This is the design for Macbeth.

Macbeth rendering

Fun, no?
The influence are M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, and Magritte.

I am starting with the Eye flat. Since we don't have our lumber yet, I am painting the fabric as I would a drop and then we will glue it to the flat. I tell the tale of our muslin woes on my Gothknits blog. First I draw a box on the floor the size of the muslin and staple it down. I will at some point do a step by step of this process, but not now. Often it isn't smooth and pretty when stapled down.

Wrinkly muslin

That is what starch is for. Just plain old laundry starch. After it is applied and dries you get something that looks like this:
Starched Drop

Then I brushed on a base coat (in this case a pale grey) and the then two sprays of the same color. From there I snapped lines indicating the outer edges of the flat. I also marked some grid lines outside the muslin to help keep everything in the proper proportions. I sketched out the major details; the pupil, the iris, the eyelid and folds.
Drop Primed and Sketched

The little ho-ha in the center is a skully I drew in homage to the original artwork. In our version the pupil will be a hole in the flat.

Skully boy

Then I started painting. I am painting it with pneumatic sprayers (like this and this) to keep the look of the original piece.This is what I had at the end of this stint of painting. I was getting frustrated with it and needed to stop. I also needed some parts to hook up my airbrush to my air supply.
Eye 9-29-07


Not much has been built yet for the next University show. Actually we just got our lumber delivery on Thursday, during lunch of course. So far all I have done is laid out the tree for the carpenters to cut out. We laid out the lauan on my paint deck and I drew from the designer's drafting. The tree will be solid while the leaves will be done in scrim so when lit from behind you will see the solid branches.

Tree layout

I snapped out a 1 foot grid on the upper portions to keep me sane. The x's mark the areas to be cut out. I actually pulled out one of my old art tricks I learned back in high school for this...Draw the negative spaces. This means rather than drawing the branches of the tree I drew the spaces between them. Much much easier. Hey I don't have a lot of sanity to spare. Anything to save what I can.

Tree layout closeup

I also drew most of it upside down. I find it helpful when I am looking too much a the whole thing and just getting lost. Looking at it upside down gives a fresh perspective and you see things you didn't before. When I worked in framing at the retail store, we always faced the art towards the customer. Seeing upside down helped us to look at the colors rather than the subject of the art.

The Shop

Well I finally got a chance to clean the shop and quasi-organize it to my liking. I re-papered the floor as well. I've managed to find some strange things amongst the supplies. Like old fashioned hair dryers...the ones where there's a bag over your head. There's two of them...for what I have no clue. But here's a few pictures of my home away from home. (Sorry they're so blurry. I can't really tell until I upload them here at home)

This is my "desk" area. Yeah it's right next to the file cabinet. I just repainted that bulletin board as well. I need a picture to hang above that and cover that nasty old Romex cable.
My desk

This is a view of my space from my desk.
Shop from Desk

This is it from the garage door. The beyond area is the scene shop. The openness makes for a dusty area, so I have to be vigilant about cleaning. And coordinate things like using polyurethane at times they aren't creating dust.
Shop from Garage Door

Here's my paint mixing area:
Paint Mixing Table

And here is further down the wall with my brush board. Bit by bit I've been painting all my shelves gloss black. I usually go white with these things but the black was the only gloss I had. I prefer the gloss because it holds up better and is easier to clean. Plus gloss black is just sexy.

So this is where I spend my days.


I know I've been horrible about posting here. I've just been so friggin' tired. I got the opera done and out on time. I took a few pictures, merely for the blog. This is nothing that I would put in my portfolio.

Music Shop opera 1

These are the two sides of double sided flats. There were a whole other set of flats that are doorways and bookcases to go with these. The swirly ones are for a dream sequence. What really got me is that when this project was pitched to me it was described as 9 wood-grained flats. Does that look like 9 wood-grained flats to you?!?!?!

Music Shop opera 2

No pictures of Caucasian Chalk Circle yet. Not very exciting scenery....just yucky old wood so I didn't take any process shots. Umber, umber and more umber...not exciting stuff. I'll get some pictures of the whole shebang.

Its funny. I jumped into two shows a little late (it would have been better to start me earlier but hey) and now halfway through the load in period we're pretty much done. I even got out early on Friday. Monday is about cleaning up, re-papering the floor, seeing what I have and organizing it all. Yes the space you saw below is my designated paint area. Lucky there is a paint floor laid in. Plywood and then homasote I believe. I know the homasote is there...can't see below that. X-ray vision is on the fritz. This is a big improvement from what they used to have in this space. Once upon a time they would ram set 1 x 3's to the floor to stretch drops onto.

I'm having to learn what level I need to paint at. This is rather hard to explain. I always try to give my level best, but some places expectations are higher than others. I always try to go the distance at the high school, but then again it's just a high school. I'll give them my LORT B level work if time permits. I'm not saying I'm doing crap work, just not my top shelf stuff. Does that make sense? So I'm trying to see what level I need to be at this job.

Speaking of the high school, Monday is our production meeting for the fall Shakespeare play. We're doing Macbeth. I refuse to refer to it as the "Scottish play". I personally think all the superstition around the play is just crap. But actors are touchy people so last time I was involved in a production (this is my 3rd or 4th go round) we dubbed it MacBubba. And that is what I shall call it. I haven't seen any drawings of it yet.

First week

I made it through my first week. Thursday was a frustrating day where it felt like everything was going in slow motion. Friday I got far more accomplished and went home feeling much better. The weekend has been about recovery. My body is so incredibly sore. I nearly forgot how physical this actually is on a daily basis. Plus I've been on physical restrictions lately with the surgery. But I made it. I had to jump right into two separate shows that need to be done yesterday, so its a little harried, but I love it. Once these shows are done I'll have a chance to set up the shop the way I would like it and get into my groove.

Here's a quick and horrible picture of my working space. Once I get it to my liking I'll do a more in depth picture tour. However notice the lack of sink. See the wall on the right??? That is an area rented out to another business and our sink and bathroom is in there. A challenge to say the least. I start my day bringing out a few buckets of water to my area for mixing and tossing used brushes into.

I hope to have a few pictures of what I am painting this week. It's very rush rush right now and pictures are the last thing on my mind. I'm painting by the seat of my pants, samples being a luxury I cannot afford at the moment. Nothing like full scale samples to make the days interesting.


I had forgotten how much I hate painting Broadway (soft covered) flats. I haven't done them since college. And just forget about wood graining the suckers.

Busy day today with two shows on my paint deck. I'm a little overwhelmed and will probably stay late tomorrow to catch up. They really should have had me start last week. It's tough enough to do this when you know your space, but worse when I have no clue what I have, or where it is.

I'm off to bed. I forgot how physical this job is. Last night I slept like I haven't in a long, long time.

I made it

through my first day. A mixture of laid back and busy. I was given the shop tour and walked through the drawing of the two shows being built right now. I started to organize the paint area some, but the afternoon was spent painting. I'm a tad overwhelmed right now. New space, new people, no clue where anything is and two shows before me.

But I sure slept last night. I haven't slept like that in a long, long time. And I'm sore all hell too. So far I think it was a good decision. I'll try to get some pictures going.


Well tomorrow is the big day. The morning is going to be filled with paperwork and the usual start of job hoopla. I'm nervous and excited. I'll try to get pictures of my work space.