Saturday, November 21, 2009

Howdy, Y'all!


I recently painted some scenery for a cowboy-themed party. Kinda cute...

Just finished redoing the shelves in the Aquarium's main Gift Shop. They were made to look like stone but the rough surface kept tearing up the books the shelves were built to house. My assistant, Jim O'Donnell, and I spent hours sanding them down with belt-sanders, then palm-sanders, then applying a two-part epoxy-resin to the surface to level and smooth it out. I then repainted it to its faux-stone glory. Not the most glamorous of projects and certainly not the most photogenic, but I love working with power tools and discovering new materials. My recent experimentation with hard-coating carved styrofoam may be the start of a new foray into sculpting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mood-Setter!





Now the
"Dinosaur
Adventure"
entrance is
finally
complete
with a
prehistoric
scene to set
the mood.
That's a Europlesaphalus front and center, with my daughter's favorite dino, a Parasauralaphus guarding her nest as another late-Cretacious creature swoops in from above. It was fun but I always wish I had more time to make it "perfectement"!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day of installation

Here is Gary, one of the Zoo's maintenance fellers, transporting our stone columns (with Brent holding them together) to the installation site.

We next had to cut open the hard-coated foam sculpture to fit the armiture around the existing column structure. We reattached the end pieces with Great Stuff, hard-coated, spackled, hard-coated again, then primed in preparation for painting the seams to match the following day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Faux Stone Archway: Carving in Progress!

Boy, has it been along time since I've posted! The loss of my camera and a delay in acquiring a new one is largely responsible, but I'm back on track!
I have been working on a faux stone archway for the "Dinosaur Adventure" exhbit at teh Zoo. They decided to make it a permanent exhibit- atleast for a few years more- and wanted a proper entrance. I have been collaborating with local sculptor Brent Barnidge on the project. Here are some progress photos:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lesson in Love

Finally turned in my entry to Satchmo Fest's Art Show, which has its opening on July 29th. It celebrates the real person, who lived in New York City towards the end of his life and would bring his horn out to his front stoop to play with the kids in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Little Fishes

June was a quiet month for me, but I needed it after the harried schedule I kept January through May. The Aquarium called me into repair objects d'fun in the kids' play area, such as the Sea Anemone "Jungle Gym" and the Frog Prince photo op. I forgot to take completion photos, however...

ob

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

REFUELING



For Le Petit's production of "All Shook Up", the curtains opened to a Main Street view of this little town, complete with a gas station and Sylvia's Bar, where abasolutely everyone in the town seems to wind up at some point in the day, even the teatotalling mayor. The rear of the pink Cadillac pulls away from the Gas station exiting Stage Left behind the curtain in the first scene.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Carnival of Souls"-Inspired Set

The Defunct Fairgrounds Scene









Here are some images from my scenic work on the Le Petit Theatre production of the musical, "All Shook Up". I did the work back in January but am just now adding them to my blog. It has been a busy five months and I'm glad to finally catch up with some personal projects.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Princesses Run Amock!


You know, it's not as easy to draw those Disney princesses with their little turned-up noses as you would think. McMillian's First Steps Early Learning Center asked me to do four of them dancing with their princes larger than life for their annual pageant fund-raiser. Not my favorite project ever, but I did my best. But- it kept me working in my home studio over Bella's Easter break, and so... there's a bright side to everything! They were painted cut-outs on 1/4" lauan, framed with hinged easel backs attached. The biggest challenge was in sketching out the poses so they were not identical and yet you could still see the faces of both characters.




Friday, May 22, 2009

"Floating Palace" Set


Perry Martin, that crazy Cajun director, who recently decided to open his own petit theatre down on Bayou LaFourche called The Bayou Playhouse, asked me to come and spruce up his set for Glen Pitre's "Floating Palace". Some of you may recall that Glen Pitre wrote and directed "Belizaire the Cajun" about 25 years ago. I fell in love with that little film and it picqued my curiosity about Cajun culture even while I was a teenager growing up in Mobile, Alabama.

