Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Thursday, December 30, 2010

He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special - Part 5

Wendys Christmas Commercial with Dave Thomas from 1990

The Smurfs Christmas Album Commercial

He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special - Part 4

Pillsbury Christmas Ad from 1992


McDonalds Christmas Nostalgia 1992 Commercial

He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special - Part 3

McDonald's Muppet Babies Holiday Huggables Commercial

Toys R Us - Christmas Cabbage Patch Commercial (1985)

He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special - Part 2

1980's 7-Up Christmas Commercial w/Santa Countdown.

1958 Coke Christmas Commercial Family and King Size

He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special - Part 1

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf: Part 3

Suzanne Somers Ace Hardware Christmas Commercial 1970's

Jack in the Box Christmas Carolers 1978

The Online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf: Part 2

Coca -Cola Christmas: Arctic Beach Party

M&Ms - Christmas Faint

The Online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf: Part 1

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 14 of 14

I hope you've enjoyed today's movie and the vintage commercials I added between segments. Some of those commercials made for the holidays are just fun to watch and they bring back memories. Even a commercial for the Norelco electric shaver, not very Christmas-y, was something I never forgot when I saw it as a very young child. I guess I really enjoyed the animation. Memories are funny things sometimes. Anyway, I thought it'd be neat and goofy to have commercials on as if you were watching t.v.

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 13 of 14

80's Folgers Christmas Commercial

1980's M&M's Christmas Commercial

7up commercial - Christmas 1988

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 12 of 14

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 11 of 14

Christmas Crunch Berries Commercial c1988

1975 McDonalds Christmas

Toys R Us Christmas 1970s

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 10 of 14

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 9 of 14

Norelco Christmas Spot - 1970s

Nestle's Christmas Commercial

Polaroid 80s Christmas Commercial

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 8 of 14

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 7 of 14

Pizza Hut christmas commercial

Pepsi Christmas commercial with a Bunny

McDonalds Ice Skating Christmas Commercial 1983

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 6 of 14

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 5 of 14

Coca Cola Christmas I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

1980's Kentucky Fried Chicken Christmas Commercial

1980's Nabisco Oreo Christmas Commercial

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 4 of 14


It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 3 of 14

1980's 7-Up Christmas Commercial.

E.T. Christmas Commercial

Fruity Pebbles Christmas Commercial

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 2 of 14

It's a Wonderful Life *HD* - Part 1 of 14

Twelve Days of Christmas- Four Calling Birds

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Garfield Christmas Special Part 3/3

Hershey's Kisses Christmas Commercial

A Garfield Christmas Special Part 2/3

Shooting Stars - Coca-Cola Commercial

A Garfield Christmas Special Part 1/3

Christmas Caravan Coca-Cola Commercial

Olive the Other Reindeer Part 5/5 [HQ]

Olive, the Other Reindeer 4/5

Olive, the Other Reindeer 3/5

Olive, the Other Reindeer 2/5


Olive, the Other Reindeer - Part 1 of 5

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 9/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 8/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 7/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 6/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 5/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 4/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 3/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 2/9

Ernest Saves Christmas - Part 1/9

Twelve Days of Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Carol part 4

A Christmas Carol part 3

A Christmas Carol part 2

A Christmas Carol part 1

Christmas Past

Ten years ago Pammy and I were dreaming of a white Christmas in Sarasota, Florida. We spent our first Christmas away from home in a very long time because we were in Winter Quarters rehearsing the 131st Edition of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus. Fortunately for us we got to spend holiday at the annual Christmas party at the home of two of the nicest people on Earth and friends to all circus clowns: Steve Smith and Beth Duda. The following photos only give a hint of just how special their home felt. While we were there we enjoyed the company of some neat people. I love showfolk!

The lovely and charming Beth Duda.

Pammy and I with Jackie LeClaire, circus clown and Red Skelton impersonator not to mention a great guy.

Ruth Chaddock , Barry Lubin (of the Big Apple Circus) and Mitch Freddes.

Prop master George Shellenberger and the irrepressible Steve Smith.

Everything seemed to sparkle and glow at their place.

Some of the feast that we enjoyed that day.

Pammy and I chillin' backstage, I mean poolside in Paradise.

