Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Blogger Rat, Flyers and then some

I was looking at the Rat I made for Ravyn. It doesn't actually represent any type of person, as neither does Ravyn, but I do see something in there in the attitude. When I looked at her without thinking of Ravyn, I was struck with an inexplicable unease. Then I realized where it came from. She has the attitude of an art show director. I knew I'd seen that look. Artist's know it. We experience it early on , before learning how not to accidently encroach on a convention director's control space, that invisible bubble of death. The look can also be earned by asking a question that's posted (even in Klingon) anywhere near the art desk.
Hmm. She's smart, and on the outside at least, a little scary.

I'm thinking of adding her to the RatBag collection, slightly modified, as Blogger Rat. Maybe. I could put a more generic design on the computer, or even take special orders and customize it a bit.
Just thinking... your thoughts?RavynRat

TINY STORIES. Here is a printable version of a flyer for the project for anyone willing to tack one up somewhere I'd be interested in hearing about where you put them. We'll see what happens. Thanks to all who've mentioned it on their sites. You're so very cool.

I should probably think about taking a break from watching the news. Sometimes we have to do this. We're here, snug in our home, only minor stuff going on, and still I can manage to create a black hole for myself to crawl into. Damned brain chemistry. I have no excuse. Sometimes we hates the Lisa, preciousssss. I must get myself into the studio and work it out. It's the thing to do. Already Ben is getting into the spirit of the Halloween season. I could do worse than follow him.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Looking out and staying in

I promised Gurtie I'd send this special photo message to Really Rather Not Nice:

Ravyn is working on getting a printable flyer up for Tiny Stories.

Orion is getting sleepy, watching Samurai Jack.
We spent the afternoon working on our diving. I think, hmmm, his form is now better than mine. I'm thinking of how I might get some underwater photos..
Later, I'll be watching Hurricane Katrina. Growing up in South Carolina---a lot of that time spent on Edisto Island---I have a great respect for hurricanes. When I was a kid I used to have a recurring nightmare in which my family frantically lit bonfires on the beach to hold off the waters. And I've been in some serious storms, but nothing even approaching this.
I'm sad, fearful and awed by this storm. Oddly, just last night, by pure coincidence, I finished Rick Shelley's short story, "Eyewall" about a cat 5 hurricane on another Earth-like world.
And I love New Orleans. It's the city I've visited most. It's where I met Neil Gaiman and Anne Rice and made gravestone rubbings with artist Jeff Coleman. It's an old and fragile place. I can't help thinking of all those above-ground graves.

There's a fire burning here. Hundreds of acres. The air still carries the unmistakable scent of burning desert flora and yesterday the sky was colored with smoke all day. A view of the flames on the mountainside is possible just a short drive from here. We have fires every summer and earthquakes are disconcerting and scary. Still, I won't be able to keep my mind off the South tonight. Probably you too. There will be lots of stories in the next hours. Most of them we'll never hear. Some will never be told.

Death is always near.

Sleep tight.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Three for One

Head sorted. About time too. It was getting a little scary in there. This afternoon we helped our neighbor tear down lattice work that has created a very non-desert backyard for over 25 years. It was a lot of lattice, about twelve feet high and full of very old dust. Oddly, I felt better afterwards. Pete tore down and I cleared and Orion wandered round with a broom and a cup of ice.
It was 113 today, or there abouts.

I still have about 300 puppet hats to paint and then will finish photographing new works to show you.

I found two photos of Kevin-the-mime whom the Neil sent. I tried to find a website for Kevin but was unsuccessful. Perhaps he doesn't do mime/clown work anymore. And it seemed only right to include a photo that included the groom as well.

We swam to clean all the dust off. Now I'm in the mood to eat a whole bag of Cheetos, but alas, a salad would be better, with enough dressing to drown a moose.

TINY STORIES---I'm going to print up a flyer with the website and info to post at the local college. Hmm. Was thinking of some little sculptural gift to give readers who did the same.
Back to that later.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I've been working in the studio, and sorting through some debris in my head. Sometimes that has to happen before I can move through one thing and into another. Without a bit of mental clearing, the terrain can become a real mine field. Pop. pop. pop.

I actually did, though, find a couple of photos of the wedding mime.

but for now, I'm going to sleep.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Apple faeries Posted by Picasa

Cake monkeys. Monkey cake. Posted by Picasa

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson just sent me the link to his updated website. I met him a number of years ago in Atlanta at a DragonCon convention. He and his partner Roland have collected enough of my original works to be considered patrons, actually. Their most recent acquisition is the table (in the Gallery section of my site) called "Communion" and this autumn, I'll be very happily working on a male dark angel to be a companion to their "Relic IV". This is a project I've longed to do, so I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity. I'll be posting photos, including the 'fire' stage, which for me will be the artistic height of the piece.

