Marietta Grandmother Uplifts Community With Chalk Drawings

Marietta resident Kathy Wood is bringing smiles to the faces of neighbors near and far with her creative chalk drawings featuring animals, everyday activities and even some beloved television characters, as a way to stay connected during the shelter-in-place order due to the new coronavirus.

In an attempt to beat the boredom and isolation of social distancing, Wood pulled out her collection of sidewalk chalk and began drawing scenes on her driveway that she could incorporate herself into – dunking a basketball, fishing off a dock, even hanging out with some characters from Sesame Street.

She shared the photos on her Facebook page to share with family and friends, each with a positive message. On the Sesame Street photo, she included the message: “My friends come in all shapes and sizes. It’s good to have friends.”

“I expected to just get a little chuckle out of people, for them to laugh at me,” she said. “But now people have been sharing them all over and I’m hearing from a lot of people that they were looking forward to them everyday.”

Some drawings are pretty quick for Wood to do – the drawing of her dunking a basketball only took 15 minutes – while others take significantly longer. For example, her drawing of a giraffe took a lot of chalk to complete and was finished in about an hour.

“The longest one was the Sesame Street one, which took about an hour and a half, because I had to go back and do a little bit of detail,” she said. “You can’t get black chalk anywhere, so I had to get creative and use a piece of charcoal briquette.”

Wood, who has lived in Marietta for 33 years, has dabbled in art since she was in high school and has held it as a hobby throughout her life, selling a few paintings to friends, “mostly of their dogs,” she said.

She’s now started sharing the chalk drawings in her North Chestnut Grove Facebook page as a way to connect with her neighbors, as well.

The positive response to her drawings has been unexpected, Wood said, especially during such a difficult time. While her grandchildren only live about 20 minutes away, she’s only seen them once in the past several weeks, when they did a drive by to pick up their Easter baskets from her driveway.

“It’s been sad but I did this so I could hear from them and what they thought,” she said. “My grandkids have even started drawing little pictures in their driveway. It’s just become a really fun thing.”