Red unit Boss clown Jay Stewart being a good daddy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa's Workshop

One of my favorite periods for cartoons. They were beautifully drawn and animated. No computers needed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight you've got a chance to see this year's only complete lunar eclipse. The next time it occurs in 2011 we'll only be able to see a portion of the event so check it out! Below are some links on the lunar eclipse. Happy winter solstice.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas Don't Be Late (original TV)

Shadows and Fog

I think we miss seeing some of the nicest things outside while were getting ready to leave the house in the morning. I try to make it a point to step outside to see what surprises nature has for us. I'm usually not disappointed. I do make it a point to have a good, hot cup of coffee with me when I step out. It adds to the enjoyment. Viva Mother Nature!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thanks Bonzo!

Bonzo Crunch Fool At Large from the weird city of Austin, Texas.

Hi Mr. Crunch. Thanks for the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer history lesson. It's always fun looking up material like that and searching for support material that adds another layer to the overall story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rod Serling plugs Night Of The Meek

The Twilight Zone:The Night of The Meek Part 3

Sorry but I couldn't find part two.

The Twilight Zone: The Night of The Meek Part 1

Clown College Chronicles Part 9

That's me getting ready to take a walk on the wild side.

I was always impressed with anybody who could walk the pegs. I was not one of those talented individuals. It was painters for me.

Acrobatics was always fun. I think my fellow classmate Chris "Cmack" MacKenzie said it best in the acrobatic section for our Clown College yearbook:

"Every time I bite into a York Peppermint Patty I get the sensation of being launched off of the Russian Swing."

Oh, and click on any of the images to get a magnified view.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas-Frosty the Snowman part 3

Christmas-Frosty The Snowman part 2

Christmas-Frosty the snowman part1

Clown College Chronicles Part 8

T.V. Repairman gag rehearsal with Chad Hagaman. Check out the flat cars in the background with the amazing circus wagons. That was our classroom. Far out, man!

Movement class at the Al Ringling Theater.

In the costume shop getting my first look at my very own, custom- made "agent suit".

I've posted a few pictures of some of the things that we did during the course of a school day at the RBBB Clown College in Baraboo, Wisconsin at the Circus World Museum. I'm sorry to have missed out on Clown College in Florida but having classes at the museum itself was like being in clown heaven. I'll post some more photos tomorrow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hobbit Art Progress Report

The illustration is coming along nicely. It's been slow going with an assortment of holiday fun stuff to tend to that have kept me away from the drawing board. Nonetheless I've set aside some time today to work on poor Mr. Bilbo Baggins. Gollum is close to being finished but I think I need to see how Bilbo will look in relation to him so I'll be working to get him far along today. But with teatime fast approaching things might come to a halt for a bit...oh then's there dinner and supper to think about too. So much to do...

Prep Landing- Operation Secret Santa

Today is the beginning of my countdown to Christmas. Yes, I'm way too early if one considers the Twelve days of Christmas song but here at Rancho Ramirez we like to do things a little differently. So, on this first of the fourteen days till Christmas Day I'd like to share a great animated holiday special which aired this past week right after "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I love it. My only wish is that it could have been longer. Below is a link to Wikipedia with some info about the song.


Here's a link to an article about the censored mural. Brings to mind the whitewashing of Vincent Valdez's mural here not too long ago.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Clown College Chronicles Part 7

There aren't that many teachers out there that are willing to present their own work in front of their students but our fearless and talented Clown College faculty and staff did. I wish I had had photos and I'm pretty sure someone took some as well shot video of it. That evening we saw a wide variety of performance styles in mime and clowning.

Up until that moment most of my exposure to the world of physical comedy came from watching the films of the silent and sound film comedy stars of the past and present. In terms of live performances I'd seen circus clowns and on a rare occasion seen a touring mime troupe like the Theatre Beyond Words. But now, in a single evening, I got to see Steve Smith as create a whole world in pantomime as T.J. Tatters. Greg DeSanto and Jay Stewart played wonderfully destructive plumbers, Jeff Jenkins was a frenetic slap and fall fly killer, Alexander Jeromski mimed a ride on a crowded, bumpy train, Karen Hoyer performed a headless mime character, etc.

