July 29, 2018 – Slinger, WI – Kaylee Goodman is the youngest chalk artist at the 2018 Art & Chalk Fest at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
Armed with a case of soft pastels and brilliant fluorescent sticks of chalk, Kaylee sits on her pallet of hard concrete and gets lost in the zone.
This isn’t school-yard scribbling, but a splash of magic that pours from the stained fingertips of a 14 year old.
“Chalking might be a messy job, but I love doing it,” said Goodman.
Her mom Sandi sits on the sidewalk on Veterans Avenue overseeing her daughter’s work.
“If she’s late for supper we normally find her in the driveway,” said Sandi.
The driveway outside their home, just south of Pike Lake State Park, is the studio where Goodman hones her craft.
Sandi good naturedly chides her daughter on how she leaves her own unique Hansel-and-Gretel trail of breadcrumbs. “We know when she’s been in the car because there’s a chalk smudge on the visor,” she said.
Most often Kaylee’s face looks like she’s been made up for a school play as there’s streaks of chalk across her forehead and often the bridge of her nose.
Though it all, Kaylee smiles.
“I originally went to Chalk the Walk in West Bend at the shopping mall on S. Main Street and I chalked a mermaid,” Goodman said.
The larger-than-life mermaid with long, flowing hair and flared blades of a fish tail caught the attention of teachers who referred Kaylee to a show at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
“It was past the deadline and I didn’t think I could get into their event but they still wanted me,” she said of the 2017 event.
The inaugural Art & Chalk Fest in West Bend was a sunny day and a bit of a swelter; at least that’s what Kaylee remembered.
“It was very warm and I chalked both days but it was fun,” she said.
Chalk artists from Florida and California participated and Kaylee made connections.
“I’ve done chalk drawings for a couple years and there’s something different from just drawing on a piece of paper. I love how you can get creative, even on concrete,” she said.
Kaylee reminisces about her early career and waves it off as a learning experience when she talks about her “nothing drawings.”
“They were stick people when I started but I ventured into faces and people and I’m getting better; now I kind of show off what I can do,” she said.
Art teachers in the Slinger School District have worked to give Goodman confidence. “They tell me I’m very good,” she said modestly.
Sandi chimes in. “When Kaylee chalks … it’s as if they’re right there. Her drawings come to life. People are also starting to recognize her and she’s so dedicated.”
Goodman does most of her initial drawings in sketch books. “After I sketch, then I ink and then color with marker,” she said. “I normally get them printed before an event so I can sell them to make money to cover my chalk supplies.”
A working artist, Goodman said she’s currently focused on drawing people but she is trying to broaden her horizons with shadowing and landscapes.
“Kaylee can sometimes get swallowed up by the expansiveness or her pieces,” said Sandi. One piece measured about 40 square feet. “We just can’t get that big again,” she said.
This summer Kaylee’s calendar is filling fast with personal requests and events such as the Maker Fair at State Fair in Milwaukee, the Paramount Music Festival in Port Washington and the Art & Chalk Fest at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.