Sunday, June 30, 2019

A week of sick and the Noah's Arc Opera

   As June comes to a close things have been pretty hectic around here. Phoebe came home from her trip with quite the head cold. She's been pretty miserable this week trying to keep up with her internship, the paintings for her GoFundme , and a preliminary online course she has to complete before leaving for Yale. Unfortunately, both Naomi and I also got sick this week as well.

     This of course means that a massive order came in to my mask store. It's for a Noah's Arc Opera in New York and boy do they need a lot of masks... fast!! So just like Phoebe, I pushed through and so did Naomi (as my primary studio assistant.)
     I also have been organizing, donating and selling as many things as I can for our upcoming move.

   I'm really happy to say that I sold my "Radioactive Cats" painting to a buyer in Florida!
This is exciting for 2 reasons. It's really big and I painted it 24 years ago and have moved all over the country with it. I originally found the canvas discarded in Albany, New York. It had a red, blue and yellow stain on it where someone's experiment went very wrong. I painted over it but the stains kept bleeding through so I turned them into glowing cats. Anyway I'm so glad that it has a new home. In the meantime I have a lot more art to sell so if you're interested keep an eye on eBay!


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

10 weeks to change your life

So a lot has been happening for us in the last year. Mike's employer at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco has reduced his hours and now has left him with no classes to teach this summer (due to enrollment issues, not anything to do with him).  Without his income this summer we'll be scrambling to afford our life in this city, so this means is that our long term plan to move to Mexico is now on a fast track.

At the end of August we'll be leaving Phoenix and heading to Mazatlán, Mexico on the Pacific coast.

We're already booked in a temporary apartment for 3 months and will begin a search for a long term  apartment once we arrive. Also I'll be switching to teaching online as well now that I have my TEFOL certification (though it may take me some time to find a job).  We'll also continue making and selling our art online and for clients.

So in 10 weeks we pack up our life and head south.
¡Hasta Luego!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

More flights and Chloe's sketchbook project

On Thursday morning Phoebe left for her flight to San Francisco. A friend from her semester at The Oxbow school in Napa was turning 18. She was going to come visit us, but Phoebe advised her that visiting Phoenix in June is less than ideal, so they flew Phoebe out there. She comes home today, which is good as Phoebe has so much to do before she leaves for Yale, including an entire medical illustration internship over at St Joseph's hospital.

Chloe is also away, back in Missouri, knocking herself out working 2 jobs and while keeping an ear open for tornado warnings. When she was home she shared with me some pages of the sketchbook she's working on for "The Sketchbook Project" at the Brooklyn Art Library in New York.

It's entirely in black and white and I think it's coming out beautifully!

It's really something to see.

She put roses on every page.

She wasn't finished but I'm looking forward to seeing it complete!

In other news I finished my 120 hour TEOFL course this week, which means I'm certified to teach English as a foreign language now. There are a lot of opportunities to do this online and with money so tight I  will give it a go. Also I started teaching my Saturday drawing class and the lesson was designing Moroccan tiles. It was great fun to teach about something I'd seen made first hand!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Last Days in Mexico and the trip home

Mike in the Latin American Art Museum

Our last day in Centro Histórico we spent exploring and drawing. 

We wandered through the Museum of Latin American art. This city seems to have museums on every corner and this one was free.

The museum also had this incredible drawing by Diego Rivera. It was so massive for just a sketch.

Over by the Zócalo was this bizarre sculpture of the Pope merged with an image of the Virgin Mary. It was so strange looking I had to photograph it!!

This is inside the Cathedral, one tiny corner actually. The cathedral was stunning inside.... STUNNING!!!

My drawing from one of the many cafe's 

      On our last night we are walking near the Bellas Artes museum at night in the rain. The streets are busy because they always are in Mexico City. I point out to Mike a woman on a bicycle crossing the busy intersection. She has a little girl on the back in a seat with no harness, just holding on to her Mom.
Mike says "Well that looks..."
Then the woman hit a grating on the street and the bike flipped forward. She hit the ground and the girl went flying. In an instant they were surrounded by a crowd of people helping them up, checking them.

