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 http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/New-Orleans/(photo)/2