Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Radio glitches, painting pictures and breaking things

When we first moved to this condo we purchased some beautiful, and expensive mugs from Pier One Imports.  Little did we know that living in a place with no carpets doomed them to this fate within 3 weeks.....

Every three months or so I now run over to Goodwill and purchase a random collection of  mugs and glasses for 50 cents each.  I think at this point we could fill a dumpster with the mugs we've broken.  This morning I realized we need more….

On Monday morning I hosted another episode of "Art of The Red River".  The station changes have been giving everyone at our network a headache.  There were issues with scheduling and then our music wouldn't cue up.  Fortunately we had some great guests who made the show a success.

Artist and writer AJ Smith joined us to talk about his new children's book, Even Monsters.

We also chatted with Pennsylvania painter Jody Fallon, who shared with us his process that seemed to involve a great deal of wine.

This week Phoebe won a full scholarship to a month long theater camp out in Scottsdale.  She wrote quite an essay and she's super excited!

In the mean time I've been busy teaching and painting.  It turns out that a cut paper project for my 4 year old class on the patio was NOT a good idea on such a windy day. I spent an hour running in circles chasing tiny pieces of paper around, while bewildered children watched their projects fly away. There was way too much running with scissors....

 These are some character designs for "Andy The Alligator's Bayou Adventures", the book I've been busy painting for the last couple of weeks.

In the mean time I've been finishing up some final design and layout work on "Catch a Dragon" by Canadian author, Ginger Nasser.

I really enjoyed painting dragons for this book.  In fact I'm sorry it's almost over. Lastly I've finally signed off on "Santa Get's Healthy" ,  which is  now coming soon....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Springtime and "The Prom Aquatic"

Something I never knew until I lived here is that Phoenix is full of birds. Peeping, chirping, cooing, hooting, chattering, and whistling is all you can hear when walking down a quiet city street, it's like a rainforest. I guess it's not that surprising, Phoenix is an irrigated region full of sheltering trees in the middle of the desert, so birds flock here by the thousands.  The downside is (other than all the poo) I'll see at least 6 dead birds a week just on a walk with my dog.  This time of year is worse. In spring fallen nests are common and tiny corpses litter the ground.

Of course other things happen in spring.  Like prom....

Chloe is only a sophmore, but she's part of the student government, so she planned and help decorate and therefore was required to go to  "The Prom Aquatic".  Here she is on her way out with her friend Jewel.

Since Chloe was on the decorating committee, they arranged for my "Jelly Monster" sculpture to be part of the event.

Since her debut at the Frontal Lobe Gallery, she's been laying under a drop cloth on my patio, so it was nice to have her shown at another event. 

The Prom Aquatic was her last gasp though, and after last weekend she found her final destination.  All good things must come to an end.

This week is teaching, catching up on deadlines and having my kids drive me bonkers.... Between the elementary school science fair, the middle school "invention convention" and my high schooler's first student film I'm about ready to hide under my bed until summer vacation.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Back when things sucked

At least that's what it seems like when you peruse through portraits of people from the Victorian Era.  I know it had much to do with the eternal shutter speed of taking photos at that time.  I'd look miserable too if I had to stand perfectly still for 20 minutes or so.

Of course it was also against the fashion of the time to smile in portraits. At least according to photo journalist Nicholas Jeeves…

 "By the 17th century in Europe, it was a well-established fact that the only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent, and the entertainment."


Sometimes however they didn't smile for a good reason, like in this Postmortem Portrait.

Anyway, way back in 2006 I had my own Victorian portrait taken. (I know what you're thinking,  looking sharp!!). I visited The Brown House Inn in Amsterdam, New York,with my daughters and their Girl Scout troop. They dressed us up in Victorian style clothing and began to teach us proper behavior.  

We then put on a traditional Victorian play. For as their website says...

Plays and puppet shows were popular childhood pastimes in Victorian times, in both humble and wealthy households. Constructing puppets, and putting on shows or learning a play to act out was a "sensible" source of amusement

After the play was "tea time"We all sat down to a formal Victorian tea, and again we all had our roles to play, hostess, honored guests, and maids.  In our roles, some of us poured the tea and gossiped, while the maids stood to serve us.  The girls all wanted to be maids for some reason, I guess there was more to do.

It's interesting how for Victorian people the only documentation of their lives is a handful of stoic photos, when our lives today are documented almost by the minute.  A friend of mine was taking selfies at her father's memorial just a few weeks ago. Hmmm... I guess that's very similar to what they used to do, at least the clothes are better now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pleasantly warm

Last week was "pleasantly warm" and if you read my blog before then you know that's what we call weather in the 90º 's here in Phoenix.

In the beginning  of our pleasantly warm week was "The Madison Bash".  A district wide arts celebration at Phoebe's middle school where she performed as a mime with other members of her theater group.

On Tuesday I taught my art classes out in Scottsdale. One class is outside on the patio with many hot and sweaty 4 and 5 year olds.  The great thing about young children is that a hot day never effects their enthusiasm!  

Thursday was a downer.  Mike flew to Portland, Oregon for the HP Lovecraft film fest, where he promoted many publications and was a featured artist, and our pleasantly warm turned to hot when we hit 100ºF. By Saturday though the weather cooled down again and a comfortable breeze blew across the valley.  Which was really, really good, because on Saturday morning I was scheduled for another chalk festival, this time in Glendale. 

Since Mike was out of town, everyone came with me, including the dog. Everyone wanted to pet him, which was fine at first but then he'd start to feel shy and come sit next to me, walking across the mural on the way.... I wound up cleaning up dog prints at least 5 times.

  Unfortunately, the morning sun was right on us (Phoebe was my designated assistant this time).  I got the sketch down and had only just started with black and yellow, when we took a break for lunch. I decided to see if our shade would get better before continuing.  Of course drawing with black is really filthy work.  I cleaned up as best as I could, but I was not quite ready to dine in the fancy sushi bar my kids picked out for lunch.  After sushi I sent my other 2 kids to the movies and Phoebe and I got to work.  We had plenty of shade now and it went pretty fast.

Here's Phoebe in front of the finished mural.  It's called "Phoenix Rising".

This is an upside-down close-up.  The city is, of course, Phoenix.  I thoroughly researched the city's silhouette online and found it beyond annoying when people walked past saying things like "Look it's a phoenix flying over New York!!"

And this is a photo taken by a tall lady who offered to help me out!

After finishing I took a look at some of the other artists' progress...

This is Linda Harrison Parsons hard at work.

My friend Chris Leon's mural. He came all the way up from Tucson that day!

And some very creepy giant ants by José Ignacio (also from Tucson).  Incredible work, as he was stuck in the sun most of the day! The murals will be on display until the end of the month if you live in the Phoenix area.

By Sunday the weather was back in the 80º's, I picked up Mike from the airport and we spent the afternoon at the theater.  Mike's Aunt Jill and Uncle Ray met us for a naughty puppet show called "Avenue Q"  it was truly hilarious! Happy Monday. :)

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


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...