Ormond Beach resident Katie Widdison took her creative passion for chalk art into competition this past weekend.
With cheeks reddened from the sun and hands yellowed from her craft, Katie Widdison hunches over a chalky pink elephant she’s been working on since 8:30 a.m. With it nearing 3 p.m., she only has a few hours left in the day to work on her entry for ArtHaus’ annual Street Painting Contest.
Widdison first entered the contest when she was in ninth-grade and in ArtHaus Executive Director Laurie Ring’s art class at Spruce Creek High School.
“I was always doing chalk in our driveway as a kid,” Widdison said as she blended the yellows, oranges and reds. “I really liked flowers and sunsets. I always have sunsets in my drawings. I love the color and I love the blending. Anything with bright, neon colors.”
Now 26 years old, Widdison’s creative passions are quite a contrast to her current source of income as a civil engineer in Ormond Beach.
“I’m really split-brained,” she laughed. “I do math by day and get my art side going on by night time.”
She said the hardest part about chalk art is battling the elements.
“Rain is a big factor,” she said, “and the leaves. It’s so windy here that the leaves get in your art and it’s hard to get them out.”
With the help of her younger sister, 12-year-old Trinity Widdison, her chalk art “Family is Forever” won the Best Family Theme award.
“She was a big help today,” Katie Widdison said. “I couldn’t have done it without her.”