Friday, March 30, 2012

More painting and set practice...

We've been painting more set pieces.  This is a finished back board that goes on the throne dias.  Where there is white spots is where a chair is mounted...


We've also practiced hanging the backdrops and setting the frame for the screen....

In the center is the thrones without the backing mounted on it.  We'll do that soon.

It looked pretty good.  The frame was too large for the screen though so adjustments will need to be made...

The cast seemed to enjoy rehearsing with the set in place though. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blubbering over cake and the radio show!

Yesterday was our radio show.  It went really well and was quite entertaining!  Our guests were toy designer Rick Van Velsor, painter Justin Vining, and manga artist Fiona Meng.

Be sure to listen in to the archived recording!

This morning I spent baking a German chocolate cake for the IB Fest at Chloe's school.  Whenever I'm asked to bring in International food that relates to our heritage I make this cake.  Mostly because I think English and Scottish food is, well not so great, except scones which are labor intensive and I'm quite lazy.  Ironically I don't like German chocolate cake either.  It sounds great and usually German's know what they're doing when it comes to chocolate, but in this case it's like they forgot to add any.  My answer to that is to dump a bag of chocolate chips in the batter.  It's better... trust me.

Unfortunately when I bake for my kids for school I have a tendency to turn into a blubbering mess.  It reminds me of my Mom who baked for us all the time.  For every bake sale, for birthday cupcakes and various events.  In high school I had my senior art show in the little gallery and my mom, who was home on disability, took upon herself to bake brownies, blondies (those white brownies), chocolate chip cookies, and so many other kinds of cookies I can't even remember. My opening was a smashing success.  Free baked goods hit the rumor mill and kids swarmed through the library to the tiny gallery in the back. Somehow my mom knew how to draw a crowd, or maybe she just knew teenagers.  It was awesome.

I often wish that instead of being a stunned and immature teenager when she died that I had been older.  Like I am now with more life experience, already a mom, so I could tell her how much I appreciated what she did.  Thanks mom.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More paint sessions and a t-shirt for the cast and crew

Before Wondercon last week we finally finished the last backdrop, "The Parapet".


This week we're painting some of the final set pieces for "Once Upon A Mattress"...

 One of the builders, Kerry Williams, created this vanity based on my design.  So Phoebe and I set to work painting it up...


Here's another shot next to the bird cage...

We also needed to paint the table for the wizard's chamber, built by Eric Hybertsen.


First I drew on a "wood pattern"...


Then Phoebe and her friends helped me paint it in the sun ...


I also finished this design for the cast and crew t-shirts  ...

Anyway, those dates on the bottom are disturbingly close.  Tonight I teach my art classes and we're making masks! Yay fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A wonder, wonder, wonder con

Early Saturday morning we cruised out of town up to Anaheim for the Wonder Con. When I say cruised I mean we very nearly needed a boat as it was pouring rain.

Mike and I were at different booths this time.  I was sharing a spot with the very talented Elizabeth Watasin.


It was St Patrick's Day and the girls enjoyed having free reign to run back and forth between our booths.

They also made a point of posing with very green cosplayers!

We spent the night in a nearby hotel near the freeway.  The combination of St Patty's Day and rain in L.A. meant that we heard sirens all night long. The next day my kids made a point of entering to win one of Rick Van Velsor's dragons (my very friendly neighbor on the convention hall).

Scores of people entered this contest to win this incredibly high quality toy from the Dragons of Blizzard Island franchise that retails for $75.00 on their website !!

But Chloe won!!  Her sisters are mad jealous.

In the mean time Chloe also set up a publishing deal.  She found someone who wants to publish her art and writing in a book about bullying.   Go Chloe!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Mattress" painting

Painting completed my life.  -Frida Kahlo

I have been busy painting backdrops.  Which is not the worst sort of thing as I like painting...

When you see me painting this, you may think.  Didn't she show us this backdrop already finished?
You would be wrong.  This is the picture of that backdrop finished.

And this is another one.  You see there are four castle wall backdrops.
We've finished them all except this one.

We've also finished the long skinny one.

And we've finally started the "Parapet" backdrop which will hang off the balcony.

It's even starting to look pretty good!
I also finished the last projection/scene title this week for the castle courtyard.  I think I'm actually done with these now!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Are you ready yet?

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”―Mark Twain

Thank you Mark Twain.  That's my new mantra.  There's only four days until we go to Wonder Con up in Anaheim, CA.  No, I'm not ready.  There's only two weeks till our next radio show, and none of my artists are available that day, so, no I'm not ready for that, and there's only four weeks till "Once Upon A Mattress" opens, and ....AHHHH!

We did do some painting on the big bird cage this past weekend though...

It needed to be a precious looking cage, so we made it gold.


