Thursday, August 30, 2018

Airport runs and school news

I love kids. Anything at all can and does happen. - Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park)

So here she is.... Phoebe! Busy running round Napa with her suite mates. She was competing in a scavenger hunt, where each team had to trade up from a penny to see what they could get. Her team ended with a giant wine bottle worth over $100. This was one of many orientation activities. She calls me and tells me so much that's going on in rapid succession that I almost can't keep up!

She's also sending me pictures like this of her lovely meals. These are NOT your average school lunches. It's a great place and she loves it, but still I miss her.

This week was Naomi's 15th birthday, which we wound up celebrating with just the three of us, since she kept changing her mind on what she wanted to do until the last minute. She made her own fabulous cake and we went to see a movie called "Eight Grade". An amazing movie that I'm not sure anyone with even low levels of social anxiety can handle watching. It was a bit painful for me.

Naomi is in 9th grade online again this term and is back on swim team this semester. Her coach likes and hates her. She's good, but has things to learn and for some reason this causes a rollercoaster of attitude from the coach.

I picked up Chloe from the airport yesterday. She just flew in from Missouri and will be leaving for her semester abroad in Scotland on Monday!! She's quite excited. I took a picture, not because it's so uncommon to be at the airport, quite the opposite. This was the 6th airport run for us since we came back from Ireland (7 weeks ago). I think I'd go bonkers if the airport wasn't 12 minutes away!

Yesterday Mike went in for dental work, and because he said he had anxiety they gave him all the drugs. He was zonked all day and mostly slept after I picked him up. We're getting all our dental work done because Mike has been moved from his full time position at the Academy of Art University to part time and our dental will end at the end of September.

Yes, this is actually real and in Iceland
Because of this and many other things (like all these extra school expenses this semester), we're cancelling our plans to travel to Iceland for an art residency next summer. Even though we pay for these things with grants and things like my professional development fund from my employer, it still costs us in local travel, incidentals, and of course loss of income while we're away. Honestly I'm forever grateful that we had the opportunity to do the residencies we've done, so for now, Iceland will stay a dream. Have a magical weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A journey to Napa

So the day snuck up on me. The day I had to collect Phoebe and bring her to The Oxbow School in Napa, California.

Waiting at Sky Harbor in Phoenix

We were off to an excellent start! We got up on time and hustled over to the airport at 8:35am for our 10:30am flight. Once at the airport things went downhill fast. First they couldn't find our reservation because they spelled our name wrong, then when we finally got through that there was a chaotic line in security.  If that was everything I'd say it all went smoothly but, then there was the first delay. We had to wait till 12:30pm they said because there's fog in San Francisco! Then we had to wait till 1pm, then 2:30pm, and then we finally left around 3:15pm!! So only a five hour delay.

And here we are, finally on board. When we arrived in San Francisco at rush hour we picked up the rental car (Phoebe chose neon blue so we could always find it in a parking lot), and started driving. It was pretty foggy I admit.  After a night in the hotel (I woke up at 5:30am. How do people sleep in hotels?) we headed over to the school for orientation.

The entrance to the Oxbow school, which is close to the downtown in Napa.

Phoebe goofing off by the river that runs next to the school grounds.

The school is actually in a beautiful setting.

I spent some time helping her unpack and set up.

She seemed pretty happy that she was finally at the school.

Here she is with her new roommate who flew in from Minneapolis on her own. I think they hit it off. Anyway, I know she's going to do well, and we're super proud of her for getting the scholarship to this school, but boy was it hard to leave without her. Now I'm moping around the airport missing this kid!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Finishing the mural and Back to school

On Saturday we worked nearly all day on the dragon mural at Desert Ridge Mall. I was in a bit of a panic because I was so far behind schedule.

I worked hard trying to get the dragon looking good because a photographer for a local paper was coming that night to photograph it and me while I worked. Mike came along because Phoebe couldn't make it and we made A LOT of progress.

By 3pm it started looking a lot better, so I decided to go home and clean up before the media people showed up. That night both Mike and Phoebe came along and a lot more was done in a short time!

Here's Mike helping me again on Sunday. I love this man, he had 10,000 things to do and took this time to help me. After this we went to the airport and he flew to San Francisco to shoot drawing demonstration videos for The Academy of Art University (which is where he is now).

And here's a picture Phoebe took of me on Sunday evening, as I finished up. 

Here it is almost finished. There was a pillar in the way, so it was hard to step back and get a good picture. I'm glad I got to do this though, it was like the culmination of my project that I did in Ireland! Also it's amazing to see the entrance gate of Shankill Castle painted here on a building in Phoenix.

That evening we had a little mini celebration for Chloe's birthday a well. Her present from us though is that she's flying back to Missouri to visit her boyfriend before she leaves for Scotland next semester. She flies on Wednesday and Mike is home on Thursday, so I'll be driving back and forth to the airport a lot.

The last few days I've been trying to catch up on mask making and both Naomi and I are "Back to School". Her online classes have started and I'm back teaching after school art at the local elementary schools. It's been a bit hectic (and hot, very hot).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dental surgery, a mural and Phoebe's exciting adventure

A week before Phoebe's school started she was granted a huge scholarship to attend the Oxbow School in Napa Valley. A few months ago she'd applied  to this prestigious art boarding school in Napa Valley and was obsessed with the idea of attending, I'm so glad she'll get to have this chance!

From Phoebe's application

This week I had another procedure at the dentist. Anyway here's a tip; when you're at the dentist for a four hour procedure and he loads to up with nitrous and turns to you and says "So, what do you want to watch on Netflix?" Don't say "Dexter". "Dexter" is the wrong answer.

Anyway while I'm recovering from this I'm painting my mural at Desert Ridge Mall with the Mural Project. A program from The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. The chosen image is from my book project in Ireland, An Caisleán.

This is the window of the empty storefront that we're painting (Phoebe is my assistant this weekend).

We showed up super early to beat the heat and then wound up waiting for the primer paint. This is Phoebe relaxing.

I asked for black paint to prime with, but when they went to the paint store the girl tried to "mix" a black primer and kept adding black to the "tint". (Meaning she was adding black to white and made gray).  Anyway even my youngest students know you don't "mix" a black, and that black and white make gray. I feel a little sad for that girl.

This is where we stopped for lunch yesterday...

We worked last night as well. I forgot to take pictures, but my favorite comment was from a little boy who asked my why I need that ladder. "It makes me taller."
"Well, you need a giraffe, not that!"
"Oh, I guess I could use a giraffe!"

Maybe 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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