Looking at Robert's website reminds me again how much I miss making puppets. We made some together several years back and some of them are pictured on the site. Perhaps one day we'll be able to do more. I hope so.

There are A LOT of images on his 2D page as well. Some of which I am wanting for myself. His work has a layered innocence about it. Not quite childlike, but fresh---almost alien? This might be work suitable for a child's room---an extremely smart, advanced child, but I believe it has great appeal for children of all ages. A definite touch of the Dada in there...

I am in studio all day today. Tomorrow too, if I'm lucky. And, to quote Mr. Crabs from one of my favorite and twisted SpongeBob episodes, "The Algae is Always Greener" (I so adore Clancy Brown):
"And the next day. And the next day, and the next day. The next day, and the next day and the next day and the next day and the next day......
and the next day.
And....the next day."

Check out Robert Johnson's site. He is a very cool guy and I think you'll like his stuff.guardianalienstudio art by Robert C Johnson Jr: Atlanta GA

I still have many wedding images to sort through. Maybe I'll enlist the Aubrey Unit to help. In the meantime, I'm posting a photo of Phillip and Briget's wedding cake. See the monkey? Their cake was ringed with "Barrel of Monkey" monkeys painted in a white and silver finish. Lovely

And wedding faeries from Ben and Shelby's wedding, who looked quite at home among the apple trees.

While I'm on the subject of wedding anti-traditions...Did I ever mention that the Neil Gaiman sent a mime to our wedding? Oh yes. He did.
Actually, Kevin was adorable. I'm pretty sure I have a photo of him at the reception, dancing the night away with my father-in-law.

I spent the whole day in the studio, giving her a good cleaning and listening to Pink Floyd. Ahhhhh..
And also, spent some time sorting through images for one to send to the amazing and wonderful Gene Wolfe, who will then write us a story about whatever image I choose. The story will be available at Balticon 40
Sometimes this job is okay.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Well, I'll admit it. I'm a bit more nervous than I thought. This best-person thing seems pretty simple---walk up with Ben, hang on to the rings and the glass and hand them to the Rabbi at the appropriate moment.

This morning I made a huge breakfast, including homemade gravy.

After all, he's been my best bud and business partner all this time. We've stressed out to meet deadlines, discovered many engineering and studio techniques through many trials and spectacular error, and spent many hours just talking in between.

I was cleaning the previously operating -room -clean kitchen I destroyed this morning starting with knocking over an open bottle of Shiraz from last night and ending with said huge breakfast.
The wine was Charles Shaw, better known as $2 buck Chuck from Trader Joes (and not terrible, actually.) At TJ's I feel as sheep-like as I can possibly feel with the exception of waiting in line at Starbucks. sheesh. We can pay more for a cup of coffee than a bottle of wine.

I started to finish off Orion's glass of orange juice when I got a sudden mental flash of him playing with it and the straw. In. Out, In. Out . Slurp. Slurp. I'll have some wine instead.

It's a beautiful apple orchard, the wedding site, but the ground slopes. We are thinking of taking bets on who will fall first, and how many he/she will take with them.

Anyway. I'm composing my toast. I'll run it by Pete, who is always reliable for a bit of clean and polish, and that's that.

Here's my draft:

There's a sign over the studio door, inspired by Ben, that states "Nothin' Can Go Wrong Now." After all the work we've created together these years, and all the things that actually did go wrong, and things that didn't, we know each other pretty well.
But our friendship started with a mutual fondness for science fiction. So when I was searching for the right words to say about marriage, I turned to a SF classic titled Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card:

Why is marriage necessary for anyone?

Fools say, why should we marry? Love is the only bond my lover and I need.

But marriage is not a covenant between a man and a woman. It is a covenant between a man and a woman on one side, and their community on the other.

So, Shelby and Ben,

By your marriage today you add strength and stability to our lives as well. We thank you for that and we offer our support in return.

