Friday, January 30, 2009

Tribal Art Show

I'll be down in Long Beach this Saturday for the Tribal Art Show. How fun is this? These are people I've met through my wanderings on Jim Ladd's radio show. Yes, I've met them through radio, how cool!

The featured artists are Al Bondigas, KiKi (Coyote Acolyte, aka The Tribal Chef), Radioactive Glo, There It Is There Johnny, and myself!

These gorgeous posters were created by Al Bondigas. WOW! Is all I can say about this creative guy, and also his artistic and quite lovely wife, Radioactive Glo! KiKi has some wonderful oils in fabulous colors, and Johnny is a unique character with a wonderful spirit who has some fantastic rock-n-roll stuff!

So come on down to Long Beach and see us. There will be excellent food, coffee, and some live bands too!! Not to mention the very entertaining Tribal Members.

So maybe all my TOC scribblings have paid off after all!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.

Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law>

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Art Lesson - Ancient Egypt Sarcophagus

This art lesson was done with 2 classes of 6th graders a week or so ago. It's a little more difficult to fit into the schedule with the middle school kids, and the lessons must be curriculum based. The kids were on their unit of Ancient Egypt, so I came up with this lesson (with the help of my good friends HC and GC, Thanks guys!)

Each kid was given a large piece of paper (24x13"), pencils, eraser, black sharpie and scissors. I also had some copies of different sarcophagi, hieroglyphs, and symbols for them to refer to. I drew with them a simple version, telling them they could do their own, or if they needed to just follow along with my drawing. They started in pencil, then traced over with the sharpie. I had them do any details with the sharpie also. The day before the Social Studies teacher had gone over hieroglyphs with them using some stamps. So they were well acquainted with that. They could write their name, or anything appropriate really. It's slightly morbid to have kids make their own coffin, but oh well, that's why they had the option to put Cleopatra or whatever. I encouraged them to also use some symbols and we talked a little about what some of the symbols meant.

Once all the details were drawn they were to cut out the shape. At this point it got a little hectic and it was very helpful that I had at least 2 helpers to assist. First we adults stapled 3/4 around the coffin, then had the kids stuff it with loosely crumbled newspaper. We then finished stapling the edges. While they were stapling we brought some tempera paint, paintbrush, water and they went to painting.

Most did not get done in the 55 minutes period. Luckily most of the 6th period teachers allowed those that wanted to come back to the art room and finish. It's a good sign when you have a full class again with kids wanting to finish up the project.

So it was a busy 3 class periods of art with the 6th graders. This was perfectly fine with me since they're my son's group, and I've been doing art with them since they were in Kindergarten, many I've known since they were babes. I don't get as much time with them as I use to have, and they really are a wonderful group, so it was enjoyable indeed.

I think there's a good chance that this will become an annual project for 6th grade. Yay!

Oh, and the top 2 examples are girls' versions, the bottom are boys'.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Illustration Friday - contained

Boy, what a blogger-bum I've been lately!

I did an Illustration Friday, but I'm a day too late. This is for the prompt "contained."

I can't contain the happiness I feel over the coming inauguration. I'm hopeful for better times ahead, for us all.

This is just a quickie acrylic painting on paper.

So I didn't officially make it for the IF deadline, but at least I did one this week.

I was also inspired a little by watching some 5th graders painting today. They were really enjoying their mixing of the paint, so I wanted to just throw on some paint also. It's a little different than my normal style?

Speaking of the 5th graders. One of them made the comment while doing this mixing of paint.... "I feel like a kid again." That was surely the quote of the week. See how important art is, especially for kids?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Magnet Set

I've made a little set of magnets. It features 3 of my little art prints. All of these prints are whimsical and a little magical, all were done in watercolor and pen and ink.

The three prints are ...

1) "Like to join me?"... which features the very charming, yet slightly stinky, Miss Garlic Sprout.

2) "Magic happens to only those who believe" .... this has the print of the Secret Garden, it's what the flowers do when you're not looking.

3) "If music be the food of love, play on." --Shakespeare ... which features the debonair Froggy who went-a-courtin' the lovely Miss Mousey.

I've got them in both my Etsy Shop and the new ArtFire Shop! Hmmm, I wonder which place will get the first sale?

OH, I'm also joining in with the many creative people who are living Creative Everyday in 2009.

Are you going to live creatively everyday this year too?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Illustration Friday - resolve

Here's my entry for this week's IF theme of "resolve."

I resolve to do I.F... no matter how difficult it may be!

This was drawn with pen, then colored digitally.

I like digital colors, but I think I need more experience. It just looks too stale to me. I guess the practice is good, and it's fun.

And now for some reason my thumbnail didn't show up on the IF Link Viewer. Not sure what happened. It never happened before :(

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome 2009!

Let's all Shine in "09! OK?

Here's wishing for Peace on Earth in the New Year!