Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bicycles & Chalk

Travelling back in time...

Near Victoria you'll come to this bridge.
I biked part of the Galloping Goose Trail just days before heading to Mosswood for Dream Teacher Training II. As fate would have it this section of the trial crossed in front of RECYCLISTAS bike collective. I peddled sheepishly past as my bike groaned and clunked praying that my chain wouldn't fall off or some other break down occur. Feeling guilty for neglecting the well being of my most trusty steed I vowed to do better.

So, last Saturday I learned how to tune up my bike with the help of the most patient bike repair guy I could have asked for, Theo, and another young student. For 3 hours I addressed long standing issues and got to sit in on how to change handlebars, add a bike carrier over the back fender and glanced now and again as another participant replaced a cable. All this for $25 + the cost of materials (to my surprise all sounded worse than it was; no materials were needed - whew). This is a great deal, I'll be back. Part of their gig is that you can use recycled bike parts or new in your repair.

Sunday, Rod and I walked in to town...yes, I said WE walked.

The Chalk Festival  - be sure to watch the video for 2 reasons:
1. You will hear the music of the O'Briens, a group I enjoyed on my last visit to Victoria

The O'Briens playing last year at Bastion Square.
2. You'll be introduced to the guy who brought chalk art to Victoria.

The festival was underway this morning dominated by a threatening sky. The 2 cordoned off blocks of Government Street were covered in semi-opaque tarps as artists and audience waited for the drippy weather to clear as it usually does by early afternoon. This gave us a chance to chat to many of the chalk artists.

The view down the road. This goes on for 2 blocks.
Realism, 3D and fantasy works are represented.
Artists come from B.C. and the western states (coast) mainly.
"It's kinda hard to see the real brilliance of this piece," the creator, an artist from Washington said with a laugh as we tried to peak through the hazy shroud.
"I look at it as a misty cloak that will unveil the beauty laying underneath gently as it is burned away by the sun." I said.
He paused, nodded and smiled, "Wow, that's a whole lot better than the vision I've had of viewing the work through cloudy cataracts."
I laughed with him thinking to myself how my dream teacher would say I provided him with a better dream. Years ago, a fellow art teacher friend had encouraged him to participate in the chalk festivals and, though his body protests somewhat now, he continues to take part.

3D art happening inside the Bay - done in paint not chalk
I loved this collection of bears,
especially the one up top with the huge salmon. 
Lovely, magical creation; very dreamy!
The story told by another was that this endeavour is part of a healing process to help her recover from a mental breakdown that forced her to leave her job. As we chatted it seemed that the healing was well under way and, perhaps that a new career in the arts is rising out of the ashes.

Ian, the guy who started it all. 
In the midst of all this, unbeknown to most of the crowd, the guy who brought chalk art to Victoria walked over his work adding a stroke here, a dab of colour there, all the while immersed in the flight of the ruby-throated humming bird and the magical world the beat of its wings were bringing into existence.

This looks like so much fun that I might try my hand at it next year, everyone was having a great time.

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