Since about 1958 I have been doing chalk illustrations. Poems, songs and stories came alive(to many) as I enjoyed the challenge of interaction with the audience. My first drawings with lights was with the old Christmas tree color wheel.
Then I graduated to two colored flood lights, then four. I had switches in a hand held box . Then I added a dimmer for sunsets/ sunrises etc.
The huge improvement was when I learned to use the Black light and ‘invisible chalk’. There are two types of florescent chalk. Standard colors and the invisible color, without the black light every color appears white. An example, I could draw a tree, it appeared white, under the black light it would have a brown trunk and brilliant green leaves.
Next came the remote controls for the lights, a great addition. I no longer had to be concerned about the lights Sherry had the control of that. When we used canned music, she could even turn on the tape player.
(Above is one half of the equipment at the end)
This allowed for a lot of imagination. I could do a picture with a huge cloud, and in the white cloud could have an entirely new picture. For religious programs the ‘Holy white city’ worked out great in the cloud, it could not be seen until the song was sung and Sherry from the audience would dim the lights and turn on the black light, showing the city in gold in the cloud.
I added a second easel for the intro and fun stuff and held the ornate one for the serious section. But as you can imagine in the end we were carting in about 75 lbs of equipment for each showing, but with that it was ALWAYS a thrill to see kids eyes light up.
Sunday morning, went well, even with the improvised lighting.
This is Violet and Bobby’s 18th year of coming to this nursing home. She puts some exercise into the songs, the folks really enjoy it. It is a great morning worship for them.
Sherry got into it too! Violet is perfect for the seniors, with that deep smile. She is very good at what she is doing.
Once introduced I always do a few trick drawings. the Frog to Horse is always a hit.
This morning’s picture was my favorite. the picture has changed over the years (see below), but the story has not. Illustrating Sam Walter Foss’ “House by The Side Of The Road” and Edgar Guest’s “Home”.
(Previous ‘House by the Side of The Road were on paper)
I use the tale Foss gave, that was the inspiration for his poem.
I used small 30 watt Black lights and this one was done on Velvet. Of course when I first started I had hair!!!
Thanks for coming along for the last picture.(My Sherry, a doubting Thomas says, “Yeah, right!”)
Folks tell me they really enjoy the presentations, but I am sure not half as much as I enjoyed them.
Shirl’s 1956 Power Hawk.