Hi/Bye

From Wilhelm Staehle

I’m quite enjoying reasonable and excellent artwork to hang on the wall.

This is a new and likely forever favorite from The Bazaarium brings the silhouette masterpiece theatre series home quite attractively.

In other news, I’d new brakes put on the car today, and this gives me great comfort.

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Making a movie about making a world

Shooting the action from above

Today I donned my first wireless microphone… you know the little ones they clip to your shirt for interviews? It was terribly exciting even if I was a bundle of nerves.

Here’s how it went down…

In July I got a note from a fella named Steve Juras. He’s working with a group of folks on a documentary about Ed Emberley’s Make a World book.

Related sidetrack: I’ve fawned over this children’s drawing book before, and also list Ed as a big inspiration in my life.

Steve was curious if I would be available to answer some questions about my experience with Ed’s book.

Heck yeah I would.

Fast forward a few months and the day was upon us.

I got an extra large coffee this morning and met the traveling film crew at the studio. They set up the lights and cameras. I fuddled through questions and crossed my fingers that editing can do wonders.

Wendy, the other third of Wire & Twine and fellow Emberley disciple, came out to chit chat in the afternoon. We both got to dust off our skills and do a bit of drawing to boot.

All in all? The experience was fantastic. We got to hear about the process of getting the movie off the ground and stories of other folks who found inspiration in the book. We also learned a little about Ed and he sounds just as awesome as we would imagine him to be.

I think the best part is that a whole new audience is going to be introduced to his lifelong work. There can’t be too much good stuff in the world.

To get in touch with the filmmakers, visit their pre-production page or join the Ed Emberley Fan Group on Facebook.

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Westcott House Centennial

a mighty fine example of prairie style architecture.

Dan, at rehearsal up in Springfield Ohio on Friday, texted me to check out the Westcott House website. I’d heard about this Frank Lloyd Wright home and knew it was in Springfield, but not much beyond that.

Turns out it has been freshly restored and a centennial performance would happen on Saturday.

A few calls later, I had my mom in tow the next day and we went up to attend the night of celebration.

Eric Lloyd Wright, grandson of the renowned architect, started the evening off with a talk about the history, inspiration, and process his grandfather employed. Fascinating stuff.

Less is only more where more is no good.
—Frank Lloyd Wright

It was a fantastic evening with the talk, slideshows and movies of the house through the ages (at one point it was broken up into several apartments and then severely dilapidated), all the images scored with music by the symphony.

I plan to go back for the full tour soon.

Links:
The Westcott House (tours, programs)
Prairie School (wiki)
The Mike Wallce Frank Lloyd Wright interview (video)

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Drum Corps

The Troopers from Casper WYO perform at Soaring Sounds 29

I’ve never been to one of these Drum Corp events. My partner has been raving about them for years, and even has a few of those fancy twirling flags packed away with camping supplies. (Because nothing says camp quite like a flag routine.)

When we found out a sanctioned event was happening up the street, curiosity won out and I agreed to go. And my first impression, walking up to the Centerville High School stadium?

Whoa.

A lot of people like this stuff. A LOT.

And they’re rowdy.

And a tad bit crazed. (All in a good way mind you, as I support passion that doesn’t degrade others.)

Aside from the loud mom crew behind us that insisted to talk through every single moment of every routine, I found the whole affair a sonic and visual treat.

Current music: Yes “Hold On”

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Art of Food

Hot about his product

That’s John up there. You might have seen him from time to time pop up on these virtual pages. He married my friend Anne, teaches school, makes art, and can whip up a killer chocolate waffle. (He also made a favorite t-shirt I wear proudly)

Now I’ve seen his paintings in bits and pieces, but never been to a show of his work proper. That changed on leap day when he was part of a big show called the Art of Food down in Covington.

It opened yesterday with much fanfare (and calories).

Culinary samples from around Greater Cincinnati were set up in the main space of The Carnegie and flanked by galleries for each artist.

Everything was delicious, from art to food, but especially seeing old friends and shaking hands of new ones. Good times.

PhotosCheck out John’s meat and other photos from the opening

The show is running through March 28, 2008. More information at The Carnegie’s site.

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Wicked

The dragon above the stage. Aronoff Center. Cincinnati, OH

Saw Wicked (again) last night. This time the seats were immensely better than the first time around. (Those box seat balcony things on the side of the theatre look really awesome, but the views are crap.)

The view on the ground exposed much of the set and lighting I’d not seen before. It was like an entirely different show.

My mom came along and said the show was like being 10 years old and seeing a fairy-tale come to life in a whole new way. I remember those goosebumps. And after playing the heck out of the soundtrack over the past year or so, those goosebumps are still there.