I enjoyed all the acts that night and I also learned something very important: comedy comes in many forms and it's up to you to choose the one that suits you. If it doesn't exist then make it up! If anybody out there has any footage of the 1993 Faculty/Staff performance put it on youtube if you don't mind.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Clown College Chronicles Part 6

Our sweet and always cheerful Hope: den mother to the clowns of the class of 1993.

Above is a note written by Hope to remind me of a doctor's appointment I needed to keep. Hope was our den mother and Clown College wouldn't have been the same without her. The reason for seeing a doctor was for another injury( a gash over my right eyebrow) I'd suffered for being distracted at the wrong time and as we all know, in comedy timing is everything. But that all came with the territory.

The schedule was rigorous and the classes challenging. The acrobatic class was always tough but I loved the mini trampoline, the Russian swing and the Russian bar. We had a go at the cloud swing and trapeze too. It all gave me a greater appreciation for the dedicated individuals who make the circus their life.

Their were plenty of bumps, bruises, scrapes, gashes to keep a doctor busy for a while. One student took a bad 1-0-8 ( a pratfall) hurting his neck and wearing a neck brace for a while. Some else had a rough landing after jumping off the Russian swing. Jumping off that swing required timing. If you jump off too late you'll be in orbit and if you jump off too soon you're a human bullet. That particular student became a bullet and almost cleared the entire length of mats landing at the edge of the last one and scraping his lower back. Another student fell while walking stilts. I could go on.

The worst for me happened on the mini tramp. After landing from a jump the mat slid and I landed on my knee in the gap between two mats on the concrete floor. I hadn't felt that kind of before and it was a while before I walked that off. It required ice right away. I stayed in my room that evening icing my swollen knee with a mountain of ice while watching Wisconsin t.v. programming. Oh the pain! There was no way I was going to let that injury slow me down. The next morning my knee was definitely sore and bruised but I proudly started another day at Clown College on my two feet... but feeling a little less indestructible.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


A neat little something for my friends to enjoy.

Slivers Oakley

Here's a drawing I made of Slivers Oakley, the famous circus clown from the early part of the twentieth century. He performed solo in the ring for thousands with the Barnum and Bailey Circus and was famous for his tour de force baseball gag in which he was all the players. Below is a bit of biographical info from Wikipedia.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Speak for the Trees!

I wanted to show a neat photo of a tree in our front yard. I think it captures the beauty and magic of this particular tree well. Above is a clip of "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss. Feelin' really green today. Go out and hug a tree would ya' please?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hairy Puppet and the Cabeza of Fuzz

I've now added a head of hair to my fairy puppet. I'll trim it a bit so he wont be looking like a blue- haired Fabio for long.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Could'a, Should'a

Today I spent the better time of my day avoiding this. Why? Because I was doing some painting. Below are three images for the "Bilbo meets Gollum" illustration that I finally started to paint this week. It's about half finished but I wanted to show what I've done so far. Of course tomorrow I'll have to tackle that big mess in the sink...I think. Hey, that rhymes!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Skies

Skies are like snowflakes: No two are alike. I guess that's one of the reasons I enjoy photographing them so much.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Remebering George Harrison Feb. 25, 1943- Nov. 29, 2001

Has it really been nine years since George Harrison passed away? November 29th 2001 was the date cancer took him from this world and on to the next. Above is a youtube video of one of my favorite songs from his Beatles years.

Leslie Neilsen

One of my favorite film comedians died this weekend: Leslie Nielsen star of such films as Fantastic Planet and The Poseidon Adventure but remembered primarily for his comedic roles in Airplane, Naked Gun and Mr. Magoo died from complications from pneumonia. Here's a link to his obituary from the L. A. Times and some more biographical information from Wikipedia.,0,2787062.story

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Instant Good Kar-ma

Late last week I painted the sign you see in the photo above for our dear friends the LaVallees. The sign is for a person who went "above and beyond" for them when they had car trouble while driving through Oklahoma ( I think it was Oklahoma). The car trouble happened in a small town but fortunately they found an auto repair garage. They were told they'd have to wait a day for the part to arrive. The part needed was more than an hour drive time away and the mechanic didn't offer to get it. The only other shop in town was Cohee's. The LaVallees had been discouraged from going there. They head for Cohee's anyway. He doesn't mind the drive. he gets the part, installs it and off they go! Way to go Mr. Cohee!! There's more to the story I'm probably forgetting so I apologize if that's the case.

