Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A weekend at comic con

Mike at our booth
This past weekend was Phoenix Comic Con, and here is Mike at our booth, where we spent most of our time.

Phoenix Comic Con has been getting busier each year, so by Saturday it was pretty crowded.

Like at all comic cons there were many interesting characters walking about.

So many different characters that I didn't recognize, actually.

This was an art school's booth that was running life drawing sessions.

This is a robot.

Some kind of wolf creature -I think there's someone inside there.

And here is the half man. This booth was very close to us and the actor (in the center) was moaning almost continuously.

There were a lot of interesting booths and A LOT of zombie booths.  "The Walking Dead" is wildly popular and some of the actors were there.

Chloe and Phoebe posing as undead.

We also saw some old friends.

On the last day, in the last hour of the convention, an alarm went off and everyone was evacuated onto the sweltering streets upstairs.

Unfortunately, at the moment the alarm sounded my kids were off with some friends. We had to evacuate without them.  The alarm it turns out was for a fire on the third floor.  They quickly put it out and then allowed exhibitors back inside.

It didn't take long to find the kids, they happened to be by our friend Jon S Lewis's booth. Once inside our kids and his helped one of our neighbors deflate this giant yellow ball that was part of their display.

Needless to say they had a blast.

Unfortunately, as we fumbled our way home from the comic con to our car, the bungee cord on the cart came loose and smacked my right hand. My knuckle has turned a lovely shade of purple and has swollen up. Somehow I will complete the sketches for the book I just agreed to work on.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Comic Con ends and I'm back on the air

Comic con was a mad, mad few days and I'm really wiped. There are photos of it all to share and a crazy crisis to talk about, but tomorrow is another show.  Our radio show, Art of the Red River, so let me share our line up and very soon I will write about comic con. :)

The Raven by Liv Rainey-Smith
  This month's show has some fascinating guests including, Liv Rainey-Smith, an esoteric artist specializing in hand-pulled woodcut prints. Her bold figure-oriented imagery is drawn upon history, nature, dream, and vision for inspiration. Rainey-Smith's process incorporates a mixture of traditional and modern tools as well as a blend of European and Japanese printmaking technique. She prints primarily in small editions.

Next we have children's illustrator and writer, Hazel Mitchell. Originally from Yorkshire, UK , but currently living and working in Maine.  Hazel attended art college in York and Sunderland ,UK, and then ran away to sea.  The Royal Navy taught her to be a graphic designer.She left the Navy and ran a printing business in England, but now she is doing what she has always dreamed of - illustrating and writing children's books. Her publishing  clients include Charlesbridge, Makinac Island Press, Kane and Miller, Freespirit, Beacon Publishing and SCBWI.

And, our final interview is with comic book artist and illustrator Terrance Brown II. He is the creator of the upcoming "Yug the Inexplicable", and is currently adapting the 2005 novel "Origin:Unknown" by Edward HolsclawII and Wendy M Easton into a full length graphic novel due for completion in 2013.  He has also worked on Bleating Goats Comic's "Lucidity #1", and" #2" and has done pinups and comics for "No Man's Land", and is a guest on Glen Hammond's "Lamia Rising" with Tim Vigil. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona with a stunning array of dogs and cats.
Terrance Brown II

Join us on Tuesday for insight into an artist's world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last days, photo fun and, of course, another comic con

Mike's comedy traffic school was funny, and disturbing.  Photos of death and crashes and distressing facts, like Phoenix being the capital of red light running maniacs. He did learn important info however about what to do when one of the giant dust storms hits the area.  Pull as far off the road as possible and turn off any lights. Apparently the headlights create a nifty "cloaking device" for your car in a dust storm, making you invisible to anyone else on the road.

Today is Chloe's last day of school, and she's out at the mall with a friend to "celebrate".  The other two girls finished last Friday.  Naomi has been spending this week bouncing around at "Flip Dunk", a trampoline park down the street that offers a summer day camp. Phoebe has been home, playing with the "special features" on our new camera (our old one broke last week).

This is Oscar using some crazy "artistic" setting she found.

Here we see Mike on the moon.

"Cat Dog"

And this one I guess, is "Dog Cat".

Anyway, tomorrow is preview night over at Phoenix Comic con and we're at booth #441 (for anyone in town).  I went clothes shopping today in JC Penneys, so I have something to wear to the con. I couldn't find the right area so I asked a sales clerk, "Do you have any clothes that are not Petite or Plus-size?" 
 "Why, what size are YOU?" 
 "Ummmmm... Something in between?"

