Monday, May 25, 2015

Last Days of school and chalk art in Scottsdale

A little over a week ago Phoebe completed 7th grade and has been hanging about the house, writing list after list of things to pack for her big trip to Washington DC.  She's going with her school and will be leaving at 4am tomorrow morning!!  She's a bit excited to say the least.

On Thursday Naomi joined her on summer break and has been reading one book after another, and prepping for her big summer trip to Seattle, Washington to visit my brother and sister-in-law. She's really excited and will be flying all on her own for the first time!

Chloe is finishing her Junior year, and still has three more days of school left next week. She has finals and the SAT coming up on June 6th, but still took time to assist me this weekend at the Fairmont resort in Scottsdale for their Carnival themed chalk festival.


Since the images had to be "Boardwalk" themed, I scrolled through illustrations I already created instead of designing anything new.  I decided to try and recreate 2 images from my short film...


It was only about 87ºF on Sunday so we lucked out considering it's late May.


Here I am working on the first mural.


Here it is in progress.


                These murals were smaller than I usually do, but we had to do two in one day, so it added up to more work in the end.


This is my only picture of Chloe working.  She was a great assistant though.



Unfortunately this is my best shot of the final mural we did that day.


Again, not great photos but here you can see both murals complete.

Chalk artists had been coming in all weekend.  These are some of the best finished murals I saw...

A ferris wheel at night.


The elephant on the unicycle.


And this candy apple mural photographs amazingly well!

Anyway, I have some kids who need help packing, have a great holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Birthdays in San Diego

Last weekend was another trip out of town.  This time we brought the whole family to San Diego for my father-in-law's 70th birthday, (which was my birthday as well).


This is Mike and his Dad, Russ in Pacific Beach. Unfortunately Russ in late stage Alzheimers.


Here he is with Chloe and Phoebe. As you can see we brought the dog who offered much needed comic relief every time we dragged him into the elevator at the hotel.  He was particularly hilarious when we had to go up the glass elevator to our 5th floor room!


Mike, Phoebe, Russ, Oscar and Chloe when we were wandering around Pacific Beach.


Phoebe and Chloe in the restaurant in Little Italy waiting for food.


It was also Russ and Claudia's wedding anniversary, so we gave them this "Kitty Cat Ying/Yang" pillow from my online store (they really like cats.)


Mike's older brother Rob was there for dinner.  Here he is sitting with Naomi.


Here is Russ holding his card.  I don't think he can read anymore, he couldn't even open the gifts himself.


There were gifts for me as well.  Unfortunately this blurry picture of Naomi and I is the only one of me all weekend.


And here's a good shot of Naomi at the restaurant. :)


After dinner we went back to their apartment.  Claudia got out this 12 string guitar that Russ made (he's actually made a few) and played some music he'd recorded years ago. Listening to him sing and sound like the person he once was, was nothing less than devastating for us all, especially Mike.  Russ was a physicist and worked for NASA years ago, now he can't remember his wife half the time. This was the saddest birthday I've ever celebrated. 


When I got home I received my compact in the mail.  I ordered it to see how it would look. This is my "Moon and Stars" painting printed onto it.

I have to say this product looks amazing!

Anyway, this week I've been finishing up my sculpture for my solo show...


It's called "Clock Tower"


Unfortunately it was hard to get a complete photo of it.


Anyway my solo show is in August and I'm in a mild panic about getting all my large sculptures done!  Hopefully I will get on the ball and get 2 more done this coming month.

 Yesterday we saw Chloe onstage at "Fruitful" in The Little Theatre downtown.  It was a five minute play festival and Chloe's performance in "Drama Queens" was fantastic.  We laughed all the way through. Photography wasn't allowed but I'm hoping to share a video clip of it here in the future (fingers crossed!).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

H. P. Lovecraft in San Pedro, California... (Again!)

Last weekend we did something rather daring.  We left our children in charge and went to San Pedro in the LA area for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival... Just Mike and me!!!

Outside the Warner Grand Theater



It was sort of astonishing to find ourselves without responsibilities... No kids, no pets, and Mike wasn't even running a booth to sell his books and art this time.  So we slept late, used the hotel hot tub and watched the films.

The restored ceiling of the theater


Not that the weekend was uneventful.  I did manage to get ticket leaving Arizona.  My registration is slightly expired (I sent it in!! I did, but they sent my check back saying I needed an emissions test, and well I haven't gotten round to that.)


This is Mike posing with a creepy baby creature he designed for a short film called "Stay at Home Dad".


Cthulu lurks overhead during a reading.


A better photo of the baby creature prop.

Mike posing with the Siamese monster, another prop from one of the films. 

As guests for the event we were brought out to dinner and had access to the open bar in the theater.  At the special dinner there was a British actress from one of the films.  She had started drinking during the meal.  After dinner Mike and I watched a couple of films and then went back to the hotel to relax a bit before the "Super Secret Late Night Screenings" event thing.  When we got back I saw the actress again.  It seems she had been drinking for hours.  Right before the screening and live show she went to where the dancers were changing, stripped off her dress and and walked out naked in front of the screen.  Someone managed to get her dressed and home, but it was the talk of the festival!

On the last day Mike was competing in the Pickman's Apprentice Art competition...


Here he is drawing next to wood cut artist Liv Rainey Smith.  The theme they were assigned was Tsathoggua changing a tire (Tsathoggua is the toad god from Cthulu mythos).



Mike's finished sketch

Here he is adding color.

He had to go from concept to finish in 90 minutes, which is all pretty intense.

 Here is artist Liv Rainey Smith inking her finished carving for print.  Her process is awesome to watch!


Mike trying to finish on time.


This is Liv's finished carving and print!  I love her work and interviewed her once on our radio show Art of the Red River!

And this is Mike's finished painting (though I don't think he considers it done).  Both artists were great to watch!

It was such a great weekend! I even managed to get my painting done on my down time...


This is called "I Wish For Fish".  It's for an exhibit at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in New York City.  The exhibit is called "What do you wish?".

Coming home was a bit worrying as I'd never left my 16 year old in charge for so long, but all was well when we arrived (my youngest, Naomi, said it was really my middle child that ran things.-She made meals and cleaned up, and organized who would walk the dog each day).  Anyway they all seemed well.  Today, I need to keep working on this....

This is my giant "Clock Mouse".  The biggest sculpture so far for my solo show in August, and now Mike is doing some more creature design for a feature length film!  More film festivals I think are in my future. :)

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! 
"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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