Friday, September 25, 2009

MSCA - Nightmare on Broad Avenue

Come be a “part” of the Broad Avenue Art Walk, boils and ghouls.

The MSCA will be hanging out in Adam Shaw’s studio and photographer Paula Cravens has dug up some of her photos of “tombstones as art” to share with you at the West Memorials gallery.

There will be lots of food, drink, and art to gobble up as you make your way up and down the street visiting each gallery and studio along Broad Avenue.

The event is free and open to the public, and promises to be a hell of a good time.

More info will be available soon in the MSCA forums

Costumes are welcome if attendees would like to wear them. Freddy Kruger will be on "hand" to mingle with the guests.

More information can be found at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Muley in Planet, and some Art

What is Muley doing in this image? Click it to find out:
He ain't doing a thing but standing there,
the article is really good, though!

Can you guess who my latest portrait is?
Did you say "Cookie Monster?"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

An Itchy Situation!


It’s time to know thine enemy, folks: Poison Ivy

This is killer crap. Hate this plant now!!

And it’s cohorts in crime: Poison Oak and Poison Sumac

Poison Oak doesn't make poison acorns.

Some have indicated that Poison Sumac is worse than the others.

I found a good informational website at

There are some things on this planet that I don’t understand WHY it exists. Snakes, for example, have their fans; but, I cannot stand them. I carried one around at a convention once, stepping beyond my fear for the mere satisfaction of finally seeing all my friends’ mouths drop open and eyes bug out. That was worth it, plus it was a pet. Out in my yard, they just have to watch the sharp edge of my shovel or hoe. I don’t understand things with stingers: I know there are bees that make honey, and I like bumble bees as I have never been stung by either, but yellow jackets serve no purpose as far as I can tell, and neither do wasps. Dirt daubers merely look like they’ll sting you, but I’ve never known anyone to get stung by one yet.

Which brings me to question: What cures lie in the rain forest? Nobody knows, it’s so vast and being destroyed so quickly that we can’t study them. But, Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac are freely available all over the place. Looking harmless, they can create red, burning, itching rashes all over your skin and as long as the oils are available can keep passing from one person to another. Are they here because they hold a certain key ingredient to curing illness? Maybe the medical field should look into it.

In the meantime, I DO know we need to have a “Get Rid Of…” day and everyone go out into the world and work hard to destroy these dumb plants. Run to your local hardware store and get something to kill the junk and spray, spray, spray!

Here is what I’ve learned:
The plants secrete an oil/resin called URUSHIOL OIL (by the way, apparently the Virginia Creeper vine secretes Oxalate Crystals). These chemicals are what causes the rashes. It is best to avoid the plants by knowing what they look like. That’s why I put the images above. I do NOT want you to get this junk on your body. Otherwise, you’ll end up like this:

15 September 2009

16 September 2009

If you DO get it on you, you’ll want to immediately wash with one or two of several different products. My pal Lisa works at the local botanic gardens and says JEWEL WEED is a good washing agent after it gets on you. Another friend of mine, Heather, says a product called Tecnu is good, with a before rash, during rash, and after rash treatment for body and clothes.

Jewel Weed is nature's cure for immediate washing after immediate exposure to those darn poison ivy plants!

Benadryl stopped the itch for me:

I originally soaked in Aveeno bath and applied Aveeno cream, and it helped a little bit. I got more relief from Benadryl Extra Strength ‘Itch Stopping Cream’ and it mentions Poison Ivy on the box. Another big help to calm the itch was green rubbing alcohol, also known as Wintergreen Alcohol. Finally, when I would get in the shower I would get the water as HOT as I could stand it and let that hit the rashes, and it’s wonderful! It feels the same as if you were grinding a scratch on the itchy rash, and hot air from a blow dryer has the same effect. If you itch, just run hot water over it until the itch has settled, then medicate. Here is what the rashes were like by this time.

18 September 2009

I called my dermatologist, Dr. Trautman, when the rashes weren’t getting better. He called in a prescription for me of Fluocinonide gel. Two days later, my rashes became this:

19 September 2009

I think the Fluocinonide gel has been working to help get rid of the poison ivy. So, it’s definitely something you want to look into for treatment.

Keep in mind, this is how I was effected by the plant and products, and everybody is different.

Heck, there’s even some lucky devils out there who don’t have any allergies to poisonous plants at all. Of course, for me, I wouldn’t be so lucky.

Next time I catch poison ivy, I hope I’m luckier:

Much hotness!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Costuming: Little Shop of Horrors

I wanted to begin posting some information and images about my costumes, and thought I would start with Little Shop of Horrors. The costume includes me as Seymour Krelborn with a walk-around Audrey II puppet. The puppet is based on the design of Sesame Street Muppets performer Martin Robinson (Mr. Snuffle-Upagus and Telly). For the original off-broadway version of the play (and I think each version of the puppet thereafter) he created the designs.

The puppet is made with a pod seperate from the rest of the pot. The top and bottom parts of the pod are sculpted from 4" cushion foam, then the mouth was pinched out into shape (the tongue is part of the bottom 4" and was pinched around to get its shape). The top and bottom of the pod was painted with watered down acrylic, then the teeth were added. The teeth are torn from 1" white foam. Obviously, there are some faux leaves added.

The stem is made either for my arm to go up into the pod, or that there is a seperate stem (as you'll see in the video below) that attaches to my wrist at the back of the pod. Thus, there are holes in the back and bottom of the flower pot, or I can just ignore the flower pot altogether if I'm using the stem as seen in the video.

The Seymour costume has a red jacket with a fake arm, and my arm goes through the chest and into the puppet. The glasses were from some Rayban Wayfarers I had years ago, and the hat was supplied by my pal Lin Workman. The rest of the clothes came from Goodwill.

At the convention where the video was show, an old pal of mine, Tim Brown, doubled in the same clothes I had on as Seymour and I took over the voice of the plant. On some other websites where I posted the video, there were some who replied, "The plant's too small," or "His voice is horrible for this role." Well, I would delete those posts because 1) the plant puppet serves its purpose and 2) Tim is a great vocalist and trained even for classical opera, here he's doing that with a bit of soul to it and, if it wasn't good, he can't get that kind of audience reaction just anywhere. Folks should acknowledge good singing when they hear it and shut up.

Speaking of singing, we performed vocals live. Now, we asked for two microphones, but there was only the one that the show host had. The sound system worked for the CD we gave them, but we had to sing over all that. Tim's wife, Traci, shot the video and was sitting a good ways back, so you can tell we were having to be loud--a strain on my voice as the plant.

Audrey II was used only for this one performance so far, although the puppet has been put on display in art shows.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Big Bird Makes Me Happy

That is the title of one of my favorite paintings I've ever done. You can see it here. It's 16x20" acrylic on canvas, and quite nice. You might recognize the shot from "Follow That Bird," the first Sesame Street movie, when he's talking to a little bird on the Sesame Street sign. It's one of my favorite shots of Big Bird. Of course, nearly all art posted on my website is for sale. Feel free to contact me via e-mail to discuss.