Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rainforest Mural: Macaw Exhibit at the Aquarium of the Americas

This past September, while simultaneously serving jury duty in Criminal District Court, I completed and installed this mural for the Macaw Exhibit in the Rainforest Area of Audubon Institute's Aquarium of the Americas. Like the exterior one for the Zoo's "Dinosaur Adventure" exhibit, it was executed using exterior latex paint on vinyl billboard material to withstand the constant moisture and weekly hosing of the painting.

I think it is one of my best works, especially considering I only spent a week to complete and install it. I can only post photos of sections and not a photo of the mural in its entirety due to the mural's size, my inability to photograph it from a distance, and my lack of a wide angle lens.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

McMillian Dining Room

Here are two of the trompe l'oeil pieces I painted for the rounded corners of the McMillian Dining Room. I also painted smaller shells resting on trompe l'oeil moulding for the side walls.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Night-time Sky Drop

I am nearly done with this 20'x40' Starry sky drop, pending photographic approval from the client. The facility I intended to use was too active with dust-producing saws to come near with the black muslin, so I resorted to doing it in two sections in my home studio.

The flash washed out the black muslin, ironically, and there was difficulty focussing the camera, but you can still get a sense of its style.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Warren Easton: Finished!

Here is the finished mural in two photos, with the dedication portion on the nearby arch. I did my best to let their work stand alone without "tweeking" it much. It is hard to resist the urge to polish it, but I want them to walk in years from now and remember when they "did that".

Buffalo Soldiers: Warren Easton Part II

Here are more photos of the students in action! This was my best group of kids so far... they were really dedicated. I have to also give credit to their regular teacher, Mary Hannon, for understanding and guiding them so well. She provided me with a lot of insight into their personalities.

Buffalo Soldier Mural: Warren Easton Part I

As some of you may know, I am behind in uploading photos since my old computer crashed. Here are some from January of this year, when I began working with students at Warren Easton High School on another grant-funded mural project in conjunction with the New Orleans Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Orleans: A Canvas for the Imagination Still More Photos

New Orleans: A Canvas for the Imagination More Photos

New Orleans: A Canvas for the Imagination

Tonight is finally the night for the offical unveiling of the mural project I designed and led for the International House of Blues Foundation! Below is a partial-view panorama of the mural along with a couple of detail photos. More to follow!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How to Make Rocks:101 Part #2

We continued to sand the structure and recoat it with the tinted cement mixture until we achieved the desired strength, rigidity, and texture. We then added highlighting and shadows.

While it was hard to photograph the entire structure since the viewing window's size is smaller than the rockwork itself, you can atleast see the majority of the finished product in these photos. The reptile team painted the back wall upon my completion of the project.

How to Make Rocks:101 Part #1

In April, I built a rock structure for the Timor Python Exhibit. The reptile curator requested that the rocks be tiered so that the snakes would be able to climb, which would also utilize the height of the exhibit space. They also needed areas to comfortably curl up on, while always keepng the animal within view of the visitor. I had to make it strong enough for the handlers to climb on, waterproof if they should need to clean it with a hose, and smooth enough that the texture would not tear the skin of the reptiles.

If I could have used solid bead foam in building the exhibit, it would have cost a fortune. To keep costs down, I designed a wooden armiture for the sheets of foam to rest on.

The tilt of the structure helps keep the reptile in view, though I sculpted some of the angle out and also carved divets, or scooped-out areas, to compel them to curl up in plain view. At the reptile curator's encouragement, we scooped out caves in the tier-structure, which again would make them feel cozy and safe from those gauking weirdos on the other side of the glass.

We then tinted a special portland cement mixture for the hard-coat, though we knew it would require some mottling with paint. ...More in the next installment!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poetry Rocks, Dude

No, really- I carved these two adjoining poetry rocks out of white bead foam, hard-coated it with a portland cement/wood glue/water combination, then painted them to make them look like the genuine article. Rebar inserted into the rocks and then into the ground help stabilize them where they reside, which is in the Jaguar Jungle exhibit. The original poem is in Nahuatl, the native language of Mexico, which is actually the language of the Aztecs, I believe. I think it is a lovely poem, and the project was part of the poetry exhibit at the Zoo, which opened in April. Obviously, I am still playing "catch-up" with my posts.

Monday, August 16, 2010

McMillian's Domed Ceiling

Before heading out of town for some R & R, Harold McMillian called me and asked if I could paint something on his ceiling before they removed the scaffolding from his entrance stairwell. It was construceted especially to hang the chandelier before the railing was installed. Originally, he wanted to simply add a flexible moulding to the outer edges of the domed portions to add interest and disguise the subtle flaws to its construction. I think I added a little flair to its overall beauty. Can't wait to see it with all the crystals hung on the chandelier!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Christian Science Monitor: My Moment in the Spotlight

While I was working on the mural for International House of Blues Foundation in the alleyway leading to the House of Blues' restaurant and music venue, a reporter and photographer from the Christian Science Monitor stopped to ask me how I felt about New Orleans post-Katrina. I am thrilled that they chose to feature me in their photo essay.

To see more photos from the essay, click on

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Going Round & Round!

I began work on refurbishing the Carousel at the Audubon Zoo back in May. Here are a few pics of the finished work.

It is called the "Endangered Species" Carousel. It has both a white and green alligator (hardly endangered), lions, tigers, hippos and rhinos, gorillas, jaguars, giraffes, ostriches, flamingoes, six zebras and a few horses, to name a few!
My favorite things are the fantastical touches, such as the benches' combination lion/fish becomin winged creature attached to the tiger/griffin.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I've Got Balls!

Or should I say... "The Fly" at Audubon Park has twelve new column capitals that happen to be 2' round baseball sculptures. Brent Barnidge did the sculpting, and I did the painting on them. We also collaborated on 8 baseball glove column capitals, and I'm not sure why I don't have their mug shots.
Sorry, I have a lot of catching up to do in the posting department. These photos date back to February.