Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Clockwork Mouse

This is my "Clockwork Mouse" series of mini paintings for an exhibit in Folkstone's Creative Quarter of Kent in the U.K.  It opens this summer....





       Anyway, the kickstarter for my children's book, "The Hiccup Monster" was a success, and I'm busy working on my next sculpture for my solo show.  Also I've been invited to work another chalk festival in Scottsdale next month.  I hope it's not over 100ºF by then (unlikely though). Happy Thursday!



Monday, April 20, 2015

Another chalk festival, this time in Tempe!

Having the Phoenix Chalk festival this past Saturday meant that the week leading up to it was a jumble of preparation for me.  First I was interviewed for the Arizona Republic on Tuesday, and then I drew on camera for a TV spot on the CBS Morning Show, on Thursday (aired on Saturday, though).

Friday night I taught another paint party for a very nice lady's 50th birthday party.  During the party,  I had an Arizona moment when I realized I was one of three people there that hadn't been stung by a scorpion.  It was a bit alarming.

For the chalk festival I submitted a painting I sold in 2013 called "The Snake Mandala".


I redesigned it to be a square (which is what my space always is).  So it looked like this....


The morning of the festival came all too quickly (and early for a Saturday!). My daughter Phoebe was assisting me this time. We were unfortunately placed in the sun that morning as our umbrella was casting it's shadow in the wrong direction.


Here I am getting started with some base colors on the snake.


Every few minutes we had to take a sun break.  It was pretty hot that morning.

Finally the base colors were done.


Shade crept up on us as we added the details to the snake.

The morning was such a challenge.  Not just because of the sun, but because of our location next to the children's fountain.  Kids were splashing water about 4 feet from where we were working.

Here you can see the children in the background. I moved that trash can there to deflect some of the water.

After a morning of drawing in the sun and repairing water spots from excited toddlers, we were both ready for lunch!

On our way to the Chipotle we stopped to look at Lea Rankin's flower mural.

This is Ian Rankin and his daughter creating a giant trombone on the sidewalk.

After lunch we had shade which was awesome!  Here's Phoebe working on the edge.

Finally very close to our 6pm deadline we finished!

It was quite a relief to be done.  The one day festivals are always epic!  Anyway people kept asking me how long this would be up.  I had to answer that it would be two or three days at best this close to the slash zone!

This is me at the end of the day with Naomi (she came out with the rest of the family to pick us up).

As we left the Tempe Marketplace I snapped this photo of Lea Rankin's flower mural.  It came out pretty good! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Phoebe's play opens!

Last week I shipped off my painted bottle for the recycled art exhibit in Ares, Spain at CPI Conde de Fenosa (a university in the city). I've been accepting into a lot of international shows lately.  I wish I could afford to attend all these openings!!



On Easter morning I took Oscar for a walk around a local canyon in Paradise Valley, when we found a rather gruesome looking bunny's foot....


It didn't seem all that lucky so I left it there (I'm sure there's an Easter Bunny joke here, but I can't think of it.)

This past week we went to see "Parents Just Don't Understand"-The play Phoebe's been directing...

Here's a very blurry photo of her and her co-director Vivian onstage introducing the show (I took 7 shots and this was the best one!!).

From act one this is a scene that Phoebe directed about a nervous Dad giving his daughter a driving lesson. (She also designed and painted that backdrop behind them).

And another scene from act two called "The Talk" about a Dad and his son. The show was hilarious and the actors did a great job even though the kids ate some bad bagels in the hours before going onstage. Many of them were vomiting between scenes!! I couldn't believe how professionally they handled it.

Here's Phoebe after the show!!
 (Fortunately she only ate a little and just got a bit queasy.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Back to Tucson

Last week was eventful in the usual ways.  Trying to catch up on work and teaching after being away.  I did manage to finish my huge sculpture called "The Penguin Inside".

This is a crappy photo of it on my desk.  I don't have the space or lighting in our apartment to get a good shot of it.

Also Naomi decided to radically change her hairstyle for the sweltering summer that is already creeping in around here (yes, it's in the 90's!)...
Anyway it's chalk festival time again and early Saturday morning I rolled out of bed and dragged Naomi out to the car.  We were off to Tucson to create another chalk mural for their big 2 day festival.

This time I submitted a digital sketch (meaning I created a composite and played with it in photoshop).  It's called "Desert Cat" and looked like this....
This was not a picture I'd ever physically drawn (usually I work it out on paper or recreate a painting that I've done), so I was a bit nervous.

Anyway after an hour or two we were going strong. Without thinking about it too much I put 4 whiskers on the left and three on the right.  I hadn't noticed or cared at this point but later on a woman kept coming by, just begging me to fix it.  She obviously had OCD or something... It was driving her nuts. She was so adamant, but because I would have had to crawl across the drawing, I never did.

Me, busy shading his shoulder.

Around this point in the drawing a tiny, little boy came up behind me and said "IT'S A SQUIRREL!".  So I said "You're right!!" and his mother looked at me and said "Really?" 
"Ummm, no, not really."

Anyway, this is where we were when we stopped for lunch.

On our break we took a look at some of the other art...

Naomi loved Marisa Salazar's owl drawing.

This is my friend Matt Cotton starting his Grizzly bear mural.

A nice little drawing in the kid's zone.

Another one by spectators in the kid's zone.

From there we headed to the food court where the pizza place served her most of the pie when she asked for a slice.


On our way back to our site I snapped this photo of Wesley Fawcett Creigh's mural.
About 2 hours later we decided to stop for the day.
It was around this point that people kept commenting how cool it was that we made our mural match the wall behind us. (That was a surprise!)
Before we left for the hotel, we took another walk around.  This is Matt making more progress on his bear.


Gina Ribaudo's Day of The Dead mural looked fantastic out in the courtyard.

Back at the hotel we had an incredible view of Tucson from the 8th floor.  From here you can see the hot tub that we headed straight to.  I was pretty sore after drawing on the pavement all day.

The next morning we were back at it.  Here's Naomi finishing her work on the background.


 A lot of the kids at the festival were impressed with Naomi's skills and amazed she was only in 5th grade.
 We finally finished around 12:30pm on Sunday!
I let Naomi do the final step of removing the tape -she was just itching to do it.
 And here it is... "The Desert Cat"!!
Before we drove all the way back home to Phoenix, we took a last look at the other murals....
 Linda Harrison Parsons was still busy with her mural.


 Jose Ignacio Garcia had finished his 3D scorpion and it looked amazing!

Reuben Moreno's image was coming along.
Martin Quinatanilla was nearly done as well.
Anyway it was a great event and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again for the Phoenix Chalk festival on April 18th.  I was just notified that I'll be at the Tempe Marketplace this time!


"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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