What a truly beautiful place to draw! This was my first trip to gorgeous Victoria, British Columbia and it certainly won’t be my last. I had been invited by festival organizer John Vickers to feature my chalk art at the 1st Annual Victoria International Chalk Art Society Festival, in downtown Victoria.
I arrived early in the week to begin my rather large painting, sized 20′ x 20′, which was being showcased indoors at The Bay Center. Since this was an indoor installation I used a stretched canvas to work on, which yielded a beautiful and rich drawing. My image’s design was based on Aboriginal culture of the area. I began with the majestic mountains of the region as a backdrop to a lone figure practicing a fire ritual. Smoke billows from his fire, morphing into ethereal animal spirits of the region – orca, bear, deer. Intending this to be an interactive streetpainting, I created 2 large Thunderbird totem poles for visitors to perch on, appearing as if they were jutting out of the landscape below. The drawing drew lots of attention and most folks came back several times to witness the creative process – hey, that’s what it’s all about!
I had some local students express interest in learning how to streetpaint so decided to provide some impromptu hands-on lessons while I was creating the drawing – thanks Kellan for participating! I even had a few Aboriginal locals come by to express their appreciation for the painting. One older man stood in the mall and made eagle calls while I was drawing – that was simply incredible and certainly a first for me:-) It really was an honor to be so warmly welcomed to this vibrant community in the Southwestern tip of Canada.
The festival wouldn’t have been complete with outdoor street drawings and many of my friends and colleagues arrived to color the world outside The Bay Center. Local street artist Ian Morris wowed the crowd with his 3d hummingbird painting and shared some fantastic street painting stories with us. Always great to meet new friends and reconnect with old.
I hope to make it back to Victoria for more drawing fun in the future. It’s a great event – hitting a home run on it’s first outing – and I think we’ll see this event grow and evolve in the years to come.
Big Thank You! to John Vickers, Denise Kowal, Marylene, Greg, and team for all of their hard work and support & to the City of Victoria for the incredible hospitality and warm welcome. Special thanks to my bro, Sachin Sudra, for lending his talent and assistance to the realization of the painting – I love you S!