Sunday, February 27, 2011

Painting the "Jungle of Nool"

This week we painted the backdrop for" Seussical".  We started Wednesday afternoon, as the building we had permission to paint in is slated to be demolished on Sunday (today).  So we squeezed in a few hours each day hoping our backdrop wouldn't be at the bottom of the rubble!




This is it on Thursday... I forgot my camera on the day we did the drawing.


This is me adding the red.


On Friday night we added the remaining colors (all the photos are of me but Mike, Chloe and Phoebe were helping too!)


This is before we add blacks...

This is where we finished on Friday night...




This is me painting on Saturday afternoon. I'm wearing the same outfit again because these are the clothes I managed to get paint on through the big white jumpsuit I wore while painting the mural!



As you can see from this monkey close-up, the fabric wrinkled quite a bit after we primed it. This made it really hard to draw on, and pretty hard to paint.


The nice thing about painting in a building that's coming down is no one cared if we got paint everywhere!


By 5:30pm on Saturday we were done. Then late last night we rolled up the dry backdrop and got it the heck out of there!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Ga'dang Ghost Town

For the holiday weekend we journeyed out to Phoenix, Arizona again to check in on my father's condo.  After the robbery last Christmas, we've been pretty worried about leaving the place.  Unfortunately it was quite rainy, but when the dark clouds began to clear we headed to "Goldfield's Ghost Town" on the outskirts of  Phoenix in the desert...



 It turns out that the rainy season is a great time to go out to the desert.


There weren't so many ghosts, but the place was full of atmosphere!


In fact we arrived just after the 4pm gunfight in the center of town.


It was a bit more like a movie set of an abandoned town and mine, but there was lots to do!


There's a bordello tour (that claimed to have real ghosts!), and a little church...



The place was a bit of a maze.




You can tour the gold mine underground, and take a trail ride with these very attention desperate horses...


Not to mention panning for gold...


Which I guess sounded like a lot of work to my kids, who decided to just break into this abandoned cash register....


But there are always consequences...


Still, it's better than what happened to these troublemakers....


(in case you can't tell- these are graves).


As the day came to a close it was time to head back to the city.


Before we left for Arizona, Mike and I prepped the "Jungle of Nool" backdrop for "Seussical"on Friday night...


This building we were working in is going to be demolished in the next week or two, so we were allowed to make a mess!




This was VERY good as our drop cloth was the wrong size and we got paint all over the floor!
We'll try to finish it this week.  More photos coming soon!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Moving on


This is a photo of 210 W103rd Street on the upper west side of New York City.  I found it on Google maps.  I used to live in this building with Mike ages ago.  The three windows to the right of the door is where our apartment was.  Empty crack viles littered the ground here like cigarette butts.  I lived here for three months before I figured out what they were.  My art desk was set up near the third window.  One night while I carefully painted my illustration for school a drunk, homeless man began to chatter at me through the open window.  He was half a foot from my face and I could smell the gin wafting in. So why do I feel so nostalgic looking at this?


This week I wrapped up my preliminary work on "Final Resting Place".
If he answers, Roger, there's no turning back!


When I count to three...


The final image I did is actually a flash animation called "Close your eyes and sleep." 
Click on the link as it just wouldn't post here on blogger (I'm not sure why). So now this project is passing out of my hands in to the hands of the talented artists, animators and film makers out there, who are also involved.  (Soon a website will be up with more information on that!)

Today we move on to priming the backdrop for "Seussical".  Maybe I'll get some not so boring photos of this to post.  We're also out to Arizona this Presidents Day weekend.  Cheers!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

They Hover Above

The cartons of Girl Scout cookies next to my dining room table are slowly disappearing.  The girls are working booth sales and carrying them to school and church.
An older lady at church walks up to Naomi who set up on a bench on the patio and says.  "Oh dear, I just bought seven boxes from someone else!"
"You can freeze them!"  Naomi quips, just like her troop leader taught her.
"Oh well, you got me." She laughs and opens her wallet.
Cookies sold by cute little children ... What a racket!  Man, am I sick of these things and there's still weeks to go.

