It’s that time of the year again. The first Saturday in October is one of those few days of the year when I’m glued to the weather channel, hoping to see that little puffy cloud icon that around here means dreary, overcast weather. Photography weather. Pastels on the Plaza weather. Overcast weather seems like such a fixture around here that I don’t know why we bother having a weather forecast at all. The weather guy could just put up a poster with a dreary little cloud and a sign reading, “Partly cloudy”, and go on vacation for a few months. He would probably improve his record. Somehow, that first Saturday in October seems to be an exception. In recent years we’ve found ourselves sitting in a puddle in the rain, trying to draw on the sidewalk with a muddy piece of chalk, or plagued with steep shadows and gusts of wind that erase an hour’s work in an instant. This year, things were terrifyingly different. The weather was perfect. There was no excuse for failure.
I was worried there for a bit, but it all came together pretty well. Click the image above to see my full picture. My entry once again was dedicated to local garden coach and designer Genevieve Schmidt. The event brings together local businesses and local artists on behalf of a north coast children’s charity, which is a big win for everyone involved. Here’s a shot of the east side of the plaza, one of the four sections of pastels:
I noticed a lot of returning artists from past years, though notably absent was Coco Thorpe, veteran of 17 Pastel years, who stopped by to cheer us on, but didn’t deign to coat herself in chalk this year. In her place for Holly Yashi, we once again have Leah Vaughn, with what I think is her best entry yet:
Her husband, graphic designer Casey Vaughn, designed this square for Tomas Jewelry:
Shortly after staking my claim on an empty square, an artist settled into the square beside me. It turns out it was Alan Sanborn, a former watercolor instructor for HSU with a master’s in art and quite a portfolio. At one point I accused the man of using luminous paint. His way with light is enviable. He was doing a farm scene from memory, a reproduction of one of his previous works which can be seen here on his site.
Also returning was a personal favorite of mine, Jerry Lee Wallace, who I missed once again this year. I was too focused on my own work to do a walkaround until later.
This one clearly came from Duane Flatmo, a man of many talents, everything from building fire breathing dragons, to playing the guitar with an eggbeater.
I was especially impressed by the square for The Sushi Spot. They did a flawless job of making the nori, and from concept to execution, it was truly exceptional. Their sushi is awesome as well, a contender for the best in town, and they do take out even when they’re busy, unlike someone else.
Another square that has been consistently good in recent years is The Alibi. If you like your bars dark, your gin and tonic glowing and with a burger on the side, this is the bar for you. I don’t know who the artist was on this one either, but I like their work.
I thought the entry for Kash Boodjeh was cute.
And this one from Humboldt Wildlife Care center was fun. I didn’t even know they made beer out of smashed owls.
Next year, should I participate again. I want to take a break part way through and just spend some time taking pictures of works in progress.