I Madonnari Festival 2009 – Santa Barbara, California

Another year has come and gone and I find myself with a little case of post festival blues after completing my 12th year at the Santa Barbara I Madonnari Street Painting Festival. The festival celebrated 23 years this past weekend and the public support could not have been better. In the wake of the terrible fires that have decimated much of the local community, Santa Barbara came out in force to support this unique event.

Art Along the Rogue 2008 – ‘Persephone Falling into Hades’

This year I was invited back to charming Grant’s Pass, Oregon to participate in the 6th annual Art Along the Rogue Street Painting Festival. I had last participated in 2006 and was looking forward to seeing my Oregonian friends for another weekend of great art and great music. This festival is spearheaded by Jeff Jones, a musician and art lover, along with the community of Grant’s Pass; they always do a great job at making us ‘out of towners’ feel welcome.

This year the festival had a theme – classical reproductions. Renaissance, Baroque, Pre-Raphaelite, Neo-Classical, Impressionism – anything by a great master.  Jeff asked me if I could participate in

World’s First Sistine Chapel Street Painting

Back in 2003 I got a call from then director of the Youth In Arts Italian Street Painting Festival, Sue Carlomagno, about a crazy idea she was dying to share with me. ‘How would you like to tackle the Sistine Chapel ceiling?’

I knew she & her husband Joe were planning something big for the 10th Anniversary event but I didn’t realize how big! Talk about ambitious – over 300 figures and yards of architecture, this masterpiece would surely be a show stopper if created. A feat never before undertaken at any festival in the world this was going to be a dream project for many folks involved.

Sue asked me to spearhead the project as I had extensive experience in art directing / painting large mural projects and was used to managing teams of artists. I had recently finished off several large Vegas casino mural projects which involved creating over 11,000 sq. ft. of images. I was game and eagerly jumped into the project planning. Additionally, Sue honored me with a request to create the original art for the event poster: a portrait of Michelangelo’s Delphic Sibyl. I used chalk pastels on paper and the original art was framed and then auctioned off as part of the festival fundraising.

What Are The Origins of Street Painting?

When searching out how street painting first started I encountered a variety of versions of the story, from a variety of sources. All, however, generally agreed that it was first documented in Italy. While other forms of ephemeral works have been documented in other countries and cultures throughout history, I would like