Anyway, the LaVallees wanted to give Mr. Cohee a gift for his kindness and that's where I come into the story. It's been a while since I've painted a sign but I was more than happy to do it. After they told me what they wanted on the sign I got to work. They'll have seen Mr. Cohee over the Thanksgiving weekend to present him with the sign and take a photo of it in its new home. I'll post the photo as soon as I get it. Time to eat some more leftovers. Happy post Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Puppets on the Brain

No it's not going to be a Smurf puppet. It's a marionette that will eventually be a fairy. For the longest time I couldn't find it's right foot. Finally, after searching for the last six months I found the foot under the couch. Cats are naughty critters. The body and limbs are made of dowel rods while the hands, feet and head were from carved bass wood.

The next figure will be completely carved from bass wood. In order to finish this little blue fellow I have to add clothes and hair. Once that's done I can string it to the controller. I'll post the completed marionette in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Live from New York it's Sesame Street

I was listening to NPR this morning and heard that Cookie Monster of our beloved Sesame Street is petitioning to be on Saturday Night Live. Above is his audition video from youtube and below is the link to the article from the Pop Herald. I'd tune in if he were on the show.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Vic Voices - Moises Kaufman Speaks about Puss in Boots

Here's some great stuff from the New Victory Theater in New York. It's shows some impressive puppets for their production of Puss and Boots. The New Vic is a beautiful theater too. New York rocks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sweet Treats

Pammy and Rey made these petite fours for Emi's birthday party at her school. Some art forms are made for looking and for eating. Life is good! We've got a party for Emi planned at the Chuck E. Cheese so naturally Pammy and Rey will be making a cake for the occasion. Photos of that cake will be posted soon.

"Na Na Na" by Theresa Andersson

Need a bit of inspiration? Check out this video. Theresa Anderson is amazing! It doesn't matter what form of entertainment your in she makes you want to do more. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Clown Alley 1989

The above photo is from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Red Unit's Clown Alley from 1989-90. Pammy, wearing a polka dotted blouse and orange wig, is near the top popping out from behind the clown in a black tux and pink wig. The other clown performer I'd like to point out is the second clown in a black tux (with blue trim) standing at the bottom left. That's Ted Ferlo. The character you see was developed over time and on this tour he was the conductor for the orchestra gag, which occupied all three rings. The part was very physically demanding but what made his performance all the more impressive and amazing but could not have been appreciated by the audience was that he was doing this high energy gag with only one lung. Pammy would see him in the alley after the gag sitting at his trunk, breathing heavily. When she asked him if he was okay he responded that he had only one lung and he just had to sit there and breathe.

Years later Pammy enrolled into the Performing Artist's Musical Theatre Conservatory at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas. Ted Ferlo had been a student in the conservatory years before. It was here that Pammy learned from one of the instructors how he had lost his lung. It had happened downtown in an area known as the Westend, where one could find a variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. One evening while at the Westend with his fellow students, he was stabbed.

That's as much as we could learn from the instructor. He did eventually complete his studies at the conservatory ( a very demanding two year program). He followed that by completing the rigorous program of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College after which he was offered and accepted a contract with their circus. He was a pretty amazing fellow and by all accounts a very funny clown. Rest in peace Ted Ferlo.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ted Ferlo

A friend of Pam's from the road, Ted Ferlo, passed away yesterday in Rome, New York. Below is a link to his obituary on the Pat Cashin's Clown Alley site.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Laugh Long and Prosper

Today was a calm day. It was the kind of day that was conducive for a great deal of thinking; Thinking of Thanksgiving next week and all that I am truly thankful for having. It's easy to take things one shouldn't for granted. I've gotten better about it especially in the last few years. I guess getting older opens your eyes a little more. In these difficult economic times I'm grateful that I can still laugh and find humor in my world. I think it's important to end your day with laughter. It helps you live longer. Enjoy some vintage Laurel and Hardy. Here's to your health.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Doc Ed Update

Doing my thing in the library.