     Early Thursday morning we rose at 3am and rushed over to check in at the airport for what was changed by the airline to a 6:30 am flight back. They told us our flight was tomorrow!! They changed the date as well. So we went ahead and booked a night at the airport hotel. When we arrived they told us we couldn't check in until 2pm!! 8 hours. So here's Mike camped out in the lobby as his stomach flu hit.  Around 8 am they took pity on us and checked us in.

While Mike was crashing on the couch I took this photo of the fabulous looking hotel pool before sunrise.

Most of our extra day was spent sleeping and I drew this from our balcony. Mike was desperately trying to get feel better before we had to leave the next morning. We also watched a lot of Star Trek Discovery.

This is from the window of the plane at dawn.

The rainy mountains after takeoff.

In Guadalajara Airport

From there it was a one hour flight to Guadalajara where we spent our long layover. Fortunately we still had some Star Trek to watch and Mike and I were both still feeling queasy. Eventually we landed in Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix and made our way home.

Mexico City was a great adventure. ¡Nos vemos pronto!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Luchadore Anniversary

The first anniversary is paper, I know that because the masks I make in my etsy store are paper mache and people order them all the time for this! Anyway for our 25th Anniversary we went with luchadors!

       Here we are in a park in barrio Roma before the event. We showed up an hour early so we could walk the neighborhood and get dinner. The restaurants in this part of town were plentiful and really nice! We actually had fish and chips, which believe it or not was a great idea! Some of the best food we'd tried. Definitely as good as any fish and chips we had in Ireland last summer!

I scheduled a workshop on making a luchador mask before the match, because as a mask maker I had to try this.

Before we started Fernando, our host gave us a history of the Luchador. Apparently each wrestler's mask is their whole identity. Unmasking him would ruin his whole career.  In this shot you can see I decided to make a cat mask, in honor of our many friends in our residence on this trip.

Nearly finished, but before I added black stripes.

Mike of course created a Cthulu mask, "Cthuluchador".

Surprisingly these masks looked pretty good!

It was great fun, as I hadn't made any masks in a week. 

Then it was off to the match! (Here we are in the arena)

The show starts with women wrestlers. The crowd was wild for these luchadoras!

It was one match after another. The crowd and energy was incredible, they kept yelling out "Gordo!" to this guy in the red because they thought he was fat. He was definitely a presence!

    This wrestler was just introduced and he waves to the crowd from the ropes. The dancers behind him always helped with the introductions (those girls had so many costume changes it was hard to keep up!)

As you can see the masks and costumes were incredible. This wrestling "little person" had the most impressive bird mask on. Don't be fooled by his size, this guy was fierce!

Anyway we had a fantastic night and anniversary. Starting to feel sad as we are coming to the end of our time in this surreal and magical place.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Urban sketching and a day in Coyoacán

We spent a second day with our friend, Jorge, in Coyoacán, a barrio that is filled with art, beautiful parks and many authentic markets.

Mostly we spent some time in the central square.

My fountain selfie (sorry I'm not very good at selfies).

The central square had many artists set up to sell their work and paint.

This surrealist artist was incredible. His name is Gustavo Verduzco Juårez. Also a very nice guy.

Other than meeting artists and browsing the many markets I did go ahead and try a local snack.

Yes, those are grasshoppers. People seem to eat them by the handful. I tried one, and it was sort of spicy and crunchy, but I could feel all the bug parts in my mouth and couldn't stop thinking about it!

We've also been continuing our project of urban sketching around the city.

This is Mike's drawing from the back of a cathedral.

My drawing of a statue

My drawing of the same cathedral

We've also done so much walking around this incredible city. This is Mike walking through Barrio Chine (china town).

China town is just a few blocks from where we are staying.

This is another of the many elaborate cathedrals built by the Spanish. If you look closely at these buildings you can see most of them are tilted because they are sinking. Jorge told us that the Spanish did not understand how to build here and these building are way too heavy.

On a spooky bench.

Mike on a weird bench.

We've been spending time painting inside the historical building called Casa Borda, where we are staying. Now the cats that live here love us. This one is really sweet.

This is my painting inside the building on the second floor.

Anyway we are loving this city and the people are very kind. It's astonishing that a city with 25 million people can be so incredibly clean! ¡Hasta luego!
“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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