Monday, March 31, 2014

96 hours

Thursday began as usual with shaking reluctant children awake for school as they lay ignoring their blaring alarm clocks. Naomi was late again. Phoebe missed the bus, and only Chloe got moving on time.  The morning was spent cleaning house and the afternoon was studio time, doing our work, trying to meet our deadlines. It's our best time of the day, Mike and I just working and listening to music or half watching a movie.  Studio time is always over too fast and before I know it I'm back in the car racing back and forth across town during rush hour to pick up kids from school, and in the case of Thursday getting Phoebe back to school again for her opening night.  Her school theater group was performing "I Never Saw Another Butterfly".  She had the second lead role and was amazing....

The play was acted, directed and performed by students.  The teacher that runs the group, Mrs. Lang (Phoebe's hero), acts only as producer and advisor.

All the kids did an incredible job and there wasn't a dry eye to be seen at the end.

Of course the subject matter was very intense.  Jewish children living inside a Nazi concentration camp is bound to be a downer.

Friday started much the same as Thursday. Racing kids to school, walking the dog, morning house cleaning... The exception being I was called in to sub an art class. In the last 2 weeks I was hired by a company called Abrakadoodle to run children's art programs around the valley.  I've been training but this was my first day on the job.  Teaching on Friday I had a class full of very excited 7 year old boys.  One of them was flirting with me, so I told him I was married.  His friend shrieked and said "Are you crazy, she's like 29!!"  So now I'm 29. It 's awesome.

Saturday I rolled out of bed at 5:20am and shook Chloe awake.  By 6:30am we were on the road to Tucson, for Park Place Chalk Art Festival.  We arrived by 8:45 and I found my designated area.  As I began to grid my square of concrete people began to come over and ask questions.  "What are you drawing?" "How long will it take you?" and my favorite "When will you be finished?" (Keep in mind that I have drawn four lines at this point.)

After about 20 minutes of sketching in my design, Chloe and I began the sky. 

Here she is working from a print of my painting.

By the time the morning was over we'd made a huge amount of progress.  This is well after lunch on Saturday.  The festival was quite crowded and the questions people asked never stopped.  "I saw this festival in the paper this morning. Did you see it in the paper too and just come down and set up?" 
"No, I was paid to be here and assigned this spot"
"This is the best one so far! You're going to win!"
"This is not a contest, all the artists were judged beforehand."
"How can they judge your work before you do it?"
"I submitted my drawing and I was selected, so we all win."
"Well how can you all win?"
"I was kidding, all the artists here are paid."
"When will you be finished?"

Here's Chloe blending sand on Saturday afternoon.

As you can see we made a lot of progress on Saturday.

This cowboy on stilts kept walking past and chatting us up.

Finally he came by and offered to take a photo from his view.  I think it's the best photo we got all day.  As we worked a woman walked past and said "Oh it's lovely, are you two related?" 
"Yes, this is my daughter!"
"Oh you don't look old enough to have a daughter that old."
"Oh, well, I am only 29." She walked away quite confused.

This is where we stopped at 5pm that day.  We attempted to wash ourselves off in the mall bathroom amid many stares and headed over to the hotel.  

Sunday we awoke around 6am even though we didn't have to be back until 11am.  I ate some disturbingly crunchy eggs at the hotel's continental breakfast, while Chloe ate the chewy pancakes.  We lingered for awhile but then headed back to finish the mural.

We picked up some Starbucks (conveniently located next to our mural) and got back to work. We were on site an hour early and finished the mural 15 minutes into the second day of the official start of the festival.  Of course the questions kept coming.... "How did it take you to draw this?"  "AAAH!!" -That scared them off.  By then I was very sore from working on the pavement and a little sick of the same questions over and over and over......  

Since I couldn't get paid until 1:30pm we decided to clean up and take a walk around. Some of the work was amazing.

This artist was working in the back courtyard on bricks which is a tough surface.

This artist was creating an amazing mural from a photo.

This is the "Kids Zone" where each coloring space is a puzzle piece they give you to draw in.

One of the pieces from the "Kids Zone".

I liked this Hindu elephant from the kids area.

This artist was given an indoor work area.  Her mandala is still in progress in this photo.

A portrait of Freda Kahlo, was in the back courtyard.

Matt Cotten's Orangutans

Some pretty bunnies for Easter, by José Ignacio Garcia

Shloka was working just up the sidewalk from us.  I really loved her whimsical drawing.

