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


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Pork Chop Express Has Arrived !

I found a vhs copy of John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China" at a used books and video store this week and I snagged it up quick. I'm of the opinion that if it's still out in vhs somewhere on this planet I should see it that way first. But as soon as I find one, I'll be buying the dvd version too. I haven't seen this movie since it came out back in 1986. So I finally saw it this afternoon and I wasn't disappointed. It's a wild, free for all action adventure,kung fu, fantasy,comedy, supernatural, two- fisted B movie with a dash of romance to set the ride in motion.

The dialogue was priceless and for me was the best part of the movie. Whenever Jack Burton had something to say you could almost imagine the lines being spoken in a film from the thirties or forties, minus the cussing, of course. In fact the dialogue between the characters, which is fast paced and very funny, was reminiscent of the writing style from those golden days of cinema. Kim Cattrall delivers some doozies too. "Don't panic. It's only me, Gracie Law." Or " Look. You know I'm always poking my nose where it don't belong." Those two lines are spoken minutes apart. Fabuloso!

But Kurt Russel has the best lines of all as Jack Burton uttering gems like this one: " Okay, you people sit tight and keep the home fires burning. And if were not back by dawn, call the president." He says the lines straight-faced but there's a subtle wink between the lines to the audience in his delivery too. Beautiful stuff. I can't wait to see it again and again. It's a classic popcorn movie. Next on my list is "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"... in vhs, of course.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Return of the Thing!

Okay. Here it is. It took a little longer than I anticipated because of some distractions. They were just the usual one's though, like work, household chores I ignored and making sure the kids aren't hungry because this summer they've been eating like wolves. We anticipate a major growth spurt for our kids very soon and an exodus of money from our bank account to pay for their new wardrobe. Crazy, dude!! It's all in brush and ink and the background lines drove me crazy but it was worth it. I'm generally happy with the overall drawing but there are a few things I might like to tweek or change altogether.

Next up: I don't know. Any suggestions? I'm still going to draw something from the grand ol' fifties, for sure. I'm thinking maybe the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" or maybe the aliens from "It Came from Outer Space". Then there's always "The Colossal Beast". I might have to sleep on it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rebel Without a Library Card,_TX_IMG_1063.JPG

Bruni Plaza in Laredo, Texas. Location of the Main Branch of the Laredo Public Library.

The library can be seen in the background. It was a beautiful place for a library.

A couple of days ago good ol' Doc Ed talked about water conservation and preservation to an eager audience at the Memorial Branch Library on the west side of town. I really enjoy my library shows because I love libraries. That love developed during my middle school years.

When I was in middle school there was a brief time where I'd skip out of my afternoon classes. It wasn't as if I had someplace to go and hang out with friends when I left the campus. I was on my own. Part of my problem was boredom with school and the cliques that were so common and divisive. You know the story. It wasn't fun.
Sure, a lot of my friends were going through the same thing but for some reason it finally got to the point where I needed a little vacation from that reality. Not the best choice perhaps but it seemed like a good idea at the time to my adolescent brain.

But during this period of truancy I'd spend my time at the public library. Some people go fishing ; I learned all about the Dewey Decimal System. The library became my natural habitat. The librarians
wouldn't ask any questions when I'd walk in in the middle of a school day. Before I started skipping out of school I don't recall ever spending much time at the library. I was a bit of a reader before that, though, because I read comic books but after my hookey career began I was hooked on reading books.

I'd spend hours reading these great books by Ray Bradbury and Asimov. I think that was the first time I read "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell. I also discovered A. Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" and "Professor Challenger". There were so many art books too. I'd sit in and read book after book. I felt comfortable there. That library was like a sanctuary for me, I guess.

I still frequent libraries now more than ever though not as a shelter, rather as a place to inspire the imagination. It's also a place I eagerly share with my wife and kids. We even have a mini-library at home. Libraries. I love them. But, remember kids don't play hookey or you could become a rabid bibliophile like me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From the Sketchbook- Yoda

This was meant to be a quick study of Yoda but it ended up like this. I guess the Force was with me...or somethin'.
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