Previously I wrote “I like this show a lot…. for taking an old familiar story and twisting it deliciously into something with greater meaning.” I’m not sure if the meaning is greater, but I always appreciate when my notions are expanded by another perspective.

Current music: Original Broadway Cast “For Good”

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Monoprint Workshop

Arting up the plate

Second class at the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative. (The first workshop was for lithography).

I was without a muse yesterday and instead of exploring the new medium, I tried to make something that attempted to be a cohesive work with a subject and composition.

Turned out awful. I’m not sharing it. But there are other photos from the day I’ll piece together when queue opens up.

The good part was that I got to know some of the students and teachers better, and I’m also learning my way around Dayton little by little.

Current music: Morrissey “Dear God Please Help Me”

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It’s only embarassing if you tell people

Schottenstein Center: Value City Arena

I saw the Pop-Tarts American Idol tour pass through Ohio on Saturday.

I cannot remember my state of mind when the tickets were purchased, but I can assure you I was not sober.

I’m still processing what went down, but I think it went something like this:

– We had to walk 7 miles from the parking lot to get to the show.

Sanjaya performed a Michael Jackson song, finally. (The Way You Make Me Feel). I made a little video recording but it pains me to watch so I’m not uploading it. All of the kitsch entertainment value he once held for me has been replaced by sadness.

– At first we thought Gina Glocksen was being ungrateful and distant, but we then realized the other girls must be driving her absolutely bonkers on the tour bus. B O N K E R S. (That means you Melinda Doolittle, with your coy “who me?” shrug. I swear she spoke in parseltongue at one point)

Phil Stacey put on a sailor outfit while the girls sang Prince’s “America” from Around the World in a Day – which is an awesome song in it’s weirdness, but in this context made it just weird.

– For the most part, everyone sang songs that we’d never heard of or never wanted to hear again. However, Lakisha Jones made good with I Will Always Love You.

(aside: insert moment of silence for Whitney)

Blake Lewis made up for most of the muck and rocked the house. Chris Richardson was right behind him with his mammoth guns he’s developed while learning to play drums and guitar.

– There were a couple other girls and another guy, but I forget what they sang. We left so we could get to bed before midnight.

Highlights of the day besides the show? Pool swimming, garlic fries, and a picture of myself I don’t loathe… thx Brown (but I do need to work on more expressions outside of “glare”).

Current music: Prince “Pop Life”

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Aida

Cincinnati Opera at Music Hall

I’ve written before how I’ve never enjoyed opera.

I could be the curmudgeon who compares everything to rock and roll – that bombast with undecipherable lyrics, but I’ll refrain tonight.

It was dress rehearsal for Aida. Dan had a pair of tickets as he’s not only performing, but he’s actually on stage! In costume! [ Go here to view the above photo uncropped—it looks better that way. Hover over the image to see where he’s standing, then zoom in to realize you can’t really see him at all, but all the costumes are awesome anyway. ]

Mom joined me for the evening. I hadn’t known she’d seen this particular opera back when she was a kid—following along with a translation under the guidance of a particularly inspired language teacher. You just can’t shake good learning experiences. (But I wouldn’t want to give up the projected subtitles they have these days)

When Dan’s stint was over, we considered leaving after the second intermission but hem-hawed only briefly. We really wanted to watch the entire performance.

This is a first for me.

Maybe it was having my mom there, or the sets, or the costumes, or having dancers from the Ballet onstage, or the music. Maybe I’m gaining a better understanding of performance in general because of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Whatever the combination, I quite enjoyed this Cincinnati Opera.

Lithography Workshop

July 14th & 15th

Good soul Amy, an almost relative up here in Dayton, told me about this Lithography Workshop by the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative a while ago, and I said sign me up.

We got there with coffee in hand and our pencils sharpened ready to take notes. Nice small class – nine students with an expert on hand for every pair.

I (dumbly) hadn’t thought drawing would be required – but luckily I had access to this photo of birds from a journal entry back in 2004.

We spent the afternoon learning about the process and filling our aluminum plates with marks from the Lithographic crayons. They had a nice oil pastel feel and took kindly to the tooth on the plates. Not sure how to maintain sharp detail – but that’s for subsequent experimentation.

We let the images set overnight and returned the following day to run them through the press on newsprint and then a final on nice paper. It could very well be an edition of one, but the nice bit about lithography is that you can make a run and get a good lot from a single plate. I hope to make a separate page outlining all the steps when I can get a few more questions answered so I don’t provide false information.

Related: Unlike lithography, monoprints produce only one image, and the Dayton Printmakers Coop has a workshop in September. If you’re in the area, you might check it out. I hope to. Details here.

PhotosSome snapshots around the workshop, and a little video to boot:

Lithography Workshop on Vimeo.

Soundtrack in video: Manitoba “Thistles And Felt”

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