WEEKEND: Noted sidewalk chalk artist at Arts in Action

PORT ANGELES — Ian Morris, a veteran chalk artist from Victoria, raves about Port Angeles’ hospitality during the annual Arts in Action festival.

But by Thursday, he was ready to curse something else that greeted him near the ferry dock: stiff winds.

Morris, a commercial fisherman-turned-sidewalk artist, was invited to create one of his signature three-dimensional images in front of Smuggler’s Landing at The Landing mall at 115 E. Railroad Ave.

His chalk tableaux have been part of Arts in Action twice before, including his 2009 painting of a 3-D orca.

This year, he envisioned a green sea monster poking its head up from the water below City Pier.

So he got started chalking the pavement Wednesday.

The wind proceeded to waft off much of the color he put down.

Then it blew down the tripod he uses to draw straight lines.

Then his chalk box went airborne.

“I’m really worried I won’t be able to complete the project,” Morris said late Thursday afternoon.

He’d planned to have the creature finished Saturday morning.

Now there’s no telling when the wind will stop, of course.

And Morris said about half the chalk he brought with him has been air-washed off the pavement surface.

Morris, 44, usually has more flexibility when it comes to laying vivid images onto asphalt and concrete.

He creates copies of Old Masters’ paintings on the streets of Victoria, and passersby tip him — enough that Morris makes his living as an artist.

If it’s windy on any given day, he takes a break.

But this weekend, he’s got a deadline. Arts in Action, with its sand sculptures and surrounding festivities, begins today and will be over as of Sunday night.

All he could do Thursday was hope that the waterfront gusts would subside so he could bring his monster to life.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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