Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The books, the bug and learning about cacti

The last few days I've managed to finish my sculpture "Neato Mosquito"

As you can see he's still sitting on my desk.

He's about four and a half feet long and 3 and a half feet wide, which makes him too big for the "away" spot I had in mind.  I can't drop him off at the gallery until March 2nd.

When I hang him for "The Mutant Piñata Show" I'm planning on stringing his wings up in a flying position. Until then, this giant mosquito will perch on my desk.

Yesterday I got some advance copies of my new book!!! YAY!

In other news, it turns out that if you ask a group of four year olds in Arizona if they know what a Saguaro cactus is first they nod eagerly, then they look at you like you're an idiot for asking. It's then followed by a list of cacti, "There's the barrel cactus and it looks like a ball and the desert jewel cactus and it has those things like this, and the organ pipe cactus..... " Ok, ok-you guys know your cacti.  The children in my class have also fallen and sat on numerous kinds of cacti.  At least they all knew just what kind of cactus it was!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Neato Mosquito -my giant bug

In the last few days I've assembled and started painting my Mosquito piñata for this year's "Mutant Piñata show" at The Frontal Lobe Gallery.

I was going to make my piñata smaller this year, and while he is smaller than last year's he's still pretty big for my working space.

Here he is with some underpainting done from the side.

And from the front.

And here I am working on his wings.

The wings flop back and forth and will be suspended in a flying position with fishing line when he's hung at the show.  Anyway I still have quite a bit of painting to go! 

 In the mean time we're loving the perfect weather we get this time of year.  I even switched to shorts the other day after walking outside in the sun. This winter in Phoenix almost makes up for last summer's misery.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The octopus and the mosquito

In the last few days I finished my octopus.  By that I mean I completed my sculpture...

Here he is from the side.. 

... And from above.
  The title of this one is "Reading in The Bath" and it's the first time I had to mimic water in a sculpture.  I was tremendously nervous about it.  I used something called gel wax that can be heated on the stove and solidifies to a clear gel.  It was nerve wracking to pour this on my finished art!

Anyway I've moved on to my next sculpture.  This one is for "The Mutant Piñata Show" at the Frontal Lobe Gallery. It's called "Neato Mosquito" and will likely be very big,  even though I was trying to go a little smaller this year...

Mosquito in progress.

Just the tail.

Many legs. 

I'm trying to get him finished quickly this year so I can keep up with my other sculptures!

In other news I'm back teaching and the kids are back in school.  I also have a new book out...

It's a picture book for kids ages 2 and up!  You can get your copy here.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Snow Tourists and a New Year in San Diego

On New Year's Eve we got up early and headed off in the rain to San Diego.  The storm let off as we entered California then turned to snow flurries when we entered the mountains outside the city.  The snow was thin layer over the mountains and very picturesque.  By then we were in need of a bathroom stop. So we pulled off the highway in a tiny mountain town and there were people everywhere, playing in the 2 inches of snow along the side of the road.

We stopped at a convenience store and people were lining up to buy chains for their cars.  The place was hopping and the really odd thing was that there was barely enough snow to make the road wet let alone have need for chains! Someone had even built a snowman on the roof of their car.  As they drove down the highway it flew off piece by piece. We took a few minutes to walk the dog and then made our way off the mountains towards the coast.

That night at the hotel the power went out.  The four of us (Chloe was at winter camp with her youth group last week) sat in the dark and played a goofy game called "Heads Up!"on Phoebe's phone.  Then as the time approached midnight we drove out to Shelter Island to ring the Yokohama Friendship Bell as was our tradition when we lived in California.

We waited in line only briefly as we were running quite late.  It was one of those moments when you wait all evening to go do something and then all of a sudden you're late!!

Phoebe and Naomi ready to ring in the New Year!

It was rather cold but the sky was clear and 2015 was upon us.

Our hotel was next to dog beach so Oscar spent the next morning running on the sand.

New Years Day we managed to meet up with family.

This restaurant actually allowed Oscar (our dog) in.

It was good for Mike to connect with his father.  

Phoebe in Ocean Beach

On our final day in California we stopped in to visit some old friends.

It was finally warming up like one would expect from San Diego.

All in all it was a great New Year!

Last week I also received my copies of my new children's book.  Too late to send them as Christmas gifts, but it was great to see the publication!

In other news, my octopus sculpture is making great progress, soon he will be ready for my exhibit.

Hope you all have a happy 2015 !!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas in Sedona

This past week we spent in the mountains by the red rocks and energy vortexes of Sedona. The first day we settled into our cabin at the resort.

It was a bit tiny and in the first few hours our cat, Izzy, who we'd brought in the spur of the moment, slipped outside.

We panicked for hours and then she came back in time to drive us all crazy that first night.

The next day we headed over to Tlaquepaque Marketplace to do some last minute Christmas shopping.  It's set up like a Mexican village and is a really nice place to walk around.

A view from the stairs.

The massive T-Rex skull and Chloe admiring a painting in the gallery window.

Dried fruit displays filled the fountains (there's a drought).

Naomi by the rug store.

Chloe in the walkway.

Mike, Oscar and Chloe walking by another gallery.

Mike and Oscar in the courtyard.  We just brought Oscar to a new vet before we left and she told us he is A LOT older than 3 years like we thought.  His teeth indicate a 4 or 5 year old dog and his eyes show him to be 8 or 9 years old.  We're calling him 6 years old now, but it's like he aged dramatically overnight and the kids have been spoiling him.

Naomi resting.

One of the moving sculptures.

Art appreciating by Naomi.

Another moving sculpture.

Phoebe in the wind.

Sisterly love.

Day of the Dead at Christmas!

The marketplace thru an arch.

The reclining buddha.

Statue in the garden.

We stopped that day for lunch in the Secret Garden Cafe.

It was a nice little place and allowed Oscar on the patio with us. 

Much of the days leading up to Christmas were spent shopping and wrapping gifts, but we did manage to try some of the art programs and the yoga classes on offer at the resort.  Also every evening the girls would brave freezing temperatures to sit in the outdoor hot tub and heated pool.  Mike and I only got up the guts one evening before we left.

Christmas eve and Christmas day was spent with extended family, sharing dinner and gifts.

Here's Naomi and Mike's little cousin, who's now 4yrs old (but likes three better) and would only respond if you addressed him as "Secret Agent Man".

And here's a blurry picture of baby Joyce, who's now crawling and pulling up.

Christmas was quite nice, and it was fantastic to see everyone.  Yesterday we returned home after a week away and now have quite a bit to do before we leave again for San Diego next week.  I'm in the middle of building this octopus for my show next year...

And I need to ship out these boxes to an art dealer in Philadelphia.

They'll soon be for sale at S.O.T.A.- Spirit of The Artist on Pine St. !!

I hope you all had a joyful holiday!

"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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