Monday, January 21, 2019

Back to school.New projects and old.


Last night was the lunar eclipse and Phoebe's science homework was to draw five lunar phases. I think it came out beautifully. She really likes both science and art so this was a good fit. In fact she's going to be mentoring with a medical illustration group this semester. She's really excited about it.

This week I finished my new sketchbook for the 2019 Sketchbook Project tour.

As you can see it's called "Kragglepus".

It's a story about a dragon and a boy. The sketchbook will go on tour to 5 or 6 cities in the US and Canada and then go into the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library. I created one last year that toured the country and is available to view online here in the library's collection.

   In other news, I'm back to teaching my art classes. In my Friday art class, one of my 8 year old students was telling me his stepfather is a manager at a Circle K and he's been robbed FOUR times!! Three of them were cigarette robberies.
So I had to ask "What's a cigarette robbery?'
"When they fill a big garbage can with all the cartons of cigarettes."
Pretty crazy right? Sounds like an awkward getaway.

 The good news though is that right now it seems I'm going to be working on a new children's book project. Hopefully we'll get through all the various stages and I'll be able to share some of the work here. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

New masks and a new semester

This is Chloe on her way out the door to the airport. She's flying back to Missouri to finish her junior year at Stephen's College. She had a busy week before hand between finally sorting out her Arizona driver's license, applying to be a student ambassador for her study abroad program, and cleaning out everything she owns to ship back to Missouri. Hopefully she'll have a great semester!

I've been busy as well trying to get my Mask Shop up to speed this week. This is a new cat mask listing I added.

The new jack rabbit mask (yes, jack rabbits really do have big round ears like that!)

And here's the crazy eyeball mask I made at Halloween and have now added as a permanent listing in the store.  Mask sales have been slow with the new year, which is hard because we're in a paycheck gap for about a month with Mike's job at the University.

Anyway I'm back to teaching next week, so here's to a new semester!! Let's make it a good one.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Mexico Road Trip Day 6- Leaving Mexico

NewYear's morning was running around and packing to go. Once we had most everything ready we took Oscar for his morning walk. Standing on an empty corner on a side street, Oscar began to go.
So I said, "Do we really have to pick it up? Is it a law here?"
"I don't know, there's dog feces everywhere... Uh oh!"
"The police are coming!!"

So I look and there's 4  police SUV's coming up the quiet street and pulling up in front of us. A police officer jumps out and stops a young man on a bike directly behind us and three officers push him up against the car.  As more police stepped out of the vehicles, I quickly bent and scooped the poop and quietly walked off under the watchful gaze of one police officer who kept his eyes on us till we turned the corner.

We finally got on our way by 10:00 am

The good news is that Oscar has learned to settle and relax in the car.

The "Buen Viaje" sign as we left Hermosillo.

Entering Santa Ana.

Sculpture near the center of town and where we probably should have stopped for lunch.

Driving through the mountains was beautiful on the way back, but hard to capture with my phone. (I forgot to bring the charger for my camera.)

All through Mexico are these little roadside chapels.

We stopped at this because it just had so many!! As you can see other people stopped too.

This one had an impressive mural inside it.

There were quite a few though.

This mural was next to the road by the circle of chapels.

It was an interesting drive and before long we were at Nogales. Our whole plan had been to get out here and find lunch, but EVERYTHING was closed for the holiday, so we just waited in line for the border. It took a long time.

And they were nice enough to let us back in the country.

From here we raced around Nogales, Arizona looking for bathrooms (which we found at Jack in the Box) and food (we went to Subway). Chloe and Carson handled the drive home, and on our way back the border control checkpoints were open and operating. So lot's of police presence today.
 I have to say I had a great time traveling through Sonora, Mexico and was a little sad to rush home, but our other two girls were returning from camp and life awaits. 

Nos vemos pronto Mexico!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Mexico Road Trip Day 5- New Year's Eve

This apartment we're renting in Hermosillo is really nice. 

It's the first place we've stayed on this trip around Mexico that has extra blankets!!
Big, soft, fluffy blankets. I'm so happy!  I don't know how people in Sonora handle this thing where they have no heat in their houses in the winter. I know the state of Sonora has the same weather as Arizona, so they are thin blooded desert dwellers just like us!

In the morning I took Oscar out for a walk. In this shot you can sort of see the little mountain with the big radio tower that looms over this part of the city.

One of the first things we found was this very new and busy Woolworth store. I haven't seen one of these stores since the 1990's in New York City. At the time I was a poor art student and someone lifted my wallet from me and then gave it back because I only had a dollar. (they said they felt sorry for me!!). So my memories of Woolworths isn't great.

So after the epic dog walk I went out again with Carson and Chloe to find the palace (a gov't building full of murals). Here they are near the plaza.

The two of them in the city.

They bought some things from this wood sculptor.

This is me in the huge gazebo by the cathedral. (centro de el centro!)

The cathedral was an interesting building.

They had this interesting nativity on display. I think it was special for Christmas.

A statue by the cathedral.

And then there was this.... Ummmmm.... interesting statue.

Chloe posing by a statue.

We walked a long way to the plaza but everything was closed, I guess for New Year's eve. I managed to take this picture of the murals through a fence. After walking around and buying comics and other things we headed back.

For the evening we had big plans. We'd go to Parque De Ruina and eat from all the food trucks and drink and celebrate the New Year. Except it was closed. So many things were closed, but we did eventually find a bar that was open and had a drink. We also bought a giant sparkler, thanks to a local guy who wanted to practice speaking English with me.

The city shook with fireworks and explosions as the night went on!

Mexico Road Trip Day 4 - Hermosillo

Our last day morning on the beach was interesting. The wind had died down and a huge flock of pelicans were diving in and out of the water across from the patio.

It was hard to capture in photos how startling it was to watch these huge birds do this.

In this photo you also can see one of the islands. That island has a tribe of indigenous peoples on it. Many gringos (and Mexicans) come here and want to charter a boat to see the islands, but you cannot go to that one unless you have an invitation from the chief.

Anyway we managed to pack up and head out over the mountains before noon. It was an uneventful drive. We arrived in Hermosillo and to our Airbnb in no time. This is our front door and this apartment is gorgeous and right in the city center.

These dogs live on the property and spend a lot of time barking at Oscar. They are sweet dogs, but it's getting cacophonous.

This is a view of the pool, but if you look closely you can see one of the dogs standing on the roof.

Once we were settled we decided to walk the dog and explore.

We pretty quickly found the Parque Madera, which was a good place to walk him.

This is a nice dramatic shot of Chloe and Carson by the fountain.

This vendor in the park seemed to be selling some nice looking second hand clothing.

We bought a variety of Mexican snacks from a vendor.

It was pretty large park, but it was actually quite crowded. Lot's of people out enjoying their Sunday afternoon.

When I'm traveling I try not to take pictures of locals without permission and here it was pretty challenging, so I just took pictures of Chloe and Carson.

And Oscar. Here's a picture of Oscar.

From here we walked into the city center, which was packed with shopping and people and vendors.  Mike likes to take pictures of superhero knockoff toys so here they are. 😛

Then we headed back and collapsed. In the evening we weren't sure how to find a restaurant that would allow the dog (Oscar can't be trusted alone in Airbnb's or hotel rooms), so we decided to take our host's advice and try Uber Eats. (Yes, we decided to try this new service for the first time in a foreign country and in a foreign language! ) Finally after 2 hours we placed an order, but it was great food!!
“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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