Monday, May 2, 2016

Drawing Cats in Glendale

This weekend Mike and Naomi left for L.A. to go to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulucon. Mike had numerous events he was involved in, Naomi really likes movies, and someone had to deliver my mask for the show....

Here's Mike organizing his things before he headed out. 

In the mean time I was booked to draw my painting "Cats in The Orange Tree" for the Chalk Art festival in Glendale....

This painting is one that's part of a permanent collection in a gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia now, but I painted it for an exhibit there last May. 

Phoebe came with me and worked as my assistant all day. She was great and compensated for the fact that I was wiped when I arrived that morning. I had gotten up at 5am to complete and ship a rush commission on a raccoon mask. 

I really did like working at the Westgate Entertainment Center in Glendale. They checked on me frequently to see how I was, and even gave us an awning which helped us so much from the sun.

This is where we stopped at lunch. It was about now that it began to sprinkle.  Yes- it was raining!! In Phoenix!! So now I was REALLY happy about our awning. When it comes to chalk art, I don't care if it gets washed away, I just want the chance to finish it!

Here's Phoebe working on the blue while I took a break.

Once I drew in those cats, the public became quite unpleasant to be around. We had people watching and meowing at us for almost three hours while we finished. I will never draw cats in public again.

Here it is finished!!

Here it is from the side. As you can see I had a half bricks/half concrete surface. I think we pulled it off okay though! An hour after we left, Glendale was hit with some downpours. If this isn't gone by now I'm sure it's very blurry!

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Wibler Whately Mask and driving lessons

For the last couple of weeks I've been slowly building the largest mask I'd ever been commissioned on....

It's a Wilber Whately Mask. This is a creature from H.P. Lovecraft's writings and will be part of a two person costume for a performance in LA.

It's supposed to be a mutant baby face, and look very grotesque. 

The rest of the costume is being constructed in LA for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival next weekend. Mike and Naomi are attending and will deliver it for me. 

While they're at the film festival, Phoebe and I will be recreating my painting "Cats in the Orange Tree" as a large chalk mural up at the Westgate Entertainment Center in Glendale for the citywide Phoenix Chalk art Festival. This is one of the hardest festivals because the city has started heating up. Usually it's in the mid nineties and we spend part of the day in the sun.

Also next weekend Chloe will be directing her play. She's one of the directors of the five minute film festival at her school. Hopefully I'll get lots of pictures!  

The last few weeks we've started teaching Chloe to drive. I've been nervous about it, as the first day I drove, I mixed up the pedals and slammed the family car into the tree in our front yard. My dad cracked the windshield with his head and the whole front end was destroyed.... So Chloe took her time learning to drive and we hired an instructor for her first time out. 

Unfortunately for her first drive it turned out she was suffering from a full blown case of strep throat and was a bit delirious. The second time I took her, and she found the brake and used it... A lot, but that's better than slamming on the gas. Mike took her yesterday and he said she's pretty good, so I guess she's getting better fast, but the experience of teaching a teen to drive in our only vehicle has been agonizing. Anyway since she's heading away for college in the fall I want her to have some driving experience. Possibly even a license! I wish this city didn't have quite so many crazy drivers though....

In other news Mike's comic " I am a Barbarian" debuted on The Edgar Rice Burroughs site at EdgarRiceBurroughs.com

 It looks fantastic and a new page goes up every week in English and Spanish!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Covered in blue

Beneath The Waves by Carolyn Watson Dubisch
Early Saturday morning, Mike, Naomi and I set out for Tucson to work The Park Place Chalk Festival. I'd been selected to recreate my painting "Beneath The Waves" at the event. This painting was inspired by my friend, Blaire Allen's story of rowing in New York Harbor when a massive sea turtle swam under his tiny boat, so I was enthusiastic about creating a huge version for the public.

Since I'd only had my surgery 10 days ago, Mike wanted to come and help to make sure I was alright. Naomi agreed to assist as well, so I had a team this time! This was my space when we arrived.

We'd already done so much by lunch with 3 of us! 

This was a good thing, though, because for the first time since I'd started doing these chalk events we were expecting rain on Sunday! Better to get as much done as we could.

Anyway, after lunch we decided to walk around and see other artists and some of the public drawings...

This is the Kid's Zone.

 Gina Ribaudo's horse mural.

I loved this chameleon.

A fabulous elk by Matt Cotten.

This "Starry Night" was recreated by a member of the public!

 More great art by the public.

After lunch all three of us started in with the blue. This image had A LOT of blue water and we were all very, very blue by mid afternoon.

       One thing that was interesting is that most people wanted to talk to Mike. They thought that of course the man that was here was in charge. I didn't care that much, but Mike muttered a lot about our sexist society. 
   Anyway people liked to talk to me at the mural, but when I wandered through the mall to wash up in the ladies room covered in blue chalk, most people quickly steered their kids away when they saw me coming.
This is where we ended on Saturday. We didn't leave much for Sunday because of the coming rain.

