After marking off my chalk space with tape, adding the shade cover, and printing off my reference material, I put down my first marks on the concrete. I divided up the 9′ square into thirds to help me keep aware of my space confines. I first used black chalk to define the face, and other compositional elements, then dove right into color.
This is my first post of the day. Keep tuned on the hour to see the progression of “A Portrait of the Temple of HeArt” by BJlane…
This black and white digital rendition is what I plan to chalk. It will eventually be in color; however, I like to start the composition in black and white to help me define the shapes. This particular image was created with the use of my IPad and Sketchbook Pro. I often collect several reference photos (see below) to help me understand my subject more in depth. See if you can see what elements I’ve added and which ones I eliminated. Yep…and I have a few surprises up my sleeve…
What an honor it is to once again participate and support the AutismHighway’s Autism Chalk Festival this year. In the past four years I’ve seen the Festival bring the community together, thread by thread, family by family, and artist by artist.
Expressing myself through art has been a long personal journey, and my art is the life thread of my existence. It calms me, focuses me and gives me energy to face daily challenges. I crave the time to create from my heart, and continue to take advantage of any moment offering me a chance to create something exceptional.
This year, Kelly Green asked that I create a portrait of Temple Grandin. Most of us with children and adults on the Autism spectrum know of this iconic woman…who despite the odds, has created a life around her abilities and interest, and has shared her journey through books, seminars and documentaries. This is not an easy feat in today’s society. With unemployment rates high, and instability in the job market, it is difficult for anyone to find work they truly enjoy. Now, enter the world of Autism, and suddenly unemployment is the norm. ve have “transition programs”, “day programs” and “work study programs” , and for those individuals identified as “high functioning” there is a scattering of jobs and job programs. Temple Grandin is showing us different possibilities. She brings us hope for our children, offering ideas of acceptance and helping us to focus on our loved ones skills. She models her ideals as she surrounds herself with what she loves, and in so doing has found a place in the job market. What a joy it is for me to create portrait of Temple Grandin in her element.
Stay tuned tomorrow as I show hour by hour the progress on this virtual Chalk Portrait. Beginning time…9am
In the first half of this wonderful story I told of my fortuitous meeting with iconic Southern California Artist Bj Lane. I also mentioned that there was an interesting surprise ahead!
Chalking a square under the sun is an amazing and addictive experience. To lovingly place your Art on the pavement while feeling the vibrations of the earth is an exhilarating experience. Also a very taxing and hard on your body experience. I liken it to being an artistic athlete! It can be very grueling designing and executing a square all by yourself. That is why it is very smart to employ family and friends to “color in” for you. That becomes much of the fun in chalking, friends coloring together. It becomes a very communal and collaborative expression. Beautiful, hard work.
Bj has had a very strenuous year. She relocated her families home and has been busy re-establishing new connections in a brand new community! We all must follow our instincts and honor ourselves by not over doing it. So we respect, that it will be too much for Bj Lane to travel to Heritage Plaza Park, Covina this year. Instead, she will chalk her 9’x9′ square at her Fallbrook, California home driveway!
This is where the story takes a very fun turn! We have always wanted to have every one “Chalk Where They Stand!” Chalk up something in Acceptance solidarity on the very day of our event each year; wherever you live, however you can. In a driveway, on a patio or even on a small indoor chalkboard! Flood the internet with global Artistic free spontaneous expression, Autistic Pride and JOY!
I asked Bj if she would create a chalk image of Temple Grandin. This is what I love about our event. It is graphic proof of the many amazing people on the spectrum contributing to humanity. In this instance Bj will be chalking up a legend. Currently, Temple enjoys the notoriety of being the only adult Autistic the world seems to recognize. Her work in the cattle industry is legendary. I have had the pleasure of being her acquaintance since 2011 and she makes a person feel as if they have always known her. Very humble and polite. We look for a day when many other Autistic adults are recognized for the great things accomplished. Past, present and future! Bj suggested we ask Temple which image of her she may like to see worked in chalk. Temple told me personally that she would choose this image.
Not hard to see why. I am very excited to see the VIRTUAL CHALKING of Bj Lane’s interpretation of this, Temple’s choice!
ON Saturday April 18th Bj will post her pictures HERE showing the progression of her 2015 AutismHWY.com Chalk Festival ‘satellite’ square. You can check in here to see the photos at 9:00 a.m., 11:00a.m., 1:00 p.m. and finally view her fantastic finished product at 3:00 p.m.
Bj never disappoints!! So STAY TUNED…….for the LOVE of COWS!
Kelly Green writes as admin for the Autism Chalk Art website.
Kelly is the mother to a very vocal, non-speaking teenaged Autistic son. The founder of AutismHWY and the creator of the Making Friends with Autism Coloring Book Series. She seeks to amplify the voice of Autistic people helping the world to realize their significance past, present and future.
I grew up in Southern California with a father that was a man-hole contractor, he drove around the streets of L.A. making sure all of the new track home’s pipes were built and plugged into existing systems so all would flow. His concrete work is all over the state of California. In the 60’s and 70’s GPS was for airplanes and satellite’s not everyone and their brother and or sister…or non-specific sibling (you get my idea.)! I was a girl on the HWY with her dad in his truck. He never got lost that I can remember. When I became a young adult he was my go-to guy for directions if I had misplaced my old-school Thomas guide map book. Turns out my job was on the HWY. too. I loved that about he and I. Our HWY connection . I always feel close to him there.
The L.A. co. Fair always featured amazing local artist’s work and each year I was strangely drawn to a particular artist’s annual display. Bj Lane. Full of color and warm familiarity, cars, trucks and HWY’s. The San Gabriel Valley sights and sounds ablaze in color. My life growing up, I felt it gazing at the work. Every yr. my favorite display.
Fast forward to Fall of 2010. My annual trip to my beloved L.A. Co. fair Art building. For the first time ever Bj Lane was there! Oh my. Fan girl rushing to the easel with beautiful boy in tow, “Hello, hello Bj Lane…I have admired—- oops.” Beautiful boy had plopped himself down comfortably on iconic Artist’s chair at current masterpiece with paint akimbo? OH MY!! I was terrified this could go very wrong, heart pumping…and all of a sudden strangely and awesomely, heart expands. As I recognize, Bj recognize beautiful boy’s Autism long after beautiful boy recognized Bj’s ease…el.
What a beautiful connection it was Bj told me about her beautiful girl. Two artist’s, two mom’s, two heart’s and a beautiful boy drinking in the ART at the L.A. Co. fair talking about Autism. At the time AutismHWY.com was under construction and it would not be live until a few months after that destined chance meeting.
In April of 2011 I contacted my beautiful new iconic friend, artist Bj Lane and recruited her and her talent to help me build this little Festival we would grow, nurture and LOVE.Here is the very first poster for our event. (Yes, still using 2 exclamation points!!) Just look at what Bj Lane has brought to each and every festival….This year we have a SPECIAL SURPRISE….
coming in part 2 of this Chalk festival Historical, ” Bj Lane and the Temple of HeART” by Kelly Green…stay tuned!