My family and I are about to visit the Outer Banks and I wanted to share a fun memory with you!

One of my dreams have come true! I got to street paint with one of the best street painters in the business, Tracy Lee Stum! I met her 10 years ago when I first started teaching and have been “stalking” her… wait… I mean following her since.

She has been the star of all my Chalk Festival lesson plans for the past 10 years! You see, I’ve held a Chalk Day with all my students every year and the kids just love it! In order to teach them about creating art with public responsibility I always bring in You Tube videos of Tracy Lee Stum’s work.

So…. after many years of teaching about her I now had the opportunity to paint with her and her Team 3-D at the Wright Brothers Memorial in North Carolina!!!! I was beyond excited! I felt like the cool kid in class!

Eager to impress and ready to work, we arrive at the job site. Within the first 5 minutes a huge spider is on the ground in the middle of all of us. Being the girl I am I take a few steps back. I’m not usually the pest control in my house. Then I realize that no one is going to kill it. My first thought is “They must be scared of the spider” so being the Texan I am, I go in fast and step on it as quick as I can. Score… Heidi 1 / Spider 0.

About 1/2 a second later I realize the reason they backed up was because they wanted to sweep it out… let it go.

Oops…. First impression…!

Over the next several days we saved many spiders and insects. A few ended up as texture, but most were hanging out with us on the paint and making their way to the next location.

I learned so much painting with 3 generous artists that I can’t share all in one post.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that Street Painting is HARD WORK!

I’ve been painting forever and sometimes 20 hours in a day, but this was WAY harder!

Imagine a game of Twister. Now add a dash of yoga. Sprinkle in some 122 degree pavement. Drizzle on some 100% humidity. Use a grid to paint all objects obscure. Do all of this on your knees, elbows, back, fingertips, whatever, and make sure it’s done well.

I was SO impressed with how her team works! Not only were they great at their craft, but they were so patient and taught me as we went along.

The thing that impressed me the most about Tracy and her team was the respect they had for each place they visit. They are world travelers and they ooze an essence of love for different cultures. I noticed that they spoke to every person that walked up and asked questions. For example: When a reporter came by and was telling me a story about the Legend of Black Beard, Tracy perked up and asked tons of questions. It was as if she was gathering a new piece of history for her memory box. She already knew the story of Black Beard, but the fact that a local was telling it made all the different. Yes, I was impressed with the art work that we created, but more impressed with how these 3 individuals embraced the location we were in. Everything from the meals and local diners we discovered to the people we spoke to.

Being raised a Texas girl and only have a few out of the country travel experiences under my belt I was so happy to hear their stories. I was excited to know about where they have been, what they have learned and where their favorite locations are.

This whole experience was more than I could have asked for. It was some of the most physical work as an artist I’ve ever done along with some of the greatest reward. I was so proud to say I worked with this team to create such a great piece!

These 3 wonderful people taught me to look at the world a little differently. To ask questions and be present no matter where you are. A gift that I am so thankful for.

Oh, and to not kill so many bugs.

Special Thank you to Tracy Lee Stum, Sharyn and Julio for all your help and patience with me this week! What a GREAT experience! I’ll keep this in my memory box forever.