Saturday, June 29, 2013

Who's at the door?

Late at night we heard him....  A thump and a "scritch, scritch" on the screen door.  We went outside and found this guy! It's hard to tell but he's the size of my hand.   I was going to put my hand next to him for the photo, but he kind of freaked me out.  Then we went back inside and hid till he went away.  Thanks for stopping by!!!

Anyway there's apparently a heat wave this week in the southwest.  Which in Phoenix means it's 118ºF instead of 103ºF .   More hiding inside with the shades drawn. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Art of the Red River returns for June

Today is another episode of "Art of the Red River"!

by Eric James Duke

 Our first guest is Eric James Duke (insani artificem or MAD ERIC) is a predominately pen and ink artist while being classically trained in painting and sculpture. Though he has done some illustration, most recently HP Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness”, he is more of a gallery artist. He has had art shows in NY, PA, TX, CA, IA, and FL. His art has also appeared in various magazines, including ‘Churn Magazine’ issue #9, available through Last Gasp’s website in the coming months. He uses a 6x0/.13 Koh-I-Noor rapidograph pen and pointillism to achieve his depth and lighting. Currently he lives and works in Livermoore, CA.

by Calvin Innes

 Next on the show is artist Calvin Innes. He's the author of a number of children's books including, " The Monster Book Of.." series of educational books, the popular Tiny Twisted Tales series of spooky and macabre children's books, How To Draw Monsters with Calvin Innes - a step by step drawing guide, the Commander Recyclone & the Eco Rangers series of books, to name just a few. He founded his publishing company, My Little Big Town, in 2011 and they now work with numerous authors and artists from all corners of the world. He lives and works in Yorkshire in the UK, with his wife, his young son and three cats.

by Holly Chamberlain

Our final guest is Maine artist, Holly Chamberlain. She has taught photography at Sanford High School and graphic design and drawing at Heartwood College of Art and River Tree Center for the Arts. Her brand, Fish House Designs, is primarily a line of greeting cards, calendars and prints from her original paintings inspired from her life by the sea.Her work has been licensed to Trader Jo's, T-shirt companies, logo designs, commission work, hand painted furniture and murals. Be sure to listen in!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Comic con!!! This time in New Mexico.....

Fair warning.

Here's Mike and Phoebe hanging out at the booth.  

So the kids can feel comfortable and walk around on their own we always find a nearby landmark to help them find our booth. This was our landmark.

On the plus side, they appeared to be new and... unused.

Much like every con there's always a "tardis" from Dr. Who.

...And a Star Wars.

And some great cos-players (people who dress in costume), like this one from "The Dark Crystal".

 ...And this guy!  Who was actually promoting a movie, and seems to be at every comic con these days.  Unfortunately I forget what movie.

This was the coolest thing that happened.  We met Nicholas Brendon (the guy who played Xander in Buffy The Vampire Slayer!).  He acts very much like his character in the show and was trying to give us his half eaten donuts (which we passed on, but probably should have taken to sell on eBay).  Chloe actually went to his panel "Q&A with Nicholas Brendon". She even asked a question.  She spoke clearly and projected in the crowded auditorium, so he asked "Are you a reporter?" 
"Umm.. no."
 "You asked that so well, are you in theater?"
"Not right now."
"Well you should be!"
 So for the rest of the convention people around the hall would point her out and walk up to her and say "Hey you're that reporter girl!"

This con wasn't as busy as most we go to, but the kids had a blast, and on the last day Naomi sat down and started drawing portraits for a quarter.  She had more customers than we did, obviously we charge too much!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Over the Mountains and through the desert

Yesterday morning we rolled out of bed, packed the car and hit the road!

We traveled for a ways on "Historic Route 66".

Indian "rock shops" selling geodes and petrified wood lined the road.

This was Oscar's longest car trip to date.  He drooled -kind of a lot.

There were many dinosaurs.