And, Ben, my buddy, nothin' can go wrong now.
Well, here we go...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Before we even get the photos loaded from one wedding, we are just about to head out to another one. Tonight is Ben's rehearsal dinner. He'll be coming home with us, and will be our little puppy until the wedding tomorrow, when he will become the property of Shelby. If you haven't been acquaninted with Ben, he's in the archives, Behind the Scenes, if memory serves. Anyway. quick post before going. Wish us all luck. I'll be doing tomorrow's toast and, though I'm refraining from using any Klingon, I will actually be quoting from OSC's Speaker for the Dead. I do love Ender. And this is her majesty in her usual demeanor. She does not yet love me, but as I continue to bribe her with ham and treats and rubbing, I begin to feel something for her. I have to at least respect her shameless contempt. Posted by Picasa

Orion's dive. Thought you'd like to see him 'in action".  Posted by Picasa

A look of diving satisfaction.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Back in June, I told you that Bob Podrasky is putting together a collection of 100-word short-shorts.

We've received some excellent stories from readers. Kudos and Congratulations!! But we still have some space so are extending the deadline for submissions until October 10th.

All the rules and information are posted here:fagblog: TINY STORIES -- CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!!

If you want to see some examples from our last brain exercise, a number of those stories are posted beginning here: One Hundred Words and scattered throughout the journal over the summer.

I'll be illustrating the stories in a variety of media and Bob will edit and seek a publisher for the project.
Proceeds from the project will benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

This is a very cool project and a nice chance to get something published. If you were thinking about writing a story before and didn't, well, you'll be happy to know you have another shot at it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to me at

Please help us spread the word.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

There's Something About Ravyn...Part One

A lot of you know Ravyn. For those who don't, among the many hats she wears, she is webmaster and commander of my website and, sometimes, it seems, me.

She is a lover of horses. (This is a true example of an understatement.) Ravyn

She has her own webdesign business. Ravyn Multimedia

She also visited me back in March of this year, where she showed a talent for the visual arts as well, as she sculpted a bust of her horse, Ravynesque.

Still, something has been bothering me about her.... What is it???

There's Something About Ravyn...Part Two

It actually took a mutual friend, Laura (aka the rat called Vanda) to point out that, well, Ravyn is indeed, a Rat.
Thanks, Laura.
Said Rat (Artist's Proof #1) is now on its way to Ravyn, (as a gift from Laura) with #2 to Laura (as a gift from me.)

You probably can't see from the photos that her shirt says "I'm Blogging You."

I like this Ravyn Rat. I think she captures a side of Ravyn only a few see---usually just before an untimely demise.

She is, after all, slightly evil.

Post Wedding---and Pre-Wedding--sheesh

All went well. We are recovering. I'm actually starting to get feeling back in my feet. There are still a few straggling ribbons hanging outside---a couple of empty champagne bottles, some wilting roses.

Now, on Saturday---this coming Saturday---we have Ben's wedding. I'm his 'best man', so all I have to do this round is get him there, stand beside him and pray to the universe he doesn't pass out, then give a toast.

Apparently I'm going to Neil's to reinstall the sculpture (finally) in mid-September and I imagine only after that will I get things really moving.

In the meantime, I'll try to get some pictures up of new stuff, and drag you along for the ride.

Thanks so much for all your comments over the past week or so. You honestly crack me up, bolster my spirits and really see (get) my work. It's the coolest thing ever. I haven't been able to do a lot of shows this year so miss (greatly!) the interaction with people. Your comments tell me that not only do you look closely enough to see what I'm trying to express, you also add your own ideas---see things I didn't (sometimes to my great surprise and delight) .

I thank you for that.

So. We're alive. Back later with more stuff.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Forget the boat

Orion left his book on the floor. It's one of those felt things where you stick cut out shapes on the pages.
This book isn't about anyone named Noah, an ark, a flood, or an angry god. It's about zoo animals, and it is a hand-me-down from a nice boy named Noah, who is now too grown up for the book, and whose name was stamped on the book years ago.
I have one friend who believes that nearly always, things are just what they seem to be. I have another who insists you can't take a single thing at face value.
I'd like to think things are mostly somewhere in the middle, and it takes a mixture of paying attention and time to figure things out.

We are in the midst of imminent wedding semi-chaos.

The happy couple. Being, well, happy. 

Lisa and Orion touch up the fish pond, which will be filled not with fish, but with floating candles. Apparently we are touching up our clothes as well. Oh yes, and our feet---legs, arms, hands and fingers. The fish pond was here when we moved in. Who would put a fish pond here? I'm thinking someone who either hates fish, or thinks they're delicious, cooked very slowly. Hmmm. Or both?

A little light reading. Our friend Gene just published an article on superheros in a local magazine after returning from the San Diego ComicCon. 