My regret is that I didn't go back to see her finish.  I could tell it was going to be great.

Victor's butterflies.  Another one I didn't see finished.

And Cynthia's wildlife image was coming along really well!

Around 1:30pm we had walked the mall, ate in the food court and seen all the chalk murals, so I went to see if I could get paid.  I found the director and was given my check, and as I walked to the car I saw that someone had released their small child onto my mural.  It was covered in footprints!  So I got more chalk and wound up working another 20 minutes, all the while muttering " The sidewalk over there is for walking, this sidewalk's for looking at."  (I was maybe losing it a bit). Anyway, Sunday afternoon at 4pm we stumbled through the door back home in Phoenix.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The SPARK Festival and the radio show

Last week all my kids were on spring break, which is nothing short of amazing as they go to three different schools and never seem to have overlapping school breaks.  I wish we'd planned to go away for the week, but both and Mike were a bit swamped with work and deadlines.  We did manage to go to the big SPARK festival down in Mesa.

As you can see they had a very entertaining photo booth!

The Austin Bike Zoo set up at the festival.

We all took a ride on their rattlesnake bike.

This is Naomi on the bicycle carousel.

The bat bike was a bit creepy.

This baby liked him though.

My favorite is the owl-Who knew owls could be such cool bicycles?!

 Phoebe enjoying her green snow cone.
They had a flavor station where little kids were adding 5 or 6 flavors to their shaved ice.  I asked my kids why they only did one.  "Mom, that's disgusting!"
And it is, but it's interesting that they're all old enough to know better....

This is me (hiding behind a dancing butterfly).

 There were in fact many costumed dancers romping about.

So many.

The gecko was very convincing.

There seemed to be more to see and do everywhere we turned.

As the sun began to go down these forest fairies began to lurk about.

This juggler began his impressive show with fire torches.

This is Naomi, she jumped out of the audience to assist him.  It's an odd photo because of the black light, but she has a Chinese yo-yo on her head.

This photo is better... I think.

Everything was lit up after the sun set.

The glowing snake.

In case you didn't think that bat could look creepier, here he is after dark.

On Monday we had another episode of Art of The Red River.  This is by one of our guests Afton Kern.  In the end it was a good show.  In the beginning though, I went to the studio website and the show was scheduled to start an hour late, so I tried to change it and couldn't do it.  I notified everyone about the change and then it launched suddenly, on time.  We were running circles!  My co-host Wade Zahares was quite upset as he had no time to change into his "radio clothes"....It turns out he's quite good at hosting in his regular clothes.... It was archived here so you can listen in!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A day at Lake Pleasant and many deadlines...

 Last weekend we took an afternoon to visit the nearest lake to us in Phoenix.  Phoenix is not exactly a lake district so it was a bit of a drive.

Lake Pleasant is actually a rather huge lake in the middle of the desert.

As you can see, cacti surrounded the shoreline.

After walking around a bit.  We headed over to the little carnival.

It was very little, but since there was a big fishing event/picnic going on, all the rides were free that day.

Naomi getting stuck on the big slide.

Chloe and Phoebe rode the ferris wheel (Naomi wouldn't go on it because it's boring.)

Here's the three of them on the swings, plus a woman I don't know photo bombing (but in a strange way. )

Mike and Oscar took a walk by the RV's.  Some of them were on display, and it was interesting to go inside.

This week the girls are all on spring break, but I've got a ton of deadlines.  I'm working on a new children's book called "Andy the Alligator" by Peachie T, and finishing the color paintings for "Catch a Dragon " by Ginger Nasser.  Just for fun I can share some of the interior paintings from "Santa Gets Healthy" by Frank Lasorso (a book I've just recently fnished)...

From "Santa Gets Healthy", by Frank Lasorso
Early in the book when Santa feels sick.

From "Santa Gets Healthy", by Frank Lasorso
The decision to get healthy!

From "Santa Gets Healthy", by Frank Lasorso
Skinny Santa with his reindeer.  Soon I'll be working on the cover painting for this one. I've also been selected as a featured artist for the Chalk Art Festival in Tucson.  It's in March 29th and 30th and they want me to do this mural, from a painting I sold a while back...

Night and Day @Carolyn Watson Dubisch
It should be exciting, I've never been down to Tucson!

“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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