Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sound of Music sets

I've been painting for The Sound of Music--this year's production of the Tacoma Multi-Stake Cultural Arts Committee.  We've been excited about this since it was announced last year.  The powers that be agreed to roll in the budget from two other productions (A Christmas Carol did not happen this last December) so they could pay for the rights, and they really pulled out all the stops.

All the planning and preparation takes quite a while, of course, but they only get two weeks before opening night to lock up the gym and keep everybody else out. During those two weeks the place is a madhouse.

Patrick came and talked to me about sets a few weeks ahead of time, so I was able to start putting together some ideas.  This is the sketch I came up with for the rear of the house. 

I took a couple of days to draft the design onto the panels (lots of measuring and marking), and then started painting. Patrick came up with this really cool system where he had some tracks on the stage and then panels that slid into the tracks. The panels were wood frames with canvas drop cloths stretched over them, which was not an ideal surface for painting, but we made it work.

I had a lot of help with filling in areas of color, so I could focus on details and shading. And Anne Marie painted a lot of the window bars for me, which was a huge help. (So nice to have a friend with a steady hand... I don't think I would have trusted anyone else to do those!)

Anne Marie touching up abbey windows. (The windows were based on this photo, simplified a bit). The abbey walls and the house background color were both mistints that Patrick got for free. Can't beat that!

I was thinking of how I got a glowy effect on some of the windows in the Hogwarts mural, so I tried going for a similar look. I think it worked--it did look pretty cool from the audience!

Anne Marie on stage (she was painting the top track to blend in with the black curtains).   You can see one of the house panels in the background.

Patrick built this mountain over the orchestra. (This was one of the first things he told me about--"I'm going to make a mountain!"--but he didn't get to actually put it together until a few days before the play.)

Mixing up mountain color (we use what we have!)

Patrick put on the base coat.

I painted the mountain in less than two hours, the morning of opening night. It was a rush job. Not what I would have liked, but I got it done!

Kate and I went to the Saturday matinee. I gave her a little bit of background while we were waiting for it to start--"Okay, do you know what a nazi is, and do you know what a nun is?"  She said she enjoyed it.  I'd never seen the stage version before--it is a bit different from the movie.  (The orchestra was a little rocky, but everyone did a really great job.)

The nuns' music was really gorgeous! The whole thing was just lovely.  It's so cool to put in all those hours and then see it all come together.

I was a little bummed about not getting picked for the Tacoma Murals Project (I made the initial selection process and got onto their artist roster, but wasn't chosen for one of the six mural sites)--but honestly, I don't think there's any way I could have done both at the same time. And a few days before opening night I got an email from the Tacoma Opera, asking me to come back and paint for their February and April productions this next year. I was walking around with a big grin all evening. It's just so fun.

There's still time to catch the show! Two more weekends!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Wildwood Picnic

We met up with some friends for a picnic at Wildwood Park in Puyallup. Myron and Sandi were in our ward at BYU (lo these many moons ago). They have four kids now!

Kate finds some friends.

This little guy was checking us out.

Sandi and baby Amelia (super cute!)

Kate, on big tree. The kids like to walk the whole length.

The stream is fun to play in! (A little messy.)  We had a fun time, and came home and got the kids cleaned up.  Wheee!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Two Pencil Portraits

I just finished these up for my friend Dawn. She wanted them done for her parents' wedding anniversary (which is, coincidentally, also my parents' anniversary--we figured out that they were married on the same day and probably very near the same hour.)

I've been busy with all the bathroom stuff, and then had to shift gears and focus on drawing for a while. It was a bit hectic but a good break. (What's that saying? A change is as good as a rest?) I did these on Canson art board, which I'd never used before but probably will again. 

In progress! This kind of hair is complicated and fiddly--it does take a while, but it's kind of fun to do.

I need a better pencil sharpener!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Baby Card

A quick card for Ida, who likes orange.

I don't think I've tried papercutting with watercolor paper before--it's pretty thick but it works!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Playing around in Olympia

We had a fun Saturday at the Hands on Children's Museum in Olympia. I had a Groupon voucher that was good for five people, so Kate's friend Liberty came with us.

Big chair!

You can do cool things with balls and hydraulics.

They've added an outdoor installation since we were there last year. This is a "Stick Works" sculpture by Patrick Dougherty. Lots of cool twists and turns to run through.

We spotted this in the art room.

The pin board is great fun! (I think the kids could spend hours playing with this.)

These pneumatic tubes along the wall shoot pom-poms and scarves into the air. The scarves get some really good hang time.

"Can I see my house from here?"

A quick lunch break!

We were headed back to the museum but got sidetracked by the wading stream out front. (Part of Olympia's East Bay Public Plaza. Really great idea--like a spray park, but more stream-ish.)

Off come the shoes!

These huge irises were all over the plaza. So pretty!

The girls spent quite a while in the stream (playing River Clan Warrior Cats).  Then we popped back into the museum for a quick run-around before it was time to go.

I love the light in this area.

Liberty is moving soon. (Sadness!) I know Kate was happy to be able to spend the day with her. We had a great time!