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


Saturday, September 3, 2011

When Sinuses Attack!

This morning I woke up with a sinus headache that I thought I could shake off but it went from bad to worse putting me back in bed till after noontime. Still I did manage to post that neat Johnny Quest video before I was down for the count. There was a glaring typo (what typo isn't) in the title of that previous post that I have now corrected. I hate it when I miss those.

I wanted to post a a couple of sketches I made of two Star Wars aliens. If there is one scene that I really enjoyed the most in the first film, A New Hope, it was the Mos Eisley cantina scene with all those wonderful aliens wetting their whistles. I remember coming home after the seeing the movie for the first time and sitting down to draw my own aliens as I'm sure many a young nerdly lad and lass did throughout the country. Of all six films the first one is my favorite mainly for that scene. Luv them aliens.

This is the Coolest !!

I saw this one on Drawn this morning. What a labor of love. This guy rocks! I wish he could make a full episode. Now this a great way to start a Saturday morning, baby!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Cartoonist

Here's a dvd you should have on your shelves on one of the best comic books ever made by the one and only Jeff Smith . Just in time for the holidays,eh?

More Virgen de Guadalupe Pics

That's me (man, I look so young!)
and Father Virgilio Elizondo, head honcho at the San Fernando Cathedral, who was responsible for "greenlighting" the creation of the five paintings telling the story of the appearance of the Virgen de Guadalupe to Juan Diego. He's a very cool guy and I'm glad I got to know him. Below is a clipping from La Prensa de San Antonio newspaper from December 20, 1989 showing a couple of photos of the televised celebration. Both Alex and I were there for the event and I think Juan Hernandez was there too but I don't recall Vincent Valdez being there. I think it was a school night.

Above: Alberto Ramirez Jr. ( young me) and Alex Rubio getting some good "press" for our work on the paintings for the cathedral.

Click on the image for a larger view.

The bottom photo in the clipping shows another of the five paintings Alex and I worked on.

Friday Roundup

This week was a pretty good one in various ways. The tooth fairy paid us a visit last night so this morning we had a very happy little girl with a slighter bigger smile on her face than usual. I forgot to mention in last week's roundup that my son also had the tooth fairy pay him a visit.

This week we, that is my wife and I, celebrated our wedding anniversary by having lunch at this wonderful Italian restaurant. This is significant because we usually forget our anniversary as it happens to be in November when all thoughts are on Thanksgiving. We usually remember in January. We decided weren't about to miss it this year. This month is also my wife's birthday and we celebrated that too. What a week!

This week we also found out that I'll definitely be working throughout October at Sea World doing Halloween flavored marionette work. I've not worked at Sea World before so this should be interesting. I've been reluctant to audition there because a friend who did some work there a few years back didn't have rave reviews about his experience. That was then so we'll see how it goes for me. Keep your fingers crossed for me please.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Elephant Row

I've got elephants on the brain lately. I've been working on this drawing since finishing the Ymir vs. Elephant. It's another portfolio piece and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm still trying to decide what my next 50's monster drawing will be. I'm having fun.

Virgen De Guadalupe Paintings at San Fernando Cathedral 1989

So I did a little digging through my clutter and found the photos documenting the making of the five paintings Alex Rubio and I designed and painted of the Virgen de Guadalupe for the San Fernando Cathedral's celebration of the Virgen Morenita in 1989. We worked from mid November to till the wee hours of December 12th which was our deadline.

That's me in the photo above working on the face for the main painting.
This was the same painting that was shown at the Museo Alameda in 2007 as part of the two person art exhibit by Alex and Vincent Valdez.

As I recall Alex was not comfortable painting faces and hands at the time so he asked that I handle all of the portrait work for all five paintings.

We had four weeks to paint the five paintings depicting the story of the Virgen de Guadalupe and Juan Diego. That pretty much required that Alex and I work six to seven days a week days and evenings to have the paintings ready for the celebration. Every so often though friends would pop in to lend a hand. Above is a very young Vincent Valdez putting in some time on the main piece. His parents were very supportive of Vincent's artistic inclinations and brought him to over to the cathedral now and then to participate. He must have been around nine or ten years old at the time.

Here's Vincent again doing some more detail work. Juan Hernandez, lead muralist of the Community Cultural Arts Program where Alex and I were also muralists, came around and helped quite a bit too.

That's the main piece without the decorative elements on the dress.

