ArtSpark at SparkCon 2014

, , ,
ArtSpark at SparkCon 2014

I still have chalk buried under my fingernails, my muscles are so sore I’m not sure I’ll ever walk right again, and I slept hard for a full 9 hours last night. Know what? Totally worth it. My kid and I were able to spend some solid time together this weekend doing something fun for both of us and we made art! I thought about how to summarize the story for quite some time and never came up with something super clever which means you all get a book report style version!

Friday Night

I intended to leave work ASAP, but as is common, I was held up. This was extra frustrating because the rain had been two seconds or less from pouring down all day. I knew it was coming and I knew my kid was going to be terribly disappointed if we didn’t go. I picked her up at camp and pointed out that the weather was not promising and by her reaction, I was positive we were going either way. Good news is, we made it and put down chalk as fast we possibly could to beat the rain and ended up with “Princess and the Frog”


Emily wanted to do something with the frog. Since we had such fun with last year’s alien, we figured why not make the princess an alien. We named the pair Carla and Frank and had a ball drawing them. Emily added the planets, including Jupiter on the right. I swear, it doesn’t look as much like a boob in real life as it does in the picture. We’ve laughed quite a bit at that since.

Fortunately, my pig headed self had stopped at the hardware store at lunch to get a tarp and duct tape. I had no clue if duct tape was going to stick to the asphalt or not. Turns out, it does! And it holds off water nicely.


Saturday Morning

My daughter’s girl scout troop was going to come down Saturday morning and do a pair of squares of their own. They had already done the prep and design work and had a plan. When we woke up and saw the weather we were not even a little surprised that there was a cancellation mail waiting for us. My kid was so bummed, like painfully so. I figured, you know what? We have the chalk, we have the time, there’s nothing else pressing, let’s just go down. There’s other things to look at, we can see how it goes. I was surprised by the number of hardcore artists out there – not a little bit deterred by the rain.



We went ahead and checked out the bazaar with lots of fun local artists. Some of them had lots of fun art celebrating the city which I thought was pretty cool and unique. They even had quilter out there representing, which is always a nice thing to see. We went to the City of Raleigh museum in the old Briggs Hardware building and learned all sorts of stuff I didn’t know. The museum isn’t huge, but the director walked us through and had lots of tidbits. Who knew the city of Raleigh’s borders were defined by the 8-foot wall with gun turrets during the civil war? There was a map exhibit and it was fun to see how the city grew and how they recorded it over the years. I suspect if we spent long enough looking at those maps lots of weird things about the layout would start to make sense. There were certainly things to see while we waited on the rain.



Once the rain had cleared, the road dried super fast, shockingly fast. We went to work as soon as their was a break in the weather since it was obvious there was likely more rain coming. Since the girl scouts couldn’t make it, Emily and I decided to do their designs. Emily went to work on “Mustache A Doughnut” which was a pink frosting doughnut with a big black mustache. The kids walking by were totally into this one. We could hear them coming, “Look Mom, a mustache!”


I took on their second design, “Toasty Marshmallows”. People walking by really responded to those marshmallows, everything from amusement, laugh out loud gaffaws, and some seriously concerned for these little marshmallow’s fate. To be completely honest with you, because of the crowds reaction, I wasn’t surprised one bit when “Toasty Marshmallows” picked up a sponsor ribbon (the orange Contactology) at the top. I was, however, very impressed and proud of our girls when the street painting winner’s list came out this afternoon – check it y’all!

(Family) Best of the Best: Creativity

Girl Scout Troop 3310

square # 174


I’m so honored that I could render their design in a way that was fun and authentic enough to be recognized. I do hope the whole troop will be able to make it out next year so they enjoy the whole process from start to finish.

Best for Last

As much as I enjoyed the street performers, bands, artwork, museums, shopping, and people, there are a few things that shine. I think this picture may be on of my favorites ever of my kid. Look – Jupiter boob makes and appearance and she’s just covered in chalk.


When we were working on the girl scout squares, we were sitting right next to Princess and the Frog. Because we weren’t working on the frog square, people didn’t know we did it. They would stop and comment. Most positive, some, not so much. It was all fun until a family stopped in their tracks. Mom and Dad related to the image and were extra excited that there was pink and green. They stood behind it and had their kid take a picture of them kissing behind the kissing. I just can’t tell you how much that makes my day. Our silly little doodle meant something to someone else. It meant something that I could never have imagined or never forced. I love that they saw themselves in it and I love that they related to it and I really love that it tells a story they love. Beautiful things with the chalk art, y’all.

One of these years, I’m really going to find a way to be more involved with the SparkCon process through the year. I think they are doing something unique and special with all of the sparks and it has been a joy to watch it grow. We’re already thinking about what to do for artSpark street painting next year!




  1. What wonderful photos of a memorable week. I’m so glad you and your daughter had this time together. You are both such talented, creative artists. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I loved reading this story–maybe I’ll see you sometime as my son and his wife are moving to Charlotte soon!

  3. Great art and quality time together! It’s lovely to see you and Emily having such a creative time ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Looks like lots of fun and reminds me of our Art Prize here in Michigan. What fun. Your daughter is so cute and seems to have your artistic streak!

  5. I love this post SO MUCH! And I love the last pic of your girl!

  6. This is so fun! I wish they did this where I live. I especially love those marshmallows they are hilarious. Glad to see you guys had fun despite the rain!

  7. That’s absolutely fantastic! I love the art you guys did and congrats on the wins!
    The best part – the time you got to spend with your daughter =D

  8. Emily is just as talented as you are. Those paintings are fantastic!! Don’t you just love it when something that you created meant so much to someone else?! Those are the picture-perfect moments of life.


  9. What a super fun mom-daughter weekend! I love how vibrant your chalk drawing are.

  10. Great job Susan, and great job Emily!! i love both of the drawings, boobie and all, and I’m so glad that you got some positive feedback from the onlookers. It makes all the work worthwhile. It’s so great that you and Em have so much in common and that she loves art, too. My kids aren’t crafty at all, although the boys do like to cook, and my youngest, the pre-med student (sorry, couldn’t help but brag), has taken to cooking with a vengeance, after being a ramen-in-the-microwave-girl for so many years. Still loving my bag, and I think of you every time I look at it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    xo Linda

  11. One thing is for sure, she is your daughter. The talent the two of you have is amazing. I loved looking at the pictures and reading all about it.

  12. What fun! So proud of you both she has your artistic spark and sense of humor! Two of you out there watch out world when she is older! Oh how I wish I could have been there it looks so fun!

  13. Sounds like you had some great bonding time. Love the picture of you and your daughter and the last one with her covered in chalk. So precious.


Leave a Reply to Karen S Vaughn Cancel reply