Traveling through the high desert into New Mexico was very pretty, but some sights were a little disturbing. As we drove east on interstate 40, just before mile 64, we saw three starving horses on the right hand side. One was missing patches of fur, and all three had ribs you could count from a distance.  They stood in the empty plains next to the road and the closest structure seemed to be a burnt out farm, that looked a whole lot like a pile of rubble.  As we discussed what we could possibly do we then saw a caramel colored cow in similar condition near mile 104.  Both sightings were near Grants, New Mexico.

We arrived in Albuquerque a little worse for wear after a day on the road.  This city has some very striking murals filling the downtown.

After a driving all day we were ready for a walk around.

Naomi and Phoebe tried to steal this statue's hat.  

Over in the plaza they posed with the mayor.

We didn't go too far but it was nice to be walking around.

And here's Chloe and Oscar in front of the convention hall where Albuquerque Comic Expo was being held, starting today.  Come find us in Artist's Alley at table D18!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day at the gardens

I think we're finally getting the hang of this whole desert in the summer thing.  We went out to The Desert Botanical Gardens for Father's Day....

Sounds good right? Wander through a desert garden in June.... Well, we packed A LOT of water, wore hats, and arrived at 7pm.

Entering the gardens.

Attaching the admission bracelets.

The gardens are quite beautiful this time of year.

This is a picture of a rabbit.  There must have been a rabbit warren under the gardens, because they were everywhere! The kids took the camera and ran around after them trying to capture a good shot.  We have about 50 pictures of blurry little tails or just nothing, because as you'll notice from this photo they are perfectly camouflaged with the ground.

The place is huge and a bit of a maze.  Of course we didn't bother to look at the map until we were thoroughly lost.

We did find the Butterfly Garden....

...And now I have many blurry photos of butterflies, that I will spare you from here.

We found a cacti sundial.

Naomi thought it was awesome!

This sculpture is called "The Earth has Been Good to Us."

There were birds, particularly quails, everywhere.  Here you can see one perched on a cactus.  They would walk across the trails leading their little babies along like funny looking ducks.

 There were pretty fountains.

Interesting sculptures...

...And some beautiful flowers.

Even in June, The Desert Botanical Gardens is a great evening out!
Superhero pose

Here it is. Father's day picture for 2013! (not that we have other years or anything).

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mike's "Horrible" painting and indoor activities

TADA! Here it is! Mike's cover painting for my big book of "The Horribles" (my all ages comic).
The Horribles cover by Mike Dubisch

I think it came out amazing, and I'm so excited for the new book!!

When my kids are home from school and hanging around all the time, I'm always looking for things to do, just to get out.  So it seemed like maybe we could try First Friday again, (the first one each month is a big gallery, music and art event downtown.)

So we grabbed the dog and our two oldest kids (Naomi didn't want to come) and headed out.

Even though temperatures have been in the triple digits it seemed like since it was at night maybe it'd be ok.  We were wrong.  It was SO hot, I almost passed out.  I did stumble a bit on a street corner and veered straight into the closest restaurant and got some water.  After that we just got the girls some Italian ices and left.

On Sunday, Phoebe's obsessive packing and repacking her bags ended the only way it could.  She was finally off to camp up in Prescott.  Here she is with her friend, Nina, boarding the bus. We pick her up at the bus tonight after six days in the mountains with restricted showers (every other day).  She'll smell great I'm sure. :P

After our fiasco at first Friday, Chloe and I went out to find some kind of indoor activity.  We decided to check out the State Capitol Museum, as it's free and the New York State Capitol Museum was always an awesome outing, with a carousel, incredible displays and a nice cafe on the roof.

The capitol park looked promising next to the building.

In fact I wished we could explore it as it was full of many sculptures, but it was "sear your skin off" weather.

Here's Chloe out in front of the building.

It seemed like a nice building, though MUCH smaller than the NY State Capitol building.

The displays were, how can I put this.... really dull.  This is a pair of jeans.  I think they left them there to remind me of how I could be doing laundry now.

This was a wax guy, but I can't remember who it's supposed to be.

This is Chloe, squishing his head.  Okay, that was juvenile, but this was one of those museums where you have to entertain yourself.  At least there was a/c. Anyway there are other museums, I think we'll be trying their a/c next time.

“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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