Blogs of Buskers

August 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Busking

I just received an email from Peter & Christine Finnie of Biff Spandex Blog, pointing me to their great photographic overview of this year’s Toronto Busker Festival.

Thanks!

Toronto BuskerFest, One Month Away!

July 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Busking, Events

Toronto Busker Festival is coming up and if you’re in the area you should probably be there!

I will.

http://www.torontobuskerfest.com/

Visit the website and check out the acts.

Come see me draw my latest piece, “Lonely Elephant Parade” and maybe drop a toonie in the bucket!  Because as the old adage goes, every time you don’t put money in a chalk artist’s bucket, somewhere in the world a fairy goes into a deep and irreversible coma.

A glimpse of last year’s piece, “Project Grizzly”.

Foto Phantastique

December 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Busking

A great candid photo taken by Quade Hermann at the Toronto Buskerfest.  Thank you, Quade!

Never has my filthiness looked so elegant.

Photo by Quade Hermann

Photo by Quade Hermann

Busker on the Boardwalk

July 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Busking, Events

My latest piece, from St. John New Brunswick.
Once again, I’ve had a precious time with old and new friends during fest time.
…I could make money anywhere.  But I couldn’t meet these people anywhere.  This is why I love festivals.

My latest piece is one I plan to recreate when I do this year’s Toronto Festival.  It’ll be my first repeat.

This is my fan art response to one of my favourite documentaries, Peter Lynch’s “Project Grizzly”, the story of Troy Hurtubise and his bear-proof suit.
I saw the suit for myself in an ‘inspired by’ art exhibit last year and knew I needed to have a turn in making my own homage.  The suit has evolved into a stove robot with a butterfly net, riding a robotic fish, and the bear has developed some circus skills, but otherwise, I’d say it’s pretty accurate depiction of the film.
Not many of the folks coming off the cruise ship in St. John knew of the film, but I’m pretty certain the response in downtown Toronto will be different.  Regardless, the chalk piece was enjoyed by all. …Well, at least the ones who hated it didn’t tell me.

Click on the image to make it larger.

"Project Grizzly"

“Project Grizzly”

Monkey On My Back

June 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Busking, Events

I think I enjoyed this weekend’s Dundas Busker Festival on a new level than others I’ve been involved with.  This is the first time I’ve festivalled at home.  It felt pretty great.  It’s very surreal to be working a festival and see people you know.  I even met old childhood friends I hadn’t seen for nearly a decade.

I liked it.

It was a really great festival for meeting more performer friends, comparing some of them to their online forum personalities, and thoroughly enjoying the Fast Horse Family.  Judy Boswell, Paul Maskell and all others involved were really great to festival with and it’s apparent that they love doing it (one should never run a festival if they don’t love doing it.  It’s a festival!)

I met some great people this year.

My chalk drawing ~  I chose a strange piece of pavement.  I chose it for location, but as soon as I had committed myself with my fat, black outlines I realized the texture was going to be a challenge.  What I lacked in detail due to bumpiness, I think I made up for in size and sheer audacity.  I hope to do this piece again soon so that I can get in all the shiny spots, gleams and colours I wasn’t able to accomplish this weekend.

But here we are:

I seem to have mastered the pre-teen boy demographic.  Chalk time is the only time I’m ever cool with tweens.  For young teens to actually give me real money is a huge compliment and success.  …they don’t usually think to give that stuff away.

One young girl came along, looked at the piece and said, “Oooooooh, I get it.”
I took a beautiful double take and said, “You DO?? …Oh.  I see.  Well, I guess I’m glad someone does.”

Another woman insisted for some time that it was a 3D chalk piece, like the kind she’s seen on the internet.
I told her it wasn’t that sort of drawing, but she told me that, yes, it absolutely was.  I’d like to know what medication she’s taking, but I’m glad she appreciated it on a level that didn’t even exist.

“Monkey On My Back”

Visit the pavement art page

Performers in Pavement!

January 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Busking, Events

It’s been four months since I hit the road at the Toronto Busker Festival, creating caricatures of fellow performers in chalk and concrete.
Here are some never-before-seen (even by myself) photos of the final piece, on the very last night, courtesy of Comedienne, Sharon Mahoney.

This piece featured dancer Robert Muraine, contortionist Alakazam,
Silver Elvis
, Squid Percussion, Sharon “From Canada” Mahoney and some fish.

To see more about my pavement art and “Performers in Pavement”, visit the page.

Takin’ it to the Street

October 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Busking, Events

My summer of chalking up busker festivals across the country was a great success.  It was my first year of organized busking events and there were some steep learning curves to plow through, but the people and the places were a great joy.  No where else can I meet such a diverse group of people in one room.  Musicians, comics, contortionists, fire acts, freak show acts, magicians,  visual artists, dancers, people who make bologna sandwiches with their feet,  and combinations of all of the above — all in one world-wide, yet tightly knit community.  It’s truly something to experience.
In a warm and dry climate I could continue drawing on the pavement, but winter hits hard in Canada.  Now it’s time to focus on the other festivals.  Film, to be exact.  Be sure to watch for my updates on that front.

at "Big on Bloor", Toronto

at"Big on Bloor", Toronto