Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Matsuri Fest and getting back on my feet

A couple weeks ago was the big Japanese festival downtown aka "The Matsuri Fest".

At the time I wasn't really feeling up to it, but I was tired of being home sick and trying to keep up mask orders and teaching and everything else, so we went out. Also I should mention this is the most beautiful time of year here in Phoenix and I hate missing it!!

We parked around the corner by the Science Museum and these huge bronze bug sculptures were outside. So of course we took pictures!

Some of them were attacking tiny people!

Naomi walking by the bugs.

The festival was packed as usual, but we did see this incredible Japanese drumming group perform. After the show they said they give me a free CD if I could answer their trivia question. So I gave it a shot ... "What is the capital of New York?"
 Laughing I said "Albany!" (we used to live there). So cool new CD.  

We also wandered through the bonsai area, sampled Japanese cuisine, and I just had to buy this:

It's a disposable bidet (or as the lady standing next to me proclaimed "It's a bum wash!!").

We had a good day out, but I was exhausted. The next day I found out why at the clinic. I had pneumonia. After a week of postponing obligations, canceling classes, and of course taking antibiotics. I'm starting to feel better.

Last weekend though, with my mask store offline, I decided to refurbish these bookends we bougth at a thrift store.

This is before painting.

This is after painting. I went for an Alice in Wonderland feel.

They came out quite nice, I even added felt on the bottom.

Anyway I'm feeling much better and yesterday I started my Artist Residency at Copper Canyon Elementary School. I'm running mask making workshops with the children all month between my other teaching. The staff and kids were incredibly welcoming, so I'm quite excited!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The sick house

I've been sick for nearly three weeks. I wanted to pretend it was just a cold, but now I think it may be the flu.

Last weekend Phoebe had two caricature jobs for 2 nights in a row. then she had an overnight with her youth group. Then, she came home sicker than I'd seen her in a long time. I brought her to the clinic and the physician jumped up and put on a mask before she finished greeting us.

Anyway, she tested positive for strep and is on antibiotics, and now Mike was up all night vomiting! At least Naomi seems fine....

Having our new cat be missing was getting everyone down, so we wound up adopting this little kitten. His name is Gigi.

He's only 6 months old and is a ball of energy. We're so paranoid now about disappearing cats that we put a bell on him, so he jingles his way around the house all day and night.

He chases Oscar's tail a lot, so even though he's five times his size, Oscar is afraid of him (silly dog).

Hopefully these colds will pass soon. Have a great weekend to all my friends!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Phoebe's application and another vanishing cat

This week my high schooler, Phoebe finished a project she's been working on all year. It's a self portrait for her application to the Oxbow school.

I'm just floored by how beautiful it looks all together. She eliminated something like 20 other images that were nearly as great.  Oxbow is a visual arts boarding school in the mountains near San Francisco, where students attend for 1 semester of high school. They offer many scholarships and hopefully Phoebe will be so lucky. Either way I'm really proud of all the work she did!

In other, sadder news our new cat, Rorschach, has vanished. He must have gotten outside. We've been searching and posting signs, but no luck. It's been pretty disheartening. I also have a lovely head cold, which is making things a bit on the miserable side.

I do have some good news though. Right now I'm making some monster masks for Sean Penn's new show on Hulu. Pretty exciting resume stuff. Also prepping for my teaching artist job next month at Copper Canyon Elementary. I'm running mask making workshops with the kids there and introducing them to my work. So March will be a busy teaching month worked around my usual teaching schedule.

Anyway, have an excellent Thursday!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Drawing in the Gardens and the Woman's March in Phoenix

Last week we picked up some passes to the Japanese Friendship Gardens right here in Phoenix.

It's literally right down the road and this is the first time we've gone over!

At the entrance they sold us some fish food. We only bought one bag as I was focused on my goal, which was to draw from life here.

Feeding the koi fish was surprisingly entertaining though.

The fish swarmed with their mouths gaping. They were a throbbing mass in the water.

The fish are actually quite large. Here you can see them compared to a duck on the surface. The ducks liked to swoop in and grab the fish food.

We took a look at some of the monuments and found a spot to draw.

This is a drawing I did of the pond

Mike's drawing of the waterfall.

And Phoebe's drawing of everything!

Also last weekend we participated in the Woman's March at the capital.  On social media I've seen a lot of backlash about people marching so in response this is my list of why I decided to go:

1. I believe women should get the same pay for doing the same job as a man.
2. I think women should get the same care and attention to their needs and concerns in medical facilities as men do.
3. I think the police should properly investigate the disappearance of large numbers of Navajo and Hopie Indian women.
4. I think women should get paid maternity leave in this country that lasts at least 3-6 months.

It was packed full of people marching.

Me walking in the sun.

Another shot of people marching.

A gathering of Navajos and other native peoples.

Oscar found a quiet hill to sit on.

In other news I've finished up making the last of the musical instruments from Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Fish Accordion 

Sax from behind

The Saxophone

So now I'm back to teaching and making masks most of the time. Last week in my classes I introduced oil painting to elementary school kids!! It went surprisingly well.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Rorschach the mystery cat and our next adventure is set in stone

On New Years Eve in a burst of weakness on our part and sympathy for our daughter we went ahead and adopted a new cat from a PetSmart rescue group. Rorschach was an 8 year old black cat, who's adoption fee had been waived due to his age and color (black cats are hard to adopt out. People are still weird and superstitious them). Mike and I had seen him 2 weeks earlier while shopping and hoped he'd be in a home for Christmas, but alas there he sat in his cage on New Year's Eve. He'd been in a cage for 2 months.

The first week in our place he hid constantly. The second week we ran out of food for him so we bought new food that gave him the runs. He made an effort to use the box but also used Naomi's carpet near where he'd been hiding. So now we've been scrubbing and scrubbing but the carpet may be a goner. Anyway I hope he comes out of hiding soon. He is getting better.

Chloe flew back to Missouri into the cold.

She said they had an ice storm yesterday, but her new classes are going well.

I'm super busy with finishing these musical instruments from Nightmare Before Christmas for a client.

This one is finished but two more to go!

I've also recently finished my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. This was so much fun, I'm looking forward to doing another one!

The big news is that I've bought our tickets to Ireland for our art residency at Shankill Castle. We are SOOOO  excited!! Here's to 2018!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 -A most fabulous year!

Young Simba in progress

From head dresses for the Lion King

Scar finished

To crazy cow skull masks for a film in California.

My mask shop kept me very busy as the year began. I'm never doing just one thing though. I was also  teaching art to the children in this region and was gathering support and funds for my summer artist residency in Morocco. 

In May I traveled with my family across the globe to Tétouan, Morocco to work at Green Olive Arts on my sculptural installation "Night Over Tétouan".

Working at Green Olive Arts

The sculpture and our time there was a smashing success and was truly a life changing summer for all of us.

Night Over Tétouan un the the black light
It was an amazing journey exploring Morocco and meeting other artists and people from all over.

Drinking smoothies in M'diq, Morocco

This year I kept up with more than just teaching and mask making, I also continued with street painting for various events....

"The Moon Cat" at Phoenix Chalk Art Festival
I even traveled to the International Festival in Florida and met artists from all over the world.

Circling Fish at the Sarasota Chalk Art Festival, Florida

With Mike and I accepted into an artist residency at Shankill Castle in Ireland for summer of 2018 we have so much to look forward to this coming year, and we're so thankful!

Shankill Castle, Kilkenny County, Ireland

Tonight for New Years Eve we're following our annual tradition of catching the new Star Wars movie! As we enter into 2018, I'd like to wish you all a

Happy New Year!!

"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


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...