This other artist from Phoenix finished Saturday night she was so worried about the storm.

Ignacio also finished his 3D ant that night, but said he'd come back to photograph it melting in the rain.

This is our closest neighbor to our spot. Stan worked on his 3D shoes until midnight on Saturday so he'd finish in time before the downpour. They look fabulous. He also brought plastic and gave us some to cover it when we finished.

Here we are finishing on Sunday,

Cleaning up at the end.

The finished mural, "Beneath The Waves"

Close-up of Mike's awesome boat!

Mike and Naomi at the end.

Mike pulling tape.

Naomi at the end.

Signed by all of us.
We left it uncovered for a while, but with the storm coming we had to cover it before we left....
As we drove out of town the rain hit us fast and hard and two hours later we were drenched running in from the car to our front door back in Phoenix.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Under the knife

This week I had my first ever MRI, which if you've never had one my advice is say "Yes, I'm claustrophobic!",  because if you aren't you will be by the end of it all. When I was in the ER a few weeks ago they had found a lump on my liver, and now I know that that lump is BENIGN!! YAY! When my mother was my age she'd already been fighting cancer for 5 years, so I pretty much thought this might be it for me....

On Wednesday they removed my gallbladder. It's an out patient procedure, but it's been a painful recovery so far. I made the huge mistake of watching a vid of the procedure on Youtube yesterday. Never, ever do that!! There was a lot of horrible ripping going on with serrated, metal clamps....UGH!

During recovery I have some art commissions to keep me distracted, and today I'm trying to get off the narcotics they prescribed me and stick with ibuprofen (still hurting quite a bit though). I need to be back teaching though next Thursday and a week from tomorrow I'm booked in Tucson for a chalk festival event. Should be no problem, creating chalk murals is only insanely physically grueling....Crap.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chloe's journey to Greece and upcoming events

This has been spring break for my kids all week long. Chloe left for her big trip to Greece with her class early last Saturday morning.

We worked hard to make the payments for her trip of a lifetime. Someday we can only hope to see Europe as well....

Here she is on the right, writing in her journal at dinner on the cruise ship that toured the Greek islands.

Looking groggy as they tour a site on one of the islands.

It looks like an amazing trip.

I'm sure we'll hear all about it on Monday when we pick her up.

She did tell us though that she was down to only five euros for the next few days! They sabotaged her by stopping in at a book store. At least some of her meals are pre-paid!

In other news I've been selected to recreate my painting "Beneath The Waves" at the Park Place Chalk Art festival in Tucson. The event is April 9 and 10th. Hopefully this will all work out as I'm meeting with my surgeon this week to schedule my gallbladder removal very soon. With any luck I'll be up and recovered enough to pull it off!

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Mutant Piñata Show, a day in the ER and a return to the Renaissance Fair

Last Friday night was the opening of "The Mutant Piñata Show" at the Chartreuse Gallery downtown.

And this is me, posing with my submission, "Kissy Fishy". I was thrilled to discover she had sold when I arrived at the show.

Apparently the buyer will be hanging her from the high ceiling of his townhouse!

The show had some great submissions. Naomi liked the ugly faced fish.

Not all of them hung up!

This flower one was awesome.

It's an excellent show this year and is up for the rest of the month!

Saturday morning I woke up with A LOT of pain. I've been in and out of urgent cares for a while now trying to figure out what was going on. This time I went to the ER. I was there all day getting tests. Finally I know that I have gallstones and need an operation. There's also a small mass on my liver so more tests for that. Unfortunately my doctor can't even see me until March 21st when he'll refer me to a surgeon, then I need an appointment with him... this is all going to take a while. 

Since I'm not one to hide out because of some pain (also the ER gave me drugs), we went to the Renaissance Fair the very next day!

Of course, straight away we headed to the bathrooms.

Quite honestly this was the perfect day for the fair. Not too hot and even some clouds in the sky.

A nice quaint shot of the village ruined by the lady on the left staring at her cell phone.

This is a man who did sculptural portraits while you sit for 15 to 20 minutes. It was pretty amazing.

Mike and I handed the kids some cash and wandered the fair alone. Keeping track of three teens in this setting was such a headache last year! This worked so much better!!

Me by the climbing wall.

Here you can see the pretty canyon behind the fair. Arizona is always a stunning backdrop!

One of the "processions".

We met up with the kids at the joust. This is the red rider that we cheered for incessantly.

This is the blue rider who we passionately booed at (except for Phoebe who felt bad). This was decided by our seating, we sat in the red section. :) Anyway our guy won!!

A long day at the fair was well spent. Have a fabulous week.

"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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