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


Saturday, July 16, 2011

By the Pricking of My Thumbs...

From the Film School Rejects website is a trailer and poster for The Thing prequel scheduled for an October 2011 release.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From the Sketchbook- Ymr

For my next brush and ink piece I decided to draw the Ymr from "Twenty Million Miles to Earth". I think I've settled on the action and now I've got to sketch out the background. More on that manana.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Funny Faces

Here's some more samples of caricatures I drew back when I was busy doing them at public and private events. I'd use these as samples to help my prospective subjects decide whether or not to I was worth five minutes of their time.

A few of the subjects were taken from my stockpile of Rolling Stone magazines because I had a subscription. I'm can't remember what publications the rest came from but they're mostly film actors and standup comics of the time.
I have quite a few more that are only penciled but I'll be inking with pen and brush later this week then post them as they're completed.

I haven't done many caricatures since the early nineties but I always enjoy the process when I do. Finishing nineteen year old caricatures should be an interesting experience.

Note- I'm posting these a bit late. Sorry about that. I started the post late yesterday but didn't get around to finishing until today (Wednesday) though the post will be listed for Tuesday. Ah, the magic of blogging!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Circus Memories-1995


David Larible and Chris Allison This number was the lead-in to finale.

Clown Alley corp de ballet dancing "gracefully" in a routine just before finale.

I've identified, as best as possible, most of the clowns in the photo above. You can see my foot just below Piper.

This was a routine involving the entire clown alley and David Larible, the featured clown performer for that tour. It begins with a pas de deux performed by Larible and a lovely dancer whose name I can't recall now. Larible sees her dancing, is smitten, which leads us into the slapstick ballet routine. He pursues her and almost has her in his embrace when out of the shadows enters Chris Allison, in ballet drag, as a very unfeminine dancer who is smitten with Larible. Larible tries to make a run for it when the the clown corp de ballet enters foiling the escape. Larible is man handled by Allison then Larible lifts his gruesome dance partner up high sending her flying via a cable. There a few more seconds of "dancing" then the clowns simultaneously go into an arabesque and fall followed by a black out a second later.

This was a pretty good routine. I always looked forward to it. One weekend I even got to cover for Chris Allison playing his part for a few shows. That was both an exhilarating and nerve racking experience but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was great.

Before our cue to go out onto the arena floor we'd be waiting behind the backstage curtain alongside Gunther's elephants that would enter shortly after our number ended and finale began. Sometimes we'd stand pretty close to the elephants and had to walk past them to go out for our number. Now in case you don't already know it elephants are very intelligent and curious animals. One evening one of the elephants, a young one if I recall correctly, had grown curious about the material of my tu tu. He reached out to a ruffled edge of my costume slowly. I thought all he wanted to do was to touch the material but instead he grab it and began coiling his trunk drawing me towards him. There was not much I could do about it. I tried to pull the tu tu away from his trunk but that was completely useless. I started to feel my feet come off the ground and that's when I really started to panic. I thought for sure I was about to become this elephant's pet to be loved to death a la Lennie Small.

That might very well have been my fate were it not for his handler. He was this little guy and he was standing there by his elephant watching the whole thing with the best poker face I'd ever seen in my life. Just as I was about to go "up up and away" he very nonchalantly tapped the elephant's trunk with his hand and calmly said '"No". I swear, up until that moment the guy never moved a muscle or batted an eye during the entire incident and sure enough the elephant released me from his playful grip of doom. It only took a few seconds from start to finish but it felt like it was in slow motion. In the movie "The Incredibles", supers shouldn't wear capes. In the circus, clowns shouldn't wear tu tus.


Monday is upon us at last. In the summer it's hard to tell the days apart. A Monday in the summer here at Rancho Ramirez could just as easily be a Thursday or a Saturday. When school is out for the summer the importance of Monday ends and we look ahead to September and the coming autumn which brings big changes here. We have that very important Monday point of reference not mention daylight savings time that affords us that extra hour of sleep.

It also means the stores have some Halloween decorations out for us to enjoy. Those decorations appear in stores around early September in anticipation of the coming holiday season ( Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.) which ends all too soon for our liking. Some folks don't like to see the businesses start marketing their seasonal wares so early, but for us it just means that time of year lasts just a bit longer which makes us happy.

So the countdown is on to September when the days shorten and farmers begin to harvest their fall crop. Our harvest consists of the visual delights found as trees don their autumnal colors, storefronts display assorted Halloween confections and decorations and households transform lawns and porches into theatrical expressions for their love of the season. Until then we'll get through the summer sweating as little as possible and look ahead to the day when Earth poises itself for an equinoctial kiss from the sun.
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