I did eventually find some clothes so if you're in Phoenix come say hi!  I will be fully dressed. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cupcakes, traffic school and "Team Awesome"

This past weekend Naomi decided to make cupcakes for her class for the last week of school.  She found a recipe online and made them from scratch.  Other than helping clean up afterwards, she did it all herself.  She was very excited Monday morning to bring them in and share them.  It was around noon I received an e-mail from her teacher stating that school policy was such that homemade treats aren't allowed, but she'll go to the supermarket after-school and bring in some store bought ones for class tomorrow.... BLECH!!

Today I went to court with Mike who had unfortunately gotten a speeding ticket on the morning he was going to fly to Portland.  It's funny we were so nervous, but all the other people there had done such awful things, yet they didn't seem nervous at all. Anyway it looks like traffic school is in order, and he's decided to sign up for the comedy one, maybe it won't be so bad.

The good news this week is that my circle paintings are going to be sold by an art and craft retailer called S.O.T.A. (Spirit of The Artist), in Philadelphia.  I sent my first shipment of paintings this afternoon.

Today, my ninth grader, Chloe, was building a rocket in science class with her assigned partner, Daniel, out of a plastic bottle.  She handed him some plastic and told him to cut out the fins while she decorated the bottle. She then proceeded to decorate it with many colors, and drawings of her and Daniel and labeled it "Team Awesome".  Her friend came over to observe and said "I know Daniel didn't approve of that!!" Daniel removed his headphones and stared at it for a long time, then he shrugged and put them back on.  Anyway, if their rocket reaches the highest altitude they each win 5 bucks... GO TEAM AWESOME!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The solar cook-off, my birthday and Mike is back!

Yesterday was Phoebe's big solar cook-off at school. When I helped her drop off her oven at school I saw some incredible contraptions!

Before we brought it in we tested it last weekend with some cinnamon rolls. Considering they were just sitting outside on the patio they were pretty good.

We did have to finish cooking them in the regular oven though.

On Monday I picked up Mike from the airport after his eventful weekend at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival.  Here he is competing  onstage in The Pickman's Apprentice Iron Artist Competition.

And this is him drawing the winning art piece.  All the artists had their work auctioned for charity, but he came home with a nifty trophy.  He also contributed to one of the films that premiered at the festival called Transcendant

Anyway yesterday was my birthday and we headed to a theater downtown and saw this....

It was really entertaining and made a great outing, but I was shocked to learn after the movie that my kids don't have any memory of the first movie with Judy Garland.  I was sure they'd seen it. It's such a part of my childhood, watching that movie when it was aired on TV every year. Sometimes it's strange how different things are for my kids. ( They do, however, remember going to "Wicked" last year, but that storyline doesn't connect to this movie.)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Solar Oven and Visitors from out of town

Last week past in a whirlwind of activity.  My Aunt Janet and Uncle Larry came to visit from snowy Denver, Colorado.  I think they were ready for some warm weather but not the 100ºF plus temperatures we were bombarded with last week. Of course none of us are ever really ready for it. 

Breakfast in a pie shop
This is the restaurant where I left the camera.  As you can see I'm posting photos so obviously they gave it back.

After a day of hanging around the big fancy pool in their resort, we decided to try and be adventurous.  We brought them to Old Town in Scottsdale.  It was sweltering hot even at 6pm. 

There are a lot of interesting sculptures and galleries in Old Town.

Phoebe can't help but goof around when the camera's pointed at her.

Did I mention how hot it was?  My Aunt and Uncle couldn't take walking around so Mike and I ran ahead and found a Mediterranean restaurant that had misters and shade on the patio where Oscar (our dog) could sit by our table.

They really liked our dog.

And it was nice to sit in the shade under the mist.  After a few minutes, though, I noticed many people sitting around us on the patio smoking hookahs.  It turns out it was a hookah bar I brought them to!  They took it in stride, however,  and the smoke from the hookahs smelled like strawberry incense.

The next day I decided to go to a place I was more familiar with, The Phoenix Art Museum.

The great thing about the museum is that it's indoors and air conditioned. :)

The lobby is filled with black butterflies (cut paper ones) as an intro to their show "Order in Chaos".

There were thousands of butterflies pinned to the walls and ceiling.  It was astonishing and impressive. The museum was a great day out and they loved the classical art upstairs.

My Uncle sits by the red, caged dinosaur in front of The Phoenix Art Museum.
Anyway last week Mike and Phoebe put their finishing touches on the solar oven....

This is Phoebe applying duct tape. Phoebe loves duct tape, she makes wallets and cases for glasses and pencils (one of these days I'll post some of her creations.)

Their oven is quite huge and impressive!

Today I'm helping Phoebe and her friend test it, before the big solar cook off at her school on Friday. Mike is missing the test as he's in Portland, Oregon right now at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival.  As always we're missing him, but he flies home tomorrow morning.

“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”-Calvin (Calvin and Hobbs)


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