skies in our eyes

Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.
Jules Feiffer
US cartoonist & satirist (1929 - )
I've been living sky lately, haven't I? I've been a busy girl...

I did some more work on the bloody head:

Macbeth head 1

This is the beginnings of the proscenium stage right:

door wall one

And then there are the cloud boxes. These are 8 multi-functional boxes used throughout the show. When first seen they look like this:

Cloud Boxes

Here they must work as a whole. But then the clouds must work all around each box as well. You can see some of that here on the side.

Clouds side view

But there is more. For the banquet scene they are lined across the stage and have silhouettes of chess pieces on them.

Cloud boxes chess side

Again it all has to work over the whole box:

chess side view

And here's how I added the silhouettes.

box 1

I started with a full scale line drawing of the pieces. I used a big safety pin and a pounce wheel to poke holes in the line. That was laid over a painted box. Then I take a little muslin bag filled with powdered charcoal and "pounce" it over the holes. Let me tell you it is hard to take a picture of yourself doing this.

pounce 1

This is the result:

pounce 2

From here I ink the charcoal outline.

pounce 3

After that I just fill in the outline with paint. This is a good process if you have to repeat a pattern. I used a single pounce for all the fire escapes/windows in this production of West Side Story. For the reverse I merely cleaned off the pounce and flipped it over.

West Side Story


Wall complete

Well the big pretty wall is finished. I finished it on Friday. We struck Caucasian Chalk Circle on Monday morning and picked this wall up on Monday afternoon. It was too large to get a good shot from above but here it is in two pictures.

wall stage right
wall stage left

And this is the infamous breakthrough. Not a total disaster. I did have a few foot print marks but they disappeared with subsequent sprays. Overall I think I'm happy with it. We'll see what the designer says. The wall is way the heck upstage anyway.


Clapboards...endless clapboards.

How I hate clapboards. I've painted about 70 sheets of lauan ripped into 6" boards. The lighting designer requested that the edges be painted dark gray. I prime the good side with a roller, let dry, flip over paint the edges and back (as back paint) dark gray, let dry, flip over and then prime the good side again to cover any spooges of the gray. Plus lauan is thirsty and needed two coats on the good side. I think that took me about a week done in two batches. I developed some lovely blisters on my hands. What are all those boards for???

Parade Rendering

This rendering is what is provided by the designer to work from. The odd reflection is from the plastic wrap I put over it to protect the original. This allows me to draw on it as needed. I've drawn the clapboards on the colored wall as well as the structual breaks in the wall. Half of the clapboards will go to the colored wall on the left and half will be grey walls on the right.

Here is the wall ready for me to paint. Per the designer, I need not go with the rigid pixelated look of the rendering. That is there because he just ran it through a Photoshop filter. Some days I think Photoshop is the worst thing to happen to scenics.

Clapboard Wall 1

This is after the first day of painting. I'm using both a larger pneumatic sprayer and the smaller detail gun. The cans along the bottom indicate where the framing is underneath, running top to bottom. Those are the only safe places to step. So I am balancing on 1x framing on 30" centers while trying to manipulate a sprayer and hose and not step in wet paint while following the rendering. I still prefer this to retail.

Clapboard wall 2

After second day.

Clapboard Wall 3

After third day (today) Sad to say this was the day I broke through one of the boards...cracked it more really. Nothing a little glue and gaff tape can't fix. I hope to have this complete tomorrow. Then I can move onto the gray walls.

Clapboard Wall 4

Macbeth progress

Here's the pictures I mentioned.

Checkerboad Tiles

These are all the checkerboard tiles for the raked platform. I have a feeling once the are in they will need a coat of sealer. Otherwise they are done.

Head WIP

This is the big, bloody head. She needs a little work on her shadows on the side of her face.

Otherwise I've been doing things that really don't warrant pictures. There are 8 cubes that get a cloud/sky design and chess pieces on them. I've merely turned them blue at the moment. Tonight I primed the stage right procenium walls and painted the stage left one (singular as only one was available to me tonight) black. The clock flat will go on top of these two. Now the clock hands move. The primed ones are the clouds and doorway stuff. I like to let primer cure overnight, especially when it is raining this much.


Well, I think the head is done. I may do a little tweaking later tonight. I have a few hours off right now.
I finished the third coat on the black tiles and have the third to go on the white, then those will be complete until installed. I may find that they need a coat of sealer later, but I'd like them to cure first. The can says full cure takes ten days.
Frankly the eye is just pissing me off. There's always one project that just kills me. I think this is it. I'm going to pull it up and attach it to the flat once love finishes building it tonight. The flat would be done but the breaker in the shop tripped the other day and we don't have access to the breaker panel. We put in a request to remedy this but they haven't done it yet. So after love is done with strike for his full time job, he's gonna string an extension cord across the parking lot to finish this. Tomorrow starts his 88 hour week. Yes, I did say EIGHTY EIGHT hour work week. And upper management signed off on those hours.
Anywho, I'll finish the eye once it is on the flat. I need to get it in place and look at it from the audience before I pass final judgment on how it is going.

plugging away

I've been insanely busy with these two shows...not to mention insomnia and a surprise UTI after doctor's hours that cost me half a days painting yesterday. I'll have some pictures and details soon.