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


Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Roundup- Props, Set Pieces and Masks, Oh My!

Drawing for farmhouse flat.

We're getting down to the wire for the Tales From Norway show that opens next Thursday at St. Phillips. Man! It's fun though. Pammy and I love theater. There's nothing like putting up a show whether it be  play, variety show, puppet show, etc.,. We enjoy the process of seeing the show develop through rehearsals where, after the actors learn their lines they can start having fun with their roles. 

Then there's the sets, costumes ans props: In this case we've got a good variety to work on from a troll bridge to a farm house flat and masks and bacon too. Only in theater. This particular show reminds me a lot of the time Pammy and I   were working at the San Antonio Fine Arts Center,  putting on children's plays and melodramas and where wearing different hats was commonplace.  We practically lived in that place. Good times and good memories. 

Goat hooves.
This past weekend I participated in the Art Slam at the White Rabbit and sold a painting. Very nice! Next time around I'll be better prepared. I'll definitely bring a chair and table, some finished art to sell along with my auction piece and a better lighting system. I understand the next theme is martial arts. Lot'sa ideas for that.

 Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday the work continues on finishing the props, sets and masks for the show. The goal is to have as much ready for the rehearsal on Monday. Last night was a late night for us so were going to try to go to bed extra early this evening so we can be up to the tasks that await us over the weekend.  

This kids finished there dance camp this week ans we got to see a mini-performance this afternoon showing off what they'd learn during the course of the week. In addition to learning dance routines in ballet, jazz and modern they also got to try their hand at sewing too. That's a good theater and life skill. We're very proud of their accomplishments.

All in all, good times were had by the entire fam-damily this week here at Rancho Ramirez. Theater been bery bery good to us. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The bacon beckons!

Foam is so much fun to sculpt. Along with the masks Pammy and I are making for the play "Tales from Norway" to be performed by the students of her musical theater class over at St. Phillips College, we've got an assortment of other costume-ish pieces and hand props to build.  That's a hell of a long sentence! 

Anyway, there are animal characters in the show so we've got to make several sets of hooves for goats, cows and sheep. There is also the over-sized strip of bacon and the ham. You heard right. Pork is the word! 

And these things will be made mostly of foam like the kind we used to sculpt many a prop in the circus. It's a versatile material. You can make anything out of foam and it's like sewing in that you have to have a pattern to follow of whatever it is you're making. I'm really pleased with how the props are shaping up, especially the bacon. Wouldn't it be great if I could get it to smell like bacon?

Bacon in progress.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole and Back Again- An Artist's Tale

The White Rabbit situated next to Ricardo's Pizzaria.

 Well, I went down the rabbit hole and lived to tell about it. Actually, the whole experience was a lot of fun. I met some really nice and talented artists, met a couple of old friends from my Ripley's Haunted Adventure days and sold a painting. Not bad. See what happens when you take a chance?

There were a lot of artists of varying styles present making art on site as well as bringing completed work to sell during the event. You could tell that they were Art Slam veterans because they all had one very important piece of equipment: chairs. There were times during the evening that I would have loved to rest my aching dogs. Oh, well. Live and learn. 

The artists on one side of the space setting up.
Shortly after the doors opened the crowd grew rather quickly and it wasn't long before I had to watch out for people standing directly behind me as I stepped back to check the progress of my work.

  I've been in art exhibits where there was live music and so forth but this was a very unique experience for me where I felt very comfortable. It was not a "stuffy" event and there was definitely a party atmosphere especially as the night progressed. It's nice to have a cold brew as you paint and schmooze.

My cozy little spot twixt two doors leading to the bar and stage. Sorry for the blurred image. I think the music vibrated the camera.

I arrived a little after 6p.m. just as the artist were about to go in. I set up my space on the side of the building opposite the main entrance along with about a dozen other artists. Right at seven 'o' clock I started my painting of several bounty hunters  seen from The Empire Strikes Back plus Jabba the Hut, Darth Vader and the Emperor thrown in for good measure. For a while there I thought perhaps that I'd bitten off more than I could chew by illustrating so many characters in one piece with only five hours to complete it. 

Two hours later the painting was more than halfway complete and I felt a little more relaxed knowing I still had three hours to work. The biggest challenge for me was the lighting. I had no where to properly hang my light so next time I'll bring a stand of some sort on which to hang it. I made due with as much of the spillover light from the neighboring artists on either side of me. It all worked out in the end. A couple of hours before I completed the piece  I had a buyer.

 It was a real mix of patrons that evening. On the one hand there were people that came for the Art Slam who didn't seem like White Rabbit regulars and then there were those patrons who were the regulars that also enjoyed the art. It was a great mix of people which made it all the more fun.  A number of patrons took photos as I worked and one commented how he liked my method of using paints, mediums and brushes referring to it as "old school". One fellow asked why I had included Boba Fett in my painting because he felt he wasn't a true villain. 

I'm looking forward to the next Art Slam in September. I hope to be a part of that fun evening too. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Science Goes Kaboom!

This is a very entertaining and talented performer known as Doktor Kaboom. He does science shows with a definite comedic flair edu-taining audiences all around the country. There's plenty of footage on the internet of his shows and below are a couple samples to enjoy his very unique form of edu-tainment. 


 For more info on Doktor Kaboom check out his website via the link below.

Slapstick Theatre- The Beverly Hillbillies in "Grannie's Garden"

Sunday Morning Matinee- Star Maidens Episode 10 (1976 )

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