When Macaire Everett her younger brother Camden were banned from seeing their friends because of the coronavirus outbreak, they were desperate for something to do. But instead of reaching for a smartphone, games console, or TV remote, Macaire, 14, and nine year-old Camden picked up a box of colored chalk and drew stunning trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye) murals on their driveway that saw Macaire and her brother travel the world from home, and become the talk of their town.
Talented artist Macaire, from Libertyville, Illinois, has used her incredible imagination to create a new chalk sketch for every day of lockdown, using her brother, Camden, as an explorer in each one. Their pandemic project has seen Cam travel across globe, from London to New York, India to Chicago and Sydney to Paris, as well go on adventures like scuba diving, rally racing and bungee jumping.
High school student, Macaire, said: ‘I was bored so I went into the garage to look for something to do and we had was all this chalk sitting in the garage that we weren’t using. I pulled it out and said, ‘Cam, I’m going to do a chalk drawing, I’ll draw some balloons and you will be holding them.
‘But when that one got washes away by the rain I did another one the next day, and it has just gone on from there. I wasn’t very good at the art to begin with but I have better and the drawing have got more unique.
‘No one usually comes to our part of the street, but since we started doing the drawings people have come up to our house especially to see our chalk.
‘Every single day Cam brings the drawings to life and it has made me and Cam really happy. Other people have said that it’s brightened up their day, too, so that’s what has given us the encouragement to keep going.’
What started out as aimless doodling for Macaire and Cam has evolved into into a breathtaking collection of unique and creative adventures, all drawn out using chalk crayons the pair found hidden away in an old box in their dad’s garage.
Macaire said she has always had a passion for art but never really practiced in her spare time, at least until the coronavirus pandemic hit. She admits her very first chalk sketch at the end of March – featuring Cam holding onto a handful of balloons – wasn’t anything special, but after 100 consecutive days of practice, Macraire has developed into a skillful sketcher.
Since March, the pair’s daily drawings have included things like The Great Wall of China, a UFO abduction, a trip to the cinema, walking with dinosaurs and even hanging out with the Beatles on Abbey Road. Cam has featured in every single sketch and Macaire has said the project has allowed them to strengthen their bond as brother and sister.
She said: ‘The chalk art has developed over time and Cam has traveled through the art. Every single day he brings it to life.
‘It has definitely been something fun for us to do together and it has brought us closer together. But it has been for other people too, and it’s made us happy to see other people smiling when they see what we’ve drawn.
‘We only started doing it because we were bored, but it has evolved so much and it has been amazing.’
Macaire and Cam penned their 100th chalk mural on July 4, coincidentally marking Independence Day, and since then they have scaled back the project slightly. From now on they will be creating a new piece of art every other day, and to date have made 103 different drawings.
Their parents have also had a role to play in keeping ‘Macaire’s Muse’, as the project has been coined, going for so long. Dad Matthew has had the important job of jet-washing the driveway every day so Macaire has a new workspace, whilst mom, Christine, has helped with brainstorming and buying more chalk.
And Christine has said not only has the project brought Macaire and Cam closer together, it has also allowed the family to strengthen their overall bond.
She said: ‘It’s been really amazing for me and Matthew to watch them run with this. We have provided as much moral support as we can.
‘It has brought our family closer together and has helped us to get through the lockdown. We have helped each other through it and we have been a proper team.
‘We will look back at this as a special time for us as a family.’