Stewart Elementary on a bright, warm autumn day in November.

Ol' Doc Edwards has just about wrapped up the year with his final two presentations at Stewart Elementary for two groups of 100 fourth and fifth graders. I had some technical difficulties with my projector but the good folks at Stewart came to the rescue with a backup projector. Hazzah to them.

Who knows what the new year will have in store for Doc but it will more than likely be fun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Nutcracker

My kids are going to be in the upcoming San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet and Metropolitan Classical Ballet production of The Nutcracker. I've never seen a live production of the Christmas classic and seeing it will be all the more special because of my kid's participation. I've seen the Baryshnikov version on PBS for years and can't figure out why I waited so long to see it live.
I think I've even seen the Macaulay Culkin movie version. Ye gods!! The closest I came to seeing it live was being a party guest in a version done at the Irving Arts Center back when we lived in Dallas and that was a paid gig. Go figure! Anyway, don't be like me. See it the right way. See it live, por favor.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sarturday Hilights and "Low lights"

The author Chris Barton giving a great presentation on publishing his first book.

Today was a day full of experiences both positive and negative. This afternoon I attended a lecture and booksigning at the Barnes and Noble at the San Pedro Crossing. It was sponsored in part by the local chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. The author Mr. Chris Barton presented a very entertaining and informative lecture on the process of having his first book "The Day Glo Brothers" published. Afterward I networked a bit meeting and chatting with some nice folks. It was a great experience and I'm glad I attended.

This evening was the opening of the Revolucion art show for which I had made a painting and a drawing to exhibit. Now I want want to mention that prior to this show I hadn't taken part in any art shows since 2007. Being part of a group art show can be a good experience. You get to meet other artists and there is the possibility of selling your art. The thing is, art shows are only as good as the gallery where show your work. If for instance, your art is placed in a ridiculously low position that only a little person would find acceptable, it could be a sign that your work wont be noticed thus hindering the chances of it being sold. Couple that with inadequate lighting and the artist might as well take his piece and go home.

Such was my experience with the Revolucion show. It was both disappointing and shocking. The last time I was part of an art show in San Antonio I had a similar experience. Now, three years later, at an entirely different gallery I get to be disappointed again.

The photo below shows the entrance leading into the show. You see so many lights of all kinds. Then at the rear of the gallery, where you find my work, you are suddenly on the dark side of the moon. If you click on the photo you can magnify it and you'll see a guy to the left at the far end of the room. He looks like he's wearing a fake Fidel Castro beard. On the opposite side of the panel he's loitering by is where you'll find my work. The second photo shows me standing next to my work that is displayed at waist height and sans light.

One shouldn't have to squint and stoop to see a painting unless age and infirmity are the cause rather than a lack of care. When I was in college we took care to properly display our art because the way we presented the work was a direct reflection of ourselves. What I saw tonight was a lack of respect and care for the work entrusted to the organizers of the show. Perhaps they need a remedial course in Art Show 101.

Oooooh and aaaaah! Then...

Houston we have a problem...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Roundup

Pen and ink drawing of Bonzo Crunch a.k.a. Rik Gern of Austin, Texas.

This week wasn't as crazy as the previous weeks had been and I along with my entire family are grateful. I have started work on the new hobbit illustration showing Bilbo meeting Gollum deep in the heart of the Misty Mountains. I posted the rough sketches for that a couple of weeks ago but my work schedule prevented my working on it any further. I'll be posting the finished work as soon as it's finished. The pressure is on! No, not really. I'll have a great deal of fun painting it.

Tomorrow is the Revolucion art show down at the Gallista Gallery. I'll be around indulging in the food and wine while trying to schmooze. Oh, rapture! But before I play artist I'll be attending a talk and booksigning by children's book author Chris Barton at the Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing location.

The event is also the last meeting for the year of the Southwest Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators whose ranks I'll soon be joining. It should be quite the learning experience. It's the step in the right direction I should have taken long ago but better late than never I guess. It's all part of da' big picture that will make the new year anything but dull. In fact, it will be a perfect addition to what I predict will a very exciting year.
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