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


Saturday, November 10, 2012

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program

No "Saturday Night Doodles" this evening. The kids and I went to a meeting of the Star Wars Society of San Antonio. Football games have been preempting out MeTv Saturday night lineup so I thought we'd try something different. It was fun and the kids got light saber training lessons. We got home thinking that a football game would still be on but were pleasantly surprised to see Svengoolie on and showing the 1931 Darcula starring Bela Lugosi. I think I'll just kick back and enjoy the movie. "Saturday Night Doodles" return next weekend.  Have a great evening.

From the Sketchbook- Elf Maiden

Friday Roundup- Damn the Torpedoes

This week was calm compared to last week which is a very good thing. It allowed us to catch up on various things including catching up on writing and illustrating a book on fairies I've been working on for the last five years. These things take time but I hope to be close to finishing what might be the first of a series by years end. It's not a traditional take on the faerie world. I added a few twists. As I come closer to completing the book I'll post art work here. Now I've also got to scrape my pennies together for more art supplies that I'll need for the remainder of the illustrations which will be both in color and black and white. I'm very excited about it.

This week included a couple of meetings one of which took place today at the Edwards Aquifer Authority to discuss, among other things, renewing my contract. It looks like I'll be back as Doc Edwards for another year. Nice.

We also met with some theatre folk to discuss the possibility of putting together a children's theater. That's something that Pammy and I have had a lot of experience in and would love to do again. So far so good. Another meeting is scheduled for next week.

Oh, and I managed to contact a local Star Wars fan club to see about attending their meeting this weekend. It sounds like fun. They work on costuming and prop building and best of all for my kids, do light saber skills classes. That's something we're all looking forward to doing. We need a little something different in our lives to shake things up a bit and keep things interesting. It seems like this week had a lot of that going for it. Karma.

That;s all for now. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recent Acquisition

My precious.

If you have tons of paperwork to organize, why not use something fun like a candy display? I found this treasure at a thrift store this past weekend. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. An M & M candy display. You could almost hear an angelic chorus. It was sitting there amongst the usual knick knacks and furniture, people walking past it without taking a second look. Unbelievable! My son and I went over to have a closer look at it, explaining to him what it was and told him how unusual it was to see something like that there. I was already prepared to walk away from it when I decided to show it to Pammy. She could see that I was taken by it but could also see how it could be put to good use. Bingo! I've already got paperwork and photos occupying the shelves. Sometimes you need to introduce a little whimsy to your work day. Work has never been more fun. I like making  mundane activities as fun as possible. 

Clown Alleys On Ringling

Francesco Villares' trunk space. There's a blanket on the floor for naps when possible. We usually had metal folding chairs but it looks like Francesco found himself something more comfortable. Nice.
I've been meaning to post more circus material. This time around I'm sharing some clown alley photos from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus 2001 Bello and Bo Tour. That was last time Pammy and I toured with circus before settling down, at least for a little while, to be parents. 

Every clown alley was different depending on the arena we'd be playing on a given week. Some were large enough to comfortably fit all of us, our steamer trunks, wardrobe and entertainment center/ tool box./kitchenette. Others were very cramped and unpleasant. The women and men each had their own alleys, of course, but often times the ladies would end up in our alley since the majority of clowns hung out there.

 The entertainment center consisted of a color t.v. and a vcr. The tool box was a set of drawers containing hand and power tools we employed making or maintaining our assorted clown toys. In years past, room had to be made for the trunk containing the pyro goodies which was always stationed at the Boss Clown's trunk. The Boss Clown's trunk was always at the entrance to the alley. Yes, there was, at least at that time, a heirchey in the alley. First of Mays generally were at the very rear of the alley. 

In Rosemont, Illinois,  where the First of Mays traditionally have joined the show for rehearsals in November, the alley was a narrow hall that ended in a ramp that rose up 30 degrees ending with a concrete wall.. The trunks on the far end of that alley were at a tilt as a result.  The plus side was that of that particular alley was it's proximity to the backstage curtain where we would make most of our our entrances and exits. The drawback was that it was also a few steps from arena's freight entrance where the cold winter winds would always enter making ours a frosty clown alley.

One of the smaller alleys. You can see my trunk on the upper right of the photo. There's a black and white striped shirt draped over my chair. The communal table is on the lower right.

Whatever the size or location of the alley, it was our second home so we tried to make it as comfortable as possible for all of us. We tried to make as much room as possible between trunks even when space was at a premium. More important than the space was placing the trunks according to who got along best. We're all human and you can't always get along with everybody. Setting the alley usually fell to the Boss Clown.

 A clown's trunk space could also become a refuge of sorts too. If you had walls rather than a curtain forming the boundries of the alley you could open your trunk so the inside would face the wall. You had a little more privacy that way which was always nice in the smaller alleys especially on three-show-days which were very long and tiring. In New York City you had "nine packs" which were three-show-days three days in a row.

More clown alley stuff later. Got to get movin'.     

Monday, November 5, 2012

November Sky #1

It was a hectic Monday. Nothing creative necessarily, just a lot of errands and a ton of laundry. But late in the afternoon, just as the sun was starting to set, the sky was the most beautiful I'd seen in a long time. There were so many colors and I could have kicked myself because I didn't have my camera with me. When I finally got home I managed to catch this beautiful sight. As colorful as it is it was nothing like the colors that I saw just twenty minutes earlier. There were blues and lavenders and pinks depending on which direction of the sky you were watching. Live and learn.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Slapstick Theatre- Monty Python: Dirty Fork Sketch

Sorry about the ad before the sketch.

Sunday Morning Matinee- Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek Memories (1983)

Saturday Night Doodles

Well, the night started off right. The football game ended just in time before Batman came on so we got to see a couple of episodes featuring Eartha Kitt as the Catwoman and Cesar Romero as the Joker followed by an episode with featuring Milton Berle as Louie the Lilac. 

All was well until another game came on and for the next three and a half hours our evening's entertainment was once again interrupted. This time around I had a "Plan B". I'd bookmarked the Star Trek website where we watched the original Star Trek series episode #22 "Space Seed" starring Ricardo Montalban as Khan Noonian Singh, a genetically engineered super-human created during the Eugenics War of the 1990's.

Knowing that we might not be watching Svengoolie either, Pammy remembered we had a vhs copy of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in our collection so we watched that right after "Space Seed". It worked out okay but we still missed Lost in Space.

After the movie ended we tuned in to MeTv on the off chance we might catch a bit of Svengoolie and we were in luck. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) starring Oliver Reed was his pick for the week and we watched the last half hour. I'd never seen the movie so I was a little disappointed I could only watch the end. Oh, well. The werewolf looked great and Oliver Reed was perfect for the part. The film was made by British film studio Hammer Films, which produced many classic horror films from the fifties to the seventies.

Maybe next Saturday night will go on without a hitch but just in case I'll have my plan B ready and waiting in the wings. It might seem like a silly thing to fret about but it's not just about watching old t.v. shows and movies. It's about sharing these wonderful pop culture gems with my kids that were a big part of my childhood and seeing enjoy them just as much as I did. Happy memories like that are priceless. Who knows, maybe someday they'll do the same thing with their kids.


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