YOUNTVILLE — If you’re planning to visit the Napa Valley Museum this week, look down – you might just find a work of art at your feet.
Local artist Amy Gallaher Hall was joined by children and their families to create street art on the museum patio during the museum’s Free Family Fun Day on Saturday. The Yountville event was from 2 to 4 p.m., but Hall started creating her masterpiece, “Napa’s Wild Neighbors,” at about 6:30 a.m. It took the whole day for her to create the 50-square-foot photo-realistic sidewalk painting, which depicted a bobcat, quail, red-tailed hawk, beaver, and a king salmon.
The art was used as inspiration for the families coming to create their own art.
The museum supplied the chalk pastels – which Hall says show up better than normal sidewalk chalk – but visitors were allowed to create whatever art they wanted.
Jaidyn Fay, 9, decided to paint the faces of a fox and a deer.
“I love art,” Jaidyn said. He said he loves drawing animals, but that he was inspired to draw a fox by his friend who draws them really well.
“That fox is great,” Hall told Jaidyn. “Good job on the eyes. It’s hard to do the eyes – you totally nailed them.”
“I love what the kids are doing,” she said. “They’re drawing nature, too.”
The biggest tip Hall had for anyone starting out with street painting is to get a set of chalk pastels because the colors are richer.
The chalk pastels, which are thinner and smaller than the typical sidewalk chalk you might see in the hands of toddlers, are similar to pastels used in art classes, said Ines Keller. Ines, 14, was painting two koi fish in what looked like a pond.
“Art is my favorite subject in school,” Ines said.
The rest of Ines’ family was also creating art, including her father, Mark, who was experimenting with mixing light and dark colors and blending.
“We went and looked at the artist’s work,” he said. “She gave us some tips on how to start.” But mostly he was just “winging it,” he said.
“This is our third time coming to Family Day,” said Vicky Keller, his wife. “The caliber of what they do is so excellent each time,” she said. “The kids always learn something new, and we have so much fun.”
The Napa Valley Museum has a Free Family Fun Day the second Saturday of each month. In addition to the day’s planned activity, the museum also offers “Pay-As-You-Wish”, donation-based admission into the museum.
For more information, visit napavalleymuseum.org.