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


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Break Time

Here's a marionette I'm tinkering with for inclusion in a Halloween show this coming October. It's made from a store-bought decoration I took apart to work as a "break away", which is a marionette that has it's limbs and head separate from it's body. It's a neat effect. I've got another break away that's a scarecrow and have seen mummies and robots too.

Good to the Last Ymir

I finally finished it! My next one might be The Creature from the Black Lagoon... or maybe The Black Scorpion. I'm not sure yet.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Roundup

It's been an exciting week here at Rancho Ramirez. We've come to the end of the first week of school for our kids and so far, so good. The kids are glad to be back in the saddle and around all their friends again.

This week also saw us spending tons 'o' money to fix the starter on our three year old car. It seems like cars develop problems a lot sooner these days and are pricier to repair. When we were teens I can remember being able to get at starters and oil filters and other relatively simple parts of the car in order to do some work on it. Not anymore. The engines are configured to make those things almost impossible unless you have a hydrolic lift. I miss our super beetle.

Dick Monday in action.

On a more positive note I received a call from Dick Monday, former director of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College (1994-1997) to see if I could do some puppeteering at Seaworld for October. It's a tall order because the audience will be mostly teens out for some Halloween fun. I'll have to come up with a few creepy marionettes for the gig and I've already got some ideas cooking. We'll see how it goes.

Next month I'll be at the main branch of the Laredo Public Library doing a presentation on illustrating a picture book and reading from The Miracle of Monterrey. It's a first for me. While a done few of these in the past couple of years they've all been set up by my publisher. This is the first one I've done on my own. Many writers and illustrators do these kind of presentations at schools and libraries so I thought it was high time I did one on my own. It's something that I could do regularly among the other things I do now. Diversity is the key to success, at least in my case.I'm just planning for the future when I get to old to play the part of Doc Ed which will happen eventually. It's a good job but now is the time to implement "Plan B" and a "Plan C" too.

Doc Ed entertaining the kiddos. I love my job.

Plan C is selling my sci fi illustrations at conventions around the state and I've already got four drawings but I also plan to add sculptures in the mix. It's something I could have tried a while back but things were just a little too unpredictable for the first few years after we moved back to San Antonio. It's funny what a little job security will do for you. In mine line of work job security does not always apply so I feel very lucky being Doc Ed for the last few years and am grateful for the freedom it has given me to do other creative projects. Thanks Edwards Aquifer Authority and Doc Ed!

With my focus shifting a bit more to the visual arts I've started a blog that will show my artwork from illustrations to sculptures to puppets. It's only got a few images now but it will be plenty full before too long. My next shot term goal is to have an actual website for my artwork. I hope to have something up and running before the new year. It's all very exciting.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Raining Popcorn's New Look

Raining Popcorn Media, publisher of The Miracle of Monterrey, has just updated their website showing off some of their gizmo goodies like the ebook/ibook versions of The Miracle of Monterrey and all their other books. There's even an ebook sample to check out too. Click here for the link.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scratchbuilt Ymir and Elephant Sculpture

I found this while I surfed the web this morning. I thought I should share it. There are a lot of talented people making fun stuff out there.

Ymir Update

Here's the latest from the wonderful world of cool giant monster drawings. I've made some great progress on the drawing these last couple of days and should have it completed by the weekend. Next up are the foreground figures which require some care because of the temptation to zip through in order to get the piece finished. Slow and steady, man! My next posting for this will be of the completed drawing. Laterz!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Circus Memories- Ringling Red Unit 1990

Pammy's sister, Peggy, drafted for a clown gag by Julia Thudium (left) and Kevin Carr (right) .

Pammy and Peggy all smiles.

Pammy's route card for the beginning of the second half of the show's two year tour commonly called the "Rodeo Route" where the circus plays smaller towns and venues.

Pammy (my lovely wife) as a gypsy fortune teller and her walkaround, a third arm puppet talking crystal ball.

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