Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 Pasadena Chalk Festival

We're making this an annual tradition now.  On Sunday, June 16, we drove up to Pasadena to join Ruston and Jacob to check out the chalk festival.

But we're going to make a pit stop first. We missed a few of the really cool exhibits at Forest Lawn Cemetery when we were here for our Walk in Walt's footsteps Los Angeles tour.
We started at the Great Mausoleum.

I really wish they allowed photographs in here. Sadly they don't, so I'm left with finding other images online.
There are some great sculptures lining the halls here including reproductions of Michelangelo's Moses and the Pieta.
The main draw of the hall though is the giant stained glass representation of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper.

(not my photo)

I haven't been successful in finding how large this stained glass window is, but it's huge and impressive.
From the Forest Lawn description:
This stained glass masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci's immortal painting was crafted in Italy by Rosa Caselli Moretti. Using Leonardo's own sketches, she sought to capture for posterity the original appearance of the now damaged and faded painting. 

 (not my photo)

A very smoggy day in Los Angeles.

We then continued to the Hall of the Crucifixion and Resurrection to see the largest permanently mounted religious painting in the world.

Again, no photos were allowed inside, but here's something I was able to put together.
This is indeed a huge painting. The entire building and auditorium was built just for it!
Painted by Jan Styka over a period of 30 years, this painting measures 195 feet long by 45 feet tall. It's truly impressive to see in person and it dwarfs the room.
Every hour, there is an audio/video presentation giving the history of the painting.  It's been through a lot. After touring Europe, it was brought over to show in St. Louis. However, Styka's business partners didn't pay the import taxes and it was lost for over 40 years. It was found in the basement of a Chicago Opera house wrapped around a telephone pole and badly damaged. The founder of Forest Lawn, Hubert Eaton, heard about it and shipped it to Los Angeles to restore and display.

Having great pieces of art depicting the last major moments of Jesus' life, Eaton commissioned another painting celebrating the resurrection. This painting by Robert Clark measures 70 by 51 feet.

A special exhibit next to the Hall of the Crucifixion and Resurrection is The Art of the Brick!  Now I do love Lego! So much so that I even made my own Lego mosaic of Mickey Mouse!

According to the Forest Lawn website:
Don’t Miss The Los Angeles Premiere of Nathan Sawaya's Art of the Brick, a spectacular exhibit of sculptures made entirely out of Lego® bricks.  This world-famous exhibit has been featured on The Today Show, Conan and The Colbert Report.  It's also been hailed by CNN as One of the Top 12 Exhibitions in the World.  

I don't know what CNN was thinking when they wrote that. It was interesting, but I left a little disappointed. It was all inside just one medium sized room, and while there were several pieces that were interesting, nothing blew me away.
It was cool seeing a few sculptures, I had seen photos of online, like this one.

My favorite was probably the pop-up book.

You can find many many more of Nathan Sawaya's art on his website here:

Time to head to the 2013 Pasadena Chalk Festival!  Well almost. The past two years we've come here, we arrived around 2pm on a Sunday. We typically encounter partially finished chalk art and extremely crowded conditions.
We drove by the Paseo and it was still pretty busy. We stopped for coffee to kill an hour, and talked about our upcoming travel plans.

By 5:15pm, we decided to give it a go.

Well, almost. We can't do all this on an empty stomach. We stopped by Islands for dinner and got a some yummy Hula burgers and endless fries.

Let's start with Animation Alley!

This is one of my favorite sections.  I went ahead and organized them how I wanted, so as you follow along, just know that they're from all over the event.  I don't know how many artists were there at the event, but easily there were over a hundred. I'll just be sharing a few of my favorites with you here.

This one has to be the same artist as one of my favorites last year. Last year their subject was baby super heroes.  This year, they've taken the Disney Villains and put them at a tea party! Very fun!

For some of my favorites, I've adjusted it so it appears like you're seeing it straight on.

Wreck-It Ralph is one of our newest favorites.

And Theresa just loves Despicable Me.

This won Best In Animation Alley.

I wonder what's up with all the Alice in Wonderland tributes. 

Peanuts is favorite.  I thought this was very well done.

Nightmare Before Christmas is also fun.  We really like the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland because we see even more of these characters.

Another great Disney tribute to The Lion King.

This one really got me smiling. I love mash-ups like this! Put this on a t-shirt and I'll buy one!

Probably my favorite this year. Darth Vader really pops with the bright colors. 

And it's hard to go wrong with anything Star Wars.

Silver Surfer

The new Enterprise. I loved the new Star Trek movie by the way! It's definitely worth seeing on the big screen!

Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones.


See what I mean about the crowds at this time of day? If you check out my post from last year, you'll see lots more people crowding the walkways.

I am Batman.

The crew checking out a super hero busting through the concrete.


Just like Michelangelo's Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. 

Well, close at least.  T did ask why I wasn't naked.

The famous Grumpy cat meme

A mermaid. Maybe from Pirates of the Caribbean 4? I do see a ship in the background. 

This one won best use of color, and I have to agree!  I was thinking exactly that when I was standing in front of it.

Adventure Time! I haven't seen this cartoon yet, but I want to give it a try sometime.

Another one I really liked. Maybe because Captain Picard had a lion fish in his ready room on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

This reminded me of Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.

A tribute to the 125th Rose Bowl parade

I always have to play with the interactive drawings.


T tells me this is from the app Candy Crush

Another colorful well done drawing

And T really thought this one looked great. 

A bunny and a dog in the stars?

This one matched Jacob's shirt perfectly

Where the Wild Things Are.

We do indeed have Flower Power

Last year we saw Einstein.  This year, another genius, Nikola Tesla.

This one just made our jaws drop when we saw it. It looks like a photograph that was laid on the ground.

And while it was amazingly impressive and the artist is super talented, it's not my favorite. I just don't connect to the subject like I do for the Disney and Star Wars drawings.

But what do I know. Not much apparently because this was voted both Best in Festival and People's Choice.

It was another great time at the Chalk Festival. It was so much better going at the end of the day. Not only were the crowds much shorter, but all the drawings were completed, and I didn't have any weird shadows going across my pictures!

As we were leaving, Ruston and Jacob asked when we're going to get some chalk and decorate our driveway.... We'll just have to leave that for another time.  If it ever does happen, you can be sure I'll get pictures.

Past Chalk Festival visits
2012 Pasadena Chalk Festival
2011 Pasadena Chalk Festival  


A quick update on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013.
Just 2 days after the Chalk Festival, Ruston stopped by the Paseo to see how things were looking. I know it's not a permanent exhibit but it still makes me sad to see these.



  1. Being a Cartoon Network nerd, I have to add that the Adventure Time drawing also has characters from Regular Show - one of my favorites! :-)

    I think the baby Disney villains one is my favorite, just because it captures their personalities so well! Love the Queen of Hearts holding the Alice doll.

    I need to make it to this thing one year! So much talent

    1. It's one of my favorites too. I also liked how in the fishbowl above Ursula is a small Flounder with a castle that looks like Cinderella's castle.

      Now I'm wondering if these artists have any other creative works of art.

    2. I found his blog.

      The two we've seen, this year's and last year's Chalk festival are still my favorites.

    3. Really amazing stuff!! I didn't notice Flounder in the fishbowl. The more I look at the drawing, the more I love it!

  2. And Adventure Time ranks up there in the "....what did I just watch?" category with Invader Zim. I still think Zim is better, but Adventure Time is catching up.

  3. Adventure Time has gone down hill. I used to like it... now, like you said, it's as if it's trying too hard to be weird.