‘The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan’

Mark Cummings, Costa Mesa

See It 
Cummings will be at the Nov. 3 Festa dell’Autunno street festival at The Resort at Pelican Hill, 22701 Pelican Hill Road S., Newport Coast, 800-315-8214,pelicanhill.com/festa. See more of his work at mcoriginals.com, and chalkpainting.com.

A painter who honed his classical technique at the Angel Academy in Florence, Italy, Cummings often re-creates Old World masterpieces as chalk street paintings. He also teaches art at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano and shows his paintings at The Bluebird Gallery in Laguna Beach. Cummings says his Christian faith is a great influence: “Art is a form of worship for me.”

Cummings is drawn to Baroque and religious paintings. Once he finds an image to replicate, he tweaks the piece’s perspective for viewers who will look down at it on the street, rather than view it on a wall. He draws a grid on the pavement, and then outlines the image in chalk pastel. He layers and blends colors to create shadows, contrast, and depth.

Cummings, who took up street painting at a friend’s suggestion, loves its temporary nature. “Creating a chalk painting takes many hours, sometimes days, only to be washed away by a hose or street cleaner, or tramped on by pedestrians. So many people ask me, ‘Doesn’t this bum you out?’ It’s a performance art, much like a concert. Just a lot slower.”

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Browse a gallery of Mark Cummings here

This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue.

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