Myself and Alex on the scaffolds looking like we've been painting for a very long time. From what I can see the painting looks completed so we should have been smiling but we knew we had four more paintings to complete.

Here's a nice detail of the roses that flanked the image of the Virgen.

This a detail of the completed clothing and hands.

Alex adds some final touches to the dress.

I included this one because you can see that there is a second and off and unseen to the right a third painting in progress. That painting on the left was started and finished by me.

Moonlight, Porchlight

I took this shot as we were going out one night and quickly snapped it. I never thought the porchlight might outshine the moon. I'll turn it off next time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time to Think About Halloween

That's me in the photo above in spooky clownish makeup performing with my juggling marionette for a show we did a couple of years ago.

Tomorrow is the 1st of September and as far as we at Rancho Ramirez are concerned it is officially Halloween season.
We've always liked this time so we try to make sure we don't end up working on Halloween night so we can take the kiddos trick or treating though this year, assuming that I'll be working at Sea World till the thirtieth, it'll be cutting it close. Still that leaves the big day free. Yahoo!

Virgen de Guadalupe at Museo Alameda

Above is a clipping and photo for a painting Alex Rubio and I made in 1989. On December 11, 2007, it was part of an exhibition at the Museo Alameda showcasing the art work of Vincent Valdez and Alex Rubio, two of our city's top fine artists. We originally painted it for the San Fernando Cathedral here in San Antonio along with four other paintings for their celebration of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Somewhere in my clutter is a video of that event.

Alamo City Rollergirls!

In 2009 I did a series of illustrations that were used as art for posters announcing bouts for the Alamo City Rollergirls , a flat track derby team here in San Antonio. I submitted the art and their layout artist did the rest. I don't know that person's name but his/her work is great. It goes to show how much commercial art is a team effort. It was a fun experience researching and drawing these comic book style images. I've posted my illustrations before but not alongside the poster art. I've also become more knowledgeable using Blogger so I thought I'd post a few extras.

The Alamo City Rollergirls also contribute to the community in a variety of ways including donating portions of their ticket sales to the non-profit group Girls,Inc. . The last bouts of the season are coming up with one here at home over at The Rollercade, a neat place in itself. I hope to do a few sketches out there for some future illustrations.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Circus Memories- New York City, Today Show 2001

One day we were assigned to be part of some quick t.v. spots for the Today Show. Not the whole alley, just a few of us. Bello Nock, one of the nicest people you'll meet anywhere, was in all the spots ans we would help as needed. Pictured above is Bello and Pammy getting ready to make with the funny business but I can't remember what.

The day started very early for this bit of work and ran the length of the Today Show. There were plenty of times when we would just sit and wait. Seated on the ring curb nearest the camera is Francesco Vilares, don't remember the next clown, ringmaster Jonathan Lee Iverson, Larry Clark and Pammy.

That's Bello about to feed Bo the elephant a little snack. Bello once pulled a prank on this obnoxious reporter for a morning show. He convinced her to climb up on Bo's foreleg and sit there. Bo set his leg out for her to sit and as she did Bello gave us a wink. A second later Bo raised his leg while reporter, straddled across it, shrieked and yelled. Bello kept trying to calm her while we were rolling. That whole time her cameraman was on the job capturing the moment for posterity. There was never a dull moment with Bello.

At Winter Quarters I was almost assigned to lead a llama along by a rope for the opening parade of the show. I would have had to do that for a very long time on the tour. Llamas aren't very cooperative and luckily they got somebody else to do it before we left Winter Quarters. Llamas and clowns don't mix.

Francesco was a very nice fellow and a very talented and funny clown. He always seemed to have a smile for you and easy to laugh. He was the kind of person you wish could always work alongside because he loved what he did and it showed, just like Bello.

Pammy is a natural clown. She's most at ease when she's making people laugh and a "publicity" like this was a great way to show off.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Enlightening Documentary

This is a documentary about Hurricane Katrina directed by Harry Shearer that is making the rounds and should be seen. Check out their website for more info .
Here's another informative link .

Slapstick Theater- Night Court

Court jesters of television!

Sunday Morning Matinee- The Hunt For Gollum

This is a Lord of the Rings fan film made a couple of years ago which was filmed using the Peter Jackson "Lord of the Rings" films as the inspiration for their tale. Check out their site here . It's really well made with great production values and acting. So pop the corn, get some soda pop then sit back to enjoy a really good film.
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