Saturday, February 27, 2016

Finishing the fish

So this week I finished my fish.

Here she is in my living room getting some detail painting.

Mike working at his desk in the background.

Out on my patio finally done.

She'll be dropped off at the gallery on Tuesday and the opening is Friday!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kissy Fishy and a trip to Catalina Island

On Tuesday night, Phoebe left for a big trip to Catalina Island with her science class.

They drove through the night on the bus and took the boat from Long Beach, California in the morning.

This is a picture of many of the kids on the boat.

Phoebe was pretty excited about going. 

Sunset from Catalina Island
Their itinerary includes snorkel training, then night snorkeling, and kayaking. She's studying sharks today and I hear they will even get to "pet" them (hopefully that will go well!). I'm so glad the school gives my kids these kinds of opportunities.

In the mean time I'm trying to complete my sculpture "Kissy Fishy" for the show at the Chartreuse Gallery. 

Here it is before I added the lips.

Before paint.

Starting to paint.

Finishing the base coat.

Anyway the deadline for the Mutant Piñata Show is next week and this year I've been pretty swamped with mask making and commissions, so this has been feeling pretty tight. I'm sure I'll be done on time though.

In other news, this is me posing with one of the masks I dropped off at the Practical Art Gallery. They have many of my masks on display. Also one of my most regular customers, Sharon Covert of Sharon Covert Photography, sent me more of her incredible portraits with my masks...

With the Queen of Hearts Mask
The Moon Mask

The Cecropia Moth Mask

The last one of the moth is a special commission I made for her. Her photos came out incredible!


Monday, February 15, 2016

The Chocolate Festival and a Weekend in California

The weekend before last we managed to get out to Glendale and visit their annual Chocolate 

As usual my kids act incredibly goofy when we go out as a family. Here they are posing with the bird man statue in the park.

It was actually a pretty packed event.

Once the sun started setting the whole park was lit up in pretty lights.

And did I mention? There was chocolate!!

Last week I was sent some photos of my masks at the John Varvatos fashion show in NYC. The event was called "Rock is Dead" and he has a very excellent video of it up online at!  Right now I'm working on a custom mask commission I look forward to sharing and my giant fish is coming along.  Also I'm starting a children's book job that's making some progress. All of it had to be set aside this weekend however as Mike's Dad is really sick with Alzheimer's and getting worse and we needed to head out to California to visit.

So we set off heading west to San Diego.

Here are the girls at the Indian Restaurant in Old Town where we all tried to eat out with his father, and his father's wife and caretaker, Claudia.

This is Mike at the restaurant, he looks happy even though moments later his Dad started pacing and trying to leave. He's not on any drugs to control his issues so he gets agitated.

Eventually we all just had to get the order to go and eat in our hotel room, where he couldn't escape. He finally had a moment where he responded to Mike and here he is giving his Dad a hug. This is a miserable illness and he's declined a lot in the last few months. It was a very sad visit.

This morning we decided to walk the pier in Ocean Beach before leaving town.

I didn't go down onto the beach because I knew dogs weren't allowed and we had Oscar with us. What I didn't realize was that they weren't allowed on the pier and we were kicked off the moment we climbed the stairs to it.

So we just kept walking to the end of the boardwalk. 

They we headed out onto the rocks that extended over the water.

The rocks were full of interesting carvings.

The kids tried to add their own as it was just super packed sand that got washed over at high tide. After walking around a bit we hit the road back to Phoenix. On our way home we decided to try stopping at the Desert View Tower in In-Ka-Po park. 

It's about an hour out of San Diego off of 8 west, in the middle of the boulder encrusted mountains.

Here I am walking towards the building. There were people and dogs everywhere.

We went inside to buy "tickets" to the viewing observatory and to the "caves" next to the site.

Here are the girls at the top of the tower. We also brought the dog up here, as we were told he was welcome inside the gift shop and everywhere on the property off-leash if we wanted.

Looking down from the top.

Phoebe and Chloe in the tower.

Naomi in the tower.

Mike using the telescope.

Mike and I at the top!

Interesting masks in the stairwell.

Another interesting mask.

A model of the Desert View Tower inside their gift shop.

In fact their museum/gift shop was home to many unusual things.

Oscar and I at the entrance to the caves. This is when I decided to let him go "off-leash".

Mike posing with some rock sculptures.

The rock lizard.

Mike in the cave wall.

Our cave selfie.

Oscar was enjoying running around inside the caves.

The Indian head carving in the rocks.

This is most likely when I got this sunburn I'm now sporting.

The rock monster.

Me (and Oscar). We were actually having a lot of fun exploring these caves!

Here you can see the tower in the distance.

Another face in the rocks!

Mike in the caves.

This place was the perfect remedy for this difficult trip!

Chloe on the rocks.

So many funny sculptures!!

All of us heading back out of the caves.

We slowly climbed out while Oscar ran ahead and then would suddenly stop and turn around looking for us. It was a great stop especially if you're traveling with a dog!!

Anyway, we're home now so back to the real world....
"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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