At church, when my husband ran to the car to retrieve more cookies, he heard the helicopters circling above.  He climbed into the car the gather boxes and they began talking on their bullhorns again.  At first it was the usual...
"WE HAVE YOU COMPLETELY SURROUNDED"
"COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS VISIBLE"
But then they said something that really made him take notice:
"IF YOU DON'T COME OUT WE WILL ATTACK!"
That was a new one.  We see and hear the police choppers all the time here, we don't even think about it anymore.   It's amazing what one can get used to!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Love Box

You can't put a price tag on love, but you can on all its accessories.”- Melanie Clark 

Yesterday we went out to Michael's Arts and Crafts to purchase V.D. supplies (if your mind works like mine I bet you were expecting a different photo!).  Anyway get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking Valentine's Day.  And we have LOT'S to make. Phoebe and Naomi each have over 22 kids in their class, plus we have to prepare the family mailbox....


We used this cardboard box that used to be home to some Girl Scout cookies.  By the way if anyone out there is interested in buying some, what used to be our dining area is now storing cartons and cartons of them .  All three of my girls are cookie selling scouts these days.  Please buy some and save me before I become a land whale!


Here's our finished mail box.  Phoebe and I worked together and by Monday it will be the box of love!

I've also been busy designing the backdrop for "Seussical".  This is my design and I think I mimicked Dr. Seuss's style pretty well (I don't usually copy other artist's styles, so it was a bit of a stretch for me. )
Anyway here it is, "The Jungle of Nool"...


  Now I just have to do it at 12ft x14ft! 


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hollywood Blvd and the Hyaena Gallery

Saturday was the opening for Mike's solo show in Burbank, conveniently scheduled from 8pm to 12 midnight.... So we went up early to see Hollywood Blvd. and Madame Tussaud's wax museum (I had a coupon).  On Hollywood Blvd. is, of course, "The Walk of Fame"...


Phoebe found "Walt Disney"!


After weaving through the crowd we found the wax museum...


How convenient, just a block from where we parked!


The entrance was full of people and exciting displays!  The coupon,  though, was for the wax museum up the street.  So we plunged back into the crowd of tourists and wild characters that filled the sidewalk. There was Hello Kitty, storm troopers, and Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk. 


Here we are passing the famous Grauman Chinese Theater only to find the giant wax figure of Shrek at the right wax museum.


As we stepped inside we got our photo with Obama.



Here's the girls cuddling up with Simon Cowell  and posing with Johnny Grant.


As you can see the figures are placed in the center of the floor. So you can pose with them in entertaining ways.  And it was quite entertaining!


The room of western stars even had props!



Mike met up with Hannibal Lecter...


"Tell me again about the box of chocolates."


There was a whole set for "Glee".


And the command deck of "The Enterprise"!

"Make it so!"  


Skating with Tony Hawk and climbing the ceiling with Spidey!


Mike chatted with Speilburg...


Who had little to say, and the girls sat with Jack Nicholson...



As I stood next to Leonardo DeCaprio I was impressed with the likeness these sculptors captured.


On the last floor we learned about more of the process with these face molds in the hall...


We were introduced to the likeness of Madame Tussaud, the French woman who started it all and traveled the world with her wax sculptures.  She even became shipwrecked on an island near Ireland at one point. She was also very small in stature as you can see...



This is a display of eyes and teeth.  For $12 you can also get your hand done in wax like this guy was doing...


By the time we made our way through, it was time to head over to the gallery.  This is Mike's work on the walls before anyone arrived...


Chloe taking a look around...


As people arrived, the food and drinks came out.  Naomi walked about with a glass of apple juice and managed to spill it fairly quickly.  People rushed about with paper towels and Naomi went to clean off in the bathroom.  About five minutes later the gallery director came running up to me.
  "Your daughter has locked herself in the bathroom and is VERY upset." 
 I followed him to the door and could hear her crying.  "Ok, honey is there a button that you pressed?"
"Yes."
"Can you press it again?"
"No." She was very quiet at this point.  The director ran off to get tools to pick the lock.  Then a yellow liquid started seeping out from the door. (Please don't be pee....)
"Ummm... Honey, did you spill your apple juice again?"
"Not anymore."
By now the director showed up and popped open the lock, glancing suspiciously at the yellow liquid.
Naomi wandered out and ... YES! it was apple juice!  (Thank you!).


These little drawings sold quickly!


There was a pretty good turnout and Naomi only locked herself in the bathroom 3 times!


Today was the auditions for "Seussical" .  Since this is an all-ages production and the Looking Glass Theater has open auditions, Phoebe and Naomi went in to try out.  It looks like they'll be playing "Whos" from "Whoville"!!  How cool is that?!

"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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