Texas Artist Uses Chalk to Share Bright Colors on Spring Day

Chalk one up for art on a sunny East Texas day.

The Longview News-Journal reports that was artist Joshua "Lakey" Hinson's mission Tuesday as he accepted an invitation from Keep Longview Beautiful to bring some color to The Green.

Evidence that the 2005 Longview High School alumnus was in town was spotted Monday on a sidewalk in Lois Jackson Park -- pleasant, meticulous, geometric circles, creating blossoms on concrete. Keep Longview Beautiful Executive Director Kim Casey Droege uploaded shots of the art to the group's Facebook page, along with a request for the mystery artist to step forward.

Hinson now lives in Austin and makes a living making curious, colorful, sometimes complex shapes he also reproduces on sidewalks when he gets a notion. Visiting family, he said he is on his annual pilgrimage to cooler country with the approach of the hotter months.

"Look how precise he is," Longview artist and gallery owner Paula Davis said as Hinson drew his flower framework next to the Carmen Gadt air balloon sculpture at The Green.

Local home-school parents and students also answered a Facebook all-call Droege posted once Hinson agreed to do his thing for the younger set.

"It's like a human compass," Amanda Burke said as she watched Hinson connecting the intricate lines working freehand.

Hinson said he got his nickname when he arrived in Longview as a sophomore wearing a shirt bearing the name of his last home, the Hill Country town of Leakey. Locals there, of course, pronounce their town's name without the first "e," rhyming with "shaky."

Once Hinson had completed his outline, he invited the eight or 10 young students to join the fun.

He separated warm-color crayons -- yellow and orange -- from those considered cool -- greens and blues. The warm chalks, he said, were to fill in the ovals; the cool colors would "live" inside the triangles he'd created.

"You can write words in there -- your names, your friends' names," he said, suggesting dots, lines, shapes. "There's no wrong way of doing it."

And, of course, both mistakes and master strokes were destined to wash away with the next good rain, leaving a clean canvas for Lakey's young apprentices to fill again.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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