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


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Paintin' Fool

The flats being set up at the park.

The panels in the garage stall. It was a little cramped but art isn't about comfort, man.

The map of the event. Looks fun.

When I painted murals I got used to working outdoors. That doesn't happen so much these days. I just spent the last nine and a half hours drawing at the computer while simultaneously spewing a torrent of obscenities at it but every so often I get to see the light. Last September I was commissioned by the San Antonio Water System (S.A.W.S.) to paint a landscape on several 4'x8' sheets of plywood that would be displayed at a S.A.W.S. sponsored event. I got my sunscreen and my boom box ( do they still call it that?) and started slinging paint. Above are some photos of the panels in the garage stall ready for transport then being put in place for display.
I also drew a map for the event showing the different booths and activities that could be found there. That map was created with photoshop but I still like it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Holy Deja Flu Batman!!

I sold this painting along with two others to this collector a few years ago for a cool chunk'o' change but it was spent the minute it went in the bank. Alas.

Okay, so I was mistaken. Monday was rough on me but then Tuesday felt the competition and put the whammy on me. My son had a bout of some kind of stomach bug around three a.m. then three hours later I felt the "love" too. I started to feel somewhat human again, though you couldn't tell by looking at me, around four o'clock this afternoon.

So, Monday, you have my heart felt apology. I'm glad to be in the land of the living again and to celebrate I will share this thumbnail sketch for the painting above. And no, I wont be going near any wine or moonpies tonight.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mondays Are Hell

It's been a long day. I've been working on a illustration assignment for the last couple of weeks and today was a long one at the computer, so I haven't had time to work on the blog. All is quiet on the western front now so I thought I'd share this photo of myself and Jay Stewart on the road with Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus in 2001.

He played a character of his own creation he called "Big Mamma" or "The Fat Broad". Really, it was Jay just being Jay but with an enormous bosom and hips. I was generally pounded by Big Mamma during the course of our gags. At the end of this particular gag he throws the mattress I was sleeping on at me for the "big finish".

Metaphorically speaking, today was "one big finish". I will now conclude my day with a healthy dose of "Big Bang Theory" whilst I enjoy a chocolate Moon Pie with a tall glass of pinot noir. Night, night.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Son of Ghepetto (Not the Little Wooden Head)

Sketch for the first full marionette I designed, carved and assembled for Le Theatre de Marionette's production of "The Little Mermaid".

Tickets for the Little Mermaid show at Le Theatre de Marionette for the 2ooo season. I just wanted to show you these tickets because even a little theatre in a mall in Dallas goes to the trouble of printing nice looking tickets.

The finished puppet hanging in repose backstage after one of our shows. I wish it was a better picture but all I had was an Instamatic that was used for taking pictures of the birthday kid for the day.

Most of what I know of puppet repairs and building I've taught myself during our tenure at Le Theatre de Marionette. While there we learned to operate marionettes but quickly learned that there was no one on staff that had the knowledge to repair or build any new puppets.

As time went on I slowly taught myself how to repair broken puppet noses or replace an arm or carve a hand too damaged to repair. I had learned some of the basics of wood carving from my father, Alberto Sr., and applied it to carving marionettes but also read up on the subject and watched instructional videos. I also had the good fortune of having some of the best puppet builders and performers in the country just a phone call away and also minutes from our home.

When the opportunity to make a marionette from scratch finally came I felt pretty confident. It was for "The Little Mermaid", a show which they had built a few years earlier but were missing the protagonist, the sea witch Ursulla though they still had the land- walking, two- legged land version. Not having any photo reference of the original marionette I set out to design a new one. I produced several sketches, one which you see above was that was selected by Mr. John Hardman, the theatre owner and producer. I seem to have lost the other sketches somewhere between our "moves".

I modeled the face and hands on the "land-walking" version sculpting the face in clay then making a plaster mold to which I pressed plastic wood into for the final positive of the face. The rest of the puppet was carved from basswood using hand tools given to me by my father. Thanks, Dad. I painted it with acrylic paints and the costume was made from dyed muslin and burlap. It worked really well for the run of the show and never required any repairs. All in all, it wasn't too shabby for my first one. Now I have to learn how to build a theatre to house all our marionettes and assorted costumes and props as well as do shows. Man, do I need to win the lottery or what?!
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