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


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Circus Memories

That's Mark Oliver Gebel, son of the legendary animal trainer Gunther Gebel Williams, standing between Pammy and I, backstage the last time we toured with the Ringling show in 2001.This was taken at his son, Hunter's, birthday party. You can see the balloons and assorted decorations in the background. Most people don't realize that families live and work in the circus and celebrate birthdays just like everybody else. This was in the middle of a Saturday when we normally did three shows, starting our day around 9a.m. and ending it around 10p.m. Pam and I look pretty sweaty... happy but sweaty and having fun living the dream. Mark Oliver is a great performer and seemingly tireless. The man is "circus" to the core and I hope he and his family are well.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dino Redo

Sometimes I wish I could redo an illustration. The sketch above is for a drawing I did a number of years ago.

This the old version of the unpublished piece done with ink and brush on bristol board. I was never a happy pappy with the end product so I'm glad I did it over.

This is the new version. It's got tons more detail and I've added more of the hadrosaurs to each side. The only thing is my digital camera doesn't want to take a lighter image so this will have to do.I'll feel better after a taco. Adios!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Things I Do for Fun

When I was a kid my Saturdays were spent watching sci fi movies on t.v. depicting the horrors resulting from the atomic bomb ala the 1950s. I loved them all. From Tarantula to War of the Colossal Beast, I watched them all and couldn't get enough of them. Recently, I drew a variation of the poster for the giant bug genre classic "Them" which starred James Whitmore and James Arness of "Gunsmoke" fame WHO also happened to play the lead role in another 1950's classic "The Thing from Another World". Anyway, I think I've nerdified the web long enough. There's the picture. Check it out! Notice how the monster always goes after the voluptuous woman each and every time. It seems the be their m.o.

Ruth Chaddock on the Road

Ruthy up to her elbows in plaster and Francesco eagerly awaiting his prize.

(Above) Ruthy with the completed life mask of Francesco Villares (Master of Kung Fu) made , if I recall correctly, when the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus was in Los Angeles in 2001. That's a lot to write on one cup of coffee. Caramba!

Ruthy had come by to make life casts for several people on the show (which was a special and unique occasion.) Ruthy taught the makeup classes at Clown College teaching us the finer points of clown makeup design and application plus helped us to find the right "face" for our character. Some of us needed more help than others and she had tons of patience for us.The life casts we used to to sculpt our noses were made by her too. On top of all that she is one of the nicest, sweetest people you'll ever meet. One of the perks of the road is the nice people who cross your path.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Prop Making Fun

Above is a prop limestone rock for the Doc Ed school shows carved from foam and painted in acrylic paint. At this stage it was only partially painted.

Edible props are fun and fattening! This is a closeup of the "nails", "bolts" and "nuts" I ate for the Salado Silver Spurs' "If You Build It They Will Laugh" variety show last summer as my character Buck Dillwater. Color to the individual pieces was added later.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Career Day

Doc Ed got the honor of visiting the students of Herff Elementary for Career Day in May but I got the credit on the certificate of appreciation. Score a point for me.

Artist Gag 2001

Art imitates life and vice versa in the 131st of the Ringling show. That's me in the yellow smock about to be confronted by my nemesis the Sculptor ( Alan Ware) over the articulated wooden model ( Darren Burrel) he doesn't feel like sharing. Darren's costume for the gag wasn't fully completed at the time of this photo as is evidenced by the clown hat and wig. They would soon be replaced by a smooth foam head piece resembling the wooden noggin' of one of those models. This was taken at winter quarters when all the props were brand spankin' new and squeeky clean.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sculpting Clowns

I love sculpting almost as much as I love painting. Pictured above is Christy Mcdonald with her clown likeness in miniature which I sculpted in "Sculpy".

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ringling Brazilian Style

Right and below: Pammy and I, backstage, in the spec costumes for the 131st Edition of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus in 2001.

The costumes were heavy and warm and felt even more so because for the duration of spec, which was about thirty minutes long, we had to dance across the arena floor and into the stands like it was 1999 in Brazil but thankfully we didn't have to wear thongs. Viva Brazil!!
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