I don't have a photo of the whole set as of yet (typical), but I do have a couple photos of the drops I painted in my home studio. One represents the side of a riverboat/showboat from the 1920's. The other is of a pastoral bayou scene, which is probably not far from the way much of
the bayou's banks would have looked back then.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Skirmish in Kickapoo Springs"







Here is the finished product of the McMain High School mural project! It was a very intense experience trying to keep the high school students focused on a long-term project with Spring in the air! I think they did a terrific job and I hoped they learned a lot about doing such a large-scale image while staying true to historical accuracy...
We merged a couple of pre-existing images of Buffalo Soldiers and altered certain details to depict a Ninth Cavalry raid on a band of Indians who had kidnapped a rancher four days prior. I felt that by choosing a specific event in the history of the Buffalo Soldiers might take them out of the realm of legend and into real life heroes. I provided them with other reference photos of the gear, uniforms and weapons they would have used at that period in time. We anticipate doing another one next year at Warren-Easton High School if we are fortunate enough to secure the grant-funding for it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Buffalo Soldier Mural Project

I have been extremely busy preparing for and finally beginning work with the students at Eleanor McMain High School on the mural project in conjunction with our local Buffalo Soldier chapter. It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of my career thus far! Please take a look at a few progress photos.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Compliments on My Work!

Just wanted to share my lovely compliment from Terry Kenney, Assistant Director of Design & Exhibitry for the Audubon Institute:

I never had a chance to tell you today, but everyone who has seen yourhandiwork has been highy complimentary of it.... the skeleton re-painting,and fossil casting, and dig site... I've had several people tell me over thecourse of the last few days how amazing they think it all looks. So, onceagain, thanks for the great work; it will really enhance the exhibit.

thanks, t.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dino Dig #3





Gawd, I hate my job, I hate my life, I... KIDDING! Here are a few progress photos of my faux-riffic painting for the Dino Dig play area. I sprayed everything with a spar urethane afterwards to hopefully withstand the wear of the sand which will soon be laid on top, not to mention the little feet and hands which will be soon be climbing and digging over it as well!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dino Dig #2







It's never a dull day at the Zoo, but this day is particularly challenging for Mignon and I! I had spent the past week casting our "faux" fossils from molds taken of real fossils by Marcus Eriksen. On this day we were artistically arranging them in wet concrete for the "Dino Dig" play area of Audubon's upcoming dinosaur exhibit.
We had to arrange boards going across the 12' x 12' digsite in order to sink certain fossils in the center. I had a lot of fun pulling off this balancing act! I must brag that I never slipped and fell in once! the wet cement with gravel mixture dried our hands out terribly, and I rubbed the skin off the tips of two fingers. Next time I'll try and use gloves...



Friday, January 30, 2009

Dinos...Can ya Dig?!

I began working on the Audubon Zoo's upcoming Dinosaur exhibit this week. I have been casting dinosaur eggs, teeth, claws, and low-relief sculpted heads, etc. for the Dino Dig area! I'm having oodles of fun with portland cement, I tell ya... My favorites are the trilobites.

They also have me repairing and repainting the elephant skeleton too look like an afternoon snack for the animated dinosaurs that will be in the garden area of the exhibit. I will also be repainting the resin-cast T-Rex and Tyrannosaurus skulls for the interior portion of the exhibit.

Until I get photos out of my fabulous adventures, take a look at some old favorites.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxbernardi/

Thursday, January 29, 2009

At Mitch Landrieu's Office January 22, 2008




Here are additional photos of the moment I presented Mitch Landrieu with his portrait.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

He Likes It! He Likes It!

This past Thursday I presented Mitch Landrieu with his portrait. Unfortunately, my flash did not go off for the photo above. There were two cameras snapping, so hopefully the other one will reach me soon via e-mail so that I can post it as well.

He asked me many questions about the artisitc process and was fascinated with the fact that I worked from a combination of photos I shot of him at City Park (one for the pose, one for his facial expression) and yet another photo of the bayou. While we discussed the casual manner of his pose, he found himself standing in the exact same position! Note the top photo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back Stage at "All Shook Up"


This flat was designed to peek out from behind the curtained wing of the stage. The musical, "All Shook Up", opens with this rear fender of a '57 Cadillac peeling out from a gas station. I do plan to photograph the set pieces on their stage marks this upcoming Friday.


Here is the flat which represents the travelling art-exhibit trailer for "All Shook Up". My color choices are in keeping with the 1950's themed aesthetics of the play. In other words- right up my alley!