It looked great it the sun, but over in the shade we saw all the spots we missed.... So we moved it back to the sun, and sprayed it some more. Then back to the shade and we still missed spots, and it went on like that!
This is the base, constructed by the very talented Ray Evans.  I just sprayed it with a stone facade.

We also started painting the big backdrop that will be the parapet, hanging off the balcony.  It's very long and skinny so we strung together old backdrop from "Nunsense" and "Seussical".  Parts of the old paintings will show as they won't be seen from the audience.  This saves time and paint.  Well back to trying not to panic... Cheers!

Friday, March 9, 2012

designing monsters and daylight savings

Mike and I stood in the kitchen sipping coffee when Phoebe in the living room runs over to us all excited-like and shouts, "DAYLIGHT SAVINGS STARTS NEXT WEEKEND!"
Mike shouts back "AWESOME! LET"S START RIGHT NOW!" So we did.

In other news we made good progress on the backdrops yesterday....

 Here you can see we are adding black lines.

This backdrop was completed by the end of the day.

We had two others very well along.  We'll probably finish them on Monday when we get back to them. 

Today in my class I'll be teaching the kids to design monsters. I'm giving them a page of monster parts. Then we'll create some "big head" creatures.

Meaning a big head with arms and legs.  I think the kids will have fun with this one!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Painting the castle....

I'm drawing and painting on my knees again...

On Monday we started to prep 5 backdrops for painting.  Actually it's 4 backdrops and one bed sheet our props master, Kath Hillery,  picked up at the thrift store.

On Tuesday I began to draw in the castle wall design I had laid out...

I managed to get three backdrops drawn that day.

 Including the long skinny one.

By the end of Wednesday, I'd finished all the drawing (including on the sheet, which wrinkled like crazy!), and my helpers showed up to get started painting.

This one is the bed sheet. I'm doing most of the painting on it as it's hard to paint over wrinkles.  On the next play, this backdrop will be fine to paint on, it's just difficult the first time around.

So this is where we stopped yesterday evening.  Hopefully we'll have an amazing castle in the end!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Various odors and more stuff about the play...

When I was in college my creative writing teacher asked us all to keep a smell journal for a week, writing down the many odors we encountered each day.  It was an interesting idea, but seeing as we all lived in New York City, a place that's notorious for it's almost complete lack of public toilets, I'm not sure it worked out all that well.

A few days ago, Mike, Chloe and I went to check out a coffee shop called "Lestat's" near Adams Ave. (yes, like the vampire!) and I found myself thinking of this assignment again. I had pondered the variety of waters they had in their beverage selection and finally chose a "Hint" (cucumber flavored water), mostly because they had nothing sparkling.  It was awful. It was way too strong and the smell was powerful (and nauseating).  Everything about our visit that day was cucumber.  I should have thrown it out, instead I left the drink in the beverage holder of my car and my daughter opened it up yesterday, filling the car with cucumber and our visit to the coffee shop flooded back in a flash. We're all going to be in trouble when they invent smell-o-vision.

Anyway the reason we went to "Lestat's" was to check out chairs they had that looked opulent enough to be in the castle set of "Once Upon A Mattress".  Marcus, the director really liked them. So we'll be negotiating a loan with the good people at Lestat's.  I should probably go back sometime and order something else. 

In the mean time I finished up the overhead projections for the show...

For the wizard's chamber, and this is a second castle corridor image...
Yesterday I began work on five, yes FIVE, of the backdrops.  This week is the smaller five and next week I do the giant one of the parapet.  Hopefully I'll have pictures soon!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back on the radio and trying not to cough....

On Monday we had our February show of Art of The Red River.  This month's show went really well, despite the fact that I'm oozing mucus (you're welcome for that visual). We had Vince Natale from NY on the show....

 His works range from magazine editorials to book covers to fine art and spans the genres of romance, horror, fantasy-science fiction, portraiture, and military subjects.Vince is also an instructor at the Woodstock School of Art.

Our second guest was cartoonist Shannon Wheeler...
 Creator of "Too Much Coffee Man" and winner of two Eisner awards for humor books, Shannon had me laughing for 20 minutes. 




Our final guest was Judy Sue Goodwin-Sturges, founder of Studio Goodwin-Sturges a children book studio in Boston. Studio Goodwin-Sturges works on behalf of nearly 40 picture book artists worldwide. Judy Sue is  also an instructor at Rhode Island School of Design. 


Even though I've been feeling like an old snot rag all week I managed to get quite a bit done.  With the help of Looking Glass Theatre member, John Wead,  we managed to excavate the old backdrops from storage (no easy task).  I also finished two more titles for the over head projection....
Obviously this is for the castle parapet, and for the dressing room....


Hopefully we can start the painting on the multitude of backdrops for this play next week.

On a final note, I have had what my daughter would call an "epic fail" for my blog.  I failed to post on February 29th and now I have to wait till 2016!!  Oh well... Happy March!
"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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