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


Saturday, June 11, 2011

From the Sketchbook- Cyclops and Alien

Above, the cyclops from the classic "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad". Below, the mystery alien in a metal suit from "Earth vs. Flying Saucers". Both were drawn in pencil and inked with a Copic Sketch marker #110 mostly using the brush-like tip then occasionally switching to the chisel point in this double tipped pen.

Friday, June 10, 2011

From the Sketchbook- Orc

This is the latest in a series of sketches as I work on my next Hobbit illustration for my portfolio. Figuring the way an Orc looks is harder than I expected. I think I'm over thinking the whole thing. Gotta start on the Battle of Five Armies. I'm going for it after this weekend! Man, it felt good to make that decision.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It's been a couple of months since we a had any measurable rainfall. There a have a couple of sprinkles here and there that lasted long enough to moisten the earth slightly and and raise hopes even more before it stopped. The footage above was taken sometime in April when we had a good day of rain. I just wanted to hear that sound again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Jitters

This morning I drove down to Seguin, Texas to do a Doc Ed presentation for a group of 120 elementary school-age kids in a summer program at a recreation center there. It's one I've done for the last three years since I began working as Doc Ed for the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

I do my presentations for them in the gym where there is a stage. The grade levels are from first through fifth grade so there is a great range in ages that poses a challenge for those in the educational presentation biz. The individual shows I do are geared for specific age groups and grade levels. For instance, The Amazing Aquifer Adventure Show's target audience is from the first to third grade. The Rock Star Show is for fourth and fifth graders.

When you mix the age groups as they sometimes do in summer camp settings when they have visitors like me and then the kids are rowdy to begin with, things can unravel rather quickly during the course of a show. Coupled with that was a lack of an adult presense and camp counselors who are still technically kids too and not to hip on the "maintaining order" thing. It all makes an ordinarily enjoyable and fun show into an ordeal for the presenter and perhaps a disappointing experience for the few kids who were behaving.

There is also the fact that it's summer vacation which means, for most kids, that education is not a part of the agenda until September which is understandable.

Last year, after trying to get through my show while the noise rose to uncomfortable levels in the gym, I finally had to stop when the basketball dribbling overwhelmed the maximum volume of my microphone. I politely let the audience and counselors know that I'd have to stop due to the ever increasing noise and lack of order and we could try again next summer.

They all seemed surprised that I did that. I guess no one had ever been comfortable enough to tell them, as I did that day, that they had to stop because of their rudeness, though I didn't say it that way. I left them the usual activity books and other assorted goodies that I brought along for any show, thanked them for inviting me to their camp and left.

This year I was again dreading the visit to that rec center but things were a bit different this time. I arrived expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised to be met with an audience of relatively well behaved kids. Wow! There was even a couple of adults there too.

I did make a few adjustments to my presentation to accommodate the varied age ranges presenting sections of both shows and interacting more with the entire audience which seemed to help. But were it not for the noticeable improvement in manners the show, regardless of the changes would not have gone well. Maybe next year will be even better.
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