The happy couple, and Orion. Every time they start to freak out we send them outside. We're about 24 hours away... 

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Our neighbors, possibly, think we’ve broken through. (to the other side). We’re out every night lately, hanging lights and such. Tonight it’s The Decembers, Neutral Milk Hotel and Chemical Brothers. We’re hanging dozens of extremely thin ribbons to blow in the breezes.

And lots of lights. Everything is white----it is surreal. I like it. My son will like it too, and I would wager, his fiancé will as well. I will get photos on Sat.

It’s nice out----a cool 85 or so, compared to the 100’s of last week. My son is getting married. Wow.

I’m sitting out under a canopy we built of pvc and crochet tablecloths. It’s is a sort of very elegant camouflage netting. The little twinkle lights are up, I’m sitting at a patio table with my feet up having a Dead Guy Ale. Very good micro brew.
Pete and Orion are splashing around in the pool, which is back to blue, but still not crystal clear. It is recovering from a sudden onslaught of algae from last week’s very weird rainy weather.

Our friend Karen just called to say she’s stopping by with a frame she found, abandoned at the curb of her neighbor. She guesses it’s from the thirties. I think it will eventually hold an angel. She’s usually pretty good about identifying these things. Her grandfather was a dentist. After he passed away, she gave us one of his drills from the twenties. One day I shall make something with it. For now, it sits by our front door. It is actually a very cool-looking, sort of praying-mantis-like thing.

We like it there. If a stranger comes to our door, he sees it and wonders who the hell lives here. Usually, he decides not to ring the bell…

It’s nice out here. If I had to pick a moment I didn’t want to end, I think it might be this one. Writing here in the breeze of the fan, listening to my guys in the pool, anticipating the marriage of my first child, from way back when I was a child too…

Please forgive my lack of writing. Summer is hell. A wedding though, is a good thing. These two stuck it out for two years in Korea. Then a year in Arizona. Now they are getting married in the heart of old Palm Springs. As I said, it is surreal.


Night swimming

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Star Play

Here is a look at the final version of "Star Play". I decided to incorporate it into a sculpture rather than make a frame for it. This is my first attempt at using Blogger's image software--let me know if you can see them.

I'm adding this piece to my current body of work, which for the first time in my career is rather large (twelve pieces). Maybe it's the influence of sculptor John Kennedy, in whose studio I worked for seven years until his death a year ago. For some reason, he always worked in dozens and sixes.

Twelve seems right for me to open "SlaughterHouse" in the fall. This has been a very intense year and I can't believe that I'm this far along and at the same time am amazed at what it's taken to get this far. I'll be visiting Neil in mid-September and may offically open while I'm there. More on this later.

In the meantime, I have a wedding to do. Phillip and his fiance, Briget, have decided to get married before his pending deployment. They want to have the festivities here at our house, so needless to say we are like a hive of busy bees----the wedding is next Saturday, the 13th.
We are turning our backyard into a setting for a midnight-ish garden party. This is a good thing, as it's been awhile since we've done anything to maintain our reputation in the neighborhood as "The Adam's Family".
Aubrey will be photographing and videotaping.

TINY STORIES----We have extended the deadline to Oct 10th. If you haven't written and were thinking about it, you still have a chance.
We are very excited about this project, having received some excellent stories.

To RRNN: On voices, Hmmm. I'm thinking that possibly some women are reflective at toothbrushing as some men are at shaving. More open to hearing ourselves think??
Definitely not soccer scores...

later, with more pics

Friday, August 05, 2005


For those who hear voices---do yours seem louder when you're brushing your teeth?

Hello, which is the program I use to post photos to this journal, went funny last week and refuses to initialize, even after several attempts to reinstall it. I have now a backlog of work to show you. Ravyn, who would normally step in and rescue me from being imageless, is in Glasgow for the World Science Fiction Convention. If we don't have something up and running before her return, she will post photos from her lair in the East.

I have been working like a fiend, to try to keep focused through the worst of Summer Hell. And, yes---I made some toys. And a piece of furniture.

It's weird and stormy outside, so I think I'll go out in it.


Monday, August 01, 2005

monday, monday

Orion went to daycare, I went into the studio and disappeared for a number of hours. I came out with something I'm happy with. I'll photograph it tomorrow. I felt a bit better---even groussed about footprints on the kitchen floor.
Pete came home with a very big bar of very good chocolate.

I put it in the refrigerator. I think I'll head in that direction now.

Thanks for your comments. Very cool.