either- coming down with a head cold, or some severe allergies. We made the rounds, ate Chinese food(you can imagine the chaos with chopsticks and fried rice), then proceeded to walk back to our messy van after running around the fountain like crazies. One of the ‘grandpas’ watching his little granddaughter made a comment as I stood there “Got enough?” I tried to chuckle and move on.

Later that evening I returned to the Art Festival, without my brood. Feeling the cool Autumn air and glad for the time out of the stuffy house I began sketching out my drawing. It was relaxing. Even while kneeling on the black top, even with the chalk wafting up and covering my face and even with my eyes watering. As the night continued I felt glad to be there…then I felt…lonely. Even a little confused.


What should I draw? What should I start with? How should it look? What colors will I use over here, or there? I felt lost.

Where is my family? my daughter in my arms, my son with his white flower and kind compliments, my little minions.

I realized a few things while working with chalk. For one, I can’t stand the medium. For another, I focus better in private. Also, I miss my family- and I would rather be cleaning up their messes than drawing pictures for complete strangers. I actually MISSED the daily routines, the evening’s wining and dishes…I missed my home.


Why throw your pearls out there? I wondered, did anyone understand what it was all about? Or did they pass by and wonder why I was there at all? It’s an Italian chalk drawing festival! It’s supposed to be FUN, lively, classical, beautiful for beauty’s sake! My piece stuck out like a sore thumb!!!

It was so random…I’M random. Why didn’t I pick out something “normal” or simply pretty, colorful. no, I had to do something intense, symbolic, and again- it’s there- unfinished.


I tried to return again today, but the black top was blazing hot! The chalk was all over my legs and clothes and I had such a  hard time continuing…so I had to leave. I don’t think people could see it, through the belly dancing in the background, the drums, the sound of idle chatter, the shallow conversation…I hoped that somewhere in the crowd there was someone like me- searching for something more in America. Someone who wanted to see something unique, insightful, or endearing.


I think I can finally put Art aside without regretting it. Yes, I CAN draw, paint, etc. but what I’m enjoying MORE now? FAMILY!!!!



3 thoughts on “Via Arte, Italian Chalk Drawing Festival

  1. we went Saturday morning expecting to see you and you weren’t there!!! we did see your art! i was kind of frustrated with the whole thing because i felt like the event was poorly organized and the setting didn’t really do justice to any of the art. . .but what do i know. i’m wondering if it may have been better to see all of the finished products, but maybe not.

  2. Unfortunately we had a little stall at home that morning, and I just couldn’t get down there fast enough😦 I miss you! I was really looking forward to seeing you too! I agree about the unorganized nature of this event, I wasn’t given any instruction on what to expect, rules about when to show up, or even told that they would be judging the pieces! There was very little communication!! the chalk drawing was a little frustrating to me as well, but it really opened up my eyes to several things…I don’t want to be well known, I’d rather be doing art for personal reasons, I would rather be teaching my kids and cleaning up after them- I never would have fit into the ‘Art world’ you know? I’m sooo fortunate to have gotten out of that scene!

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