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


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Road Trip

Above is a shot of a tiny portion of the Abdou collection. Amazing.

Today was a cool day for me. I got to spend it in the company of ventriloquists and puppeteers in the town of Manor just a few miles east of Austin in an event hosted by puppeteer, ventriloquist and collector of all things cool: Bob Abdou a.k.a. Mr. Puppet and his wife June. They're were wonderful hosts for this gathering where we got to enjoy mini-performances and show and tells. Schmoozing was never so fun! I wanted to post at least one photo tonight to give you a taste of what I saw. I'll post more photos soon. Below is a link to Mr. Puppet's website. Hasta manana!

Friday Roundup

It's been a busy week here at good ol' Rancho Ramirez. Pammy had a voice over session at Raining Popcorn Media, which is always fun because we spend the better part of the time trying to get each other to crack up. There's some more illustration work coming from them, possibly in the next couple of weeks.

On the Edwards Aquifer front Doc Ed had a few shows at Ed Cody Elementary and Schenck Elementary. My expanded role with the Edwards Aquifer Authority now includes more office time mostly meetings about future Doc projects and of course reporting on how a school visit went that day or week. Those meetings are helpful in fine tuning little details for the show and the overall school visit so that they go as smoothly as possible. I've also got a cubicle (Freaky.I'm in Dilbert land!) where I can do some paper work and make phone calls.

Today is about cleaning my drawing area. Clutter seems to be the norm of late in that space. When I'm satisfied I've done enough to reduce and/or eliminate the clutter I then go off to buy some art supplies at a locally owned art store.

That's all folks!

You may have noticed this Friday Roundup was published today, Saturday, not Friday. I wrote it yesterday but never got around to publishing the post till today. Normally it'll appear on the blog the day the post was originally written regardless of the day it was published. I'm not sure what happened. Weird. No biggie, I guess but sorry nonetheless. Hey, that rhymes. Neato!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Advice for young writers

Neil Gaiman on being a writer.

Neil Gaiman: "Witch's Gravestone" intro

Mr. Gaiman chats a bit about "The Graveyard Book".

Write On!

Here's a link to Neil Gaiman's Journal. In an entry just below the Saturday Night Live video he embedded is a response to a reader's inquiry regarding his expectations of a favorite writer: George R.R.Martin. In it, Mr. Gaiman sets the record straight for the aforementioned reader.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doc Ed Show Update

Here's the latest dates for the " Doc Ed's History of a Rock Star" tour for the remainder of the school year:

Feb. 22nd Barrera Veterans Elementary
Feb. 23rd Specht Elementary
Woodlawn Elementary
Feb.24th Jose Cardenas Center
March 2nd Woodlawn Elementary
March 7th Galm Elementary
March 11th Highland Park Elementary
March 25th Coker Elementary
April 20th Braun Station Elementary
May 27th Carrol Child Development Center

Doc is feelin' the love!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mid-week Stuff

Edu-taining the 3rd and 4th graders at Schenck Elementary. Wasn't Schenck the fourth Stooge?

I like your style Schenck!

The school is a little over fifty years old with a student body of around six hundred.

The school was cheerful and inviting.

The owl is Schenck's mascot.

Hey, can you feel spring in the air? It feels good! Well, Pammy started of this spring-like day doing a quick voiceover at Raining Popcorn Media. There aren't any Doc Ed chores for me today so I can stay home to take care of Jose who seems to have a stomach bug that I hope he wont share with me.

Yesterday I had the best time presenting the Doc Edwards Amazing Aquifer Adventure show for the 3rd and 4th graders at Schenck Elementary. The kids were great and the teachers were really enthusiastic. Often times I do my shows in a classroom but there are times when I get to be on a stage which really makes a difference. The custodian there, Freddy, was great, offering to set up the stage lights for me. I clowned around a bit more than usual for the show but it just seemed like the mood was right for it and the audience responded positively to it.

Its always a tricky balancing act between education and entertainment when you do these kind of shows. My feeling is that there are plenty of great teachers educating children in the traditional, straight -forward manner. My strength is on the funny side of the business so quite naturally I play to those strengths as often as I can so the kids will take an interest in what I have to share. And as a very wise nanny once sang, " A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Theatre Memories- Lyle the Crcodile

Above is a write up about DCT's 1996 production of "Lyle the Crocodile". I'm the long snouted fellow on the right. On the left is the very funny Mr. Karl Schaeffer. It was my first theatrical part in Dallas and it was loads of fun. I'd don that mask again in a heartbeat.

Monday, February 14, 2011

From the Sketchbook- A Gryphon

A color sketch of a gryphon that may lead to a painting. I'd never painted a gryphon before so this was a good challenge for me. I was watching Dinotopia with the kids while I fiddled with this creature.

When I was growing up my weekends were spent drawing monsters and aliens and watching classic monster movies like Universal Studios "The Mummy" and "Dracula". They were generally double features so we're talking a good long stretch at the drawing board but I loved every minute of it. From time to time my mom would bring me a snack or I'd run to the table for a quick bite then back to work. Though I'm forty seven now ( I can't believe it!), I still feel I'm at my creative best if I'm watching a movie while I paint or draw. Some people play music; I watch George Pals version of "War of the Worlds". If I'm in for a very long painting session I usually watch "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Things change all around us. Sometimes they change a little quicker than we prefer but some of my youthful self's habits still carry on all these years later. I think it helps keep me young at heart a bit. A very successful artist friend of mine once lamented that he'd never be able to paint for fun again. That's pretty sad. I hope I never feel that way. If I ever start to feel that way about my work I'd quickly take a day job and draw for myself at night. But since that kid in me is still alive and strong that wont be the case anytime soon. I feel very lucky to be doing something
for a living I truly love. That's a successful career. Time to pop in a movie.
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