Saturday, December 3, 2016

Scenic Painting Examples

On a rainy Saturday it seemed like fun to put up some examples of sets that were interesting paint jobs...  All shows that largely depended on scenic painting to make their point:

Taming, Circle Theatre - photo courtesy of Circle Theatre

This political comedy was all about wrapping everything in the American flag.  Fun to paint, it took the scenic painter and I two days to achieve (plus his day or so base painting blue).  The trick was scumbling everything very loosely and using cut foam "stamps" to make the stars.  The business of the design neatly hid the door where the bed slides out.  (See next to the bedside table?)

Taming, my photo

The next show I didn't paint myself, but a pair of scenic artists did a lovely job of realizing my art deco design in faux burl wood, mahogany, and gold.

Too Many Cooks, Circle Theatre

Below is an example of extreme teeny detail - just barely seen by the audience.  Here the hard working scene painter did everything but my tiny Delft tile decoration.

Lovers and Executioners, Circle Theatre

Opposite extreme!  Painting that took over and designed the whole joint.  Swingin' Sixties London, baby!

The Lucky Chance, or The Alderman's Bargain, Echo Theatre

BTW, another bed slid out of this set - from under those steps.  It too was painted with giant flag-itudeousness.  The colors, deliberately messed with, changed under different lights.

Below is a show that skipped color entirely, creating a world of grays...

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Fun House Theater and Film

Another Fun House production, Romeo and Juliet, used color to define the feuding families' territories: blue for Montague, red for Capulet.

Romeo and Juliet, Fun House Theater and Film

In this R&J, color was important and so was texturing... paint methods that emphasized the texture and variety of the faux stone and wood.  But below is an art deco world of radio where there is hardly any texture... and color disappears in favor of the B&W of old films.

The Frequency of Death, Pegasus Theatre

Even more removed from the everyday is this cartoon inspired TV game show set.  All in the design and painting...

Whatta Ya Think?! 

Realism?  It's the scenic painting - especially of that fieldstone - that sells the reality of this house in Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike:

Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, Uptown Players

Exaggerated, obviously faux, stone defines the next set, emphasizing the crazy unreality of its gothik/horror/comedy...

The Mystery of Irma Vep, WaterTower Theater

So let's hear it for the hard working, long-suffering, desperately important - nay irreplaceable! - scenic artist!  Whose work very often IS the set.  Cheers!

The Winter's Tale, Trinity Shakespeare and the noble Scenic Painter

Friday, December 2, 2016

REALLY Haulin' Stuff

One of the difficult aspects of theater set design and construction can be all the haulin' stuff around - the heavy platforms and flats, the furniture (all the furniture!), or, as with my new Kitchen Dog play Feathers and Teeth, the heavy kitchen appliances.  When three of us managed to move and lift a refrigerator up onto our raised "kitchen" platform without any hernias I felt a bit proud of us...

Then I saw THIS guy carrying his refrigerator on his back - on his bike.

Amateurs.  Just amateurs...

PS.  The photo of the Feathers and Teeth set is courtesy of Kitchen Dog Theater, not sure who the photographer is, sorry.  The video is from You Tube, discovered via BoingBoing

Monday, November 14, 2016

Not Usually a Sign Guy But Geez

Gotta be my favorite protest-Trump sign quote.

"Geez" indeed.

From a tweet by Alex Leo HERE.

The peaceful protests?  Fair notice to our incoming president that his actions will be carefully watched... and reacted to.  As with any new leader of the free world (if that title will still apply), only starting with more doubt and distrust due to his own past actions and speech.

What else can We the People judge by?

This has gotta be my favorite Trump quote so far:

I know words.  I have the best words... but there is no better word than 'stupid,' right?

I'm watching.  Because I suspect electing Mr. Trump will be a stupid, stupid idea.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sanity Break

Every so often we need sanity breaks.

Mine was a week and a bit in California's wine country and at the family ranch.  I even got to practice a little water color painting.  (While the ranch-cat "helped" - spot any paw prints?)

(Rough) water color sketch, California Gold Country - copyright Clare Floyd DeVries

We really do need more sanity around here:

Please go vote for the non-orange candidate.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Last Chunk of Concrete

If Trump hadn't lost my vote long ago, he'd have lost it yesterday...

I just realized (okay, I'm slow) that his vulgar '80s Trump Tower is built over the dead body of an Art Deco jewel, the flagship Bonwit Teller department store.

Not only that, but he deliberately had his (undocumented, underpaid) Polish workmen destroy the lovely carvings and grillwork rather than save them for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Wanton destruction. 

The guy's a barbarian. 

Those of us who build, who design, who make art, have to push back against the forces of destruction... it's civilization against barbarism every day: whether the vandals are ISIS destroying archaeological sites in Palmyra or the Taliban dynamiting ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan "for religion", or greedy developers in NYC for a buck.  Or book burners.  Or political candidates who try to dismantle whole parties and, oh, free press and confidence in the election process.  Those kinda guys.

Please, if you're undecided about voting, don't let this vandal near the White House.

Photo from the Department Store Museum

(More HERE at Art Watch International and HERE at the Department Store Museum.)

Monday, October 3, 2016

A New Dog House! A New Kitchen Dog Theater Home!

We did it!

Or, at least, we've taken the first big BIG step toward a new, permanent, we-own-it! home for Kitchen Dog Theater.


The Dallas Morning News has a big article about it HERE.  (Give it a few clicks, eh?)

Basic facts?  A wonderful and anonymous couple gave us a challenge grant for $ 500,000 last fall if we could raise $125,000 (in a very short time)... which we did!  This generous gift became the cornerstone of our house hunt and allowed us to JUST CLOSE THE DEAL on a great building in the northernmost edge of Dallas' Design District.  

About perfect.

It'll be a while - 2018 - before we move in, but that's much needed time to plan, design, remodel, and raise yet more money.  Our goal is to own our new theatrical home free and clear.  It's going to be so... so... homey to have a place of our very own.  

So, if you've got a spare nickle, please toss it our way: Kitchen Dogs would be very grateful!  And, to those Anonymous Heroes, huge, grateful thanks!  If I never learn their names I may just have to hug every ticket-buyer I meet.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Save Pepe!

Artists and designers get their work stolen.

Especially online.

I just listened to an interview with the cartoonist who created Pepe the Frog... an innocent, laid-back. peace-loving frog who's been co-opted by the alt.right in current politics as an ugly hate meme.  You can listen HERE on RiYL.

His creator, Matt Furie, seems like a really good guy - perplexed by this evil hijacking of his work.  

Copyrighted artwork, by the way.  But good luck suing neo-Nazis over copyright infringement, huh?  

See more at Art by Matt Furie.

Public domain frog image

Earlier posts on misuse of other designers' designs HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Getting Political

This isn't a political blog.  So I won't belabor the choice America has in this presidential race.  I'll just send you to this interview/ad featuring Trump's one-time architect:  HERE.

Look, I'm a designer.  I've done work I haven't gotten paid for.  (I even got one small claims court judgement - but no cash.  I framed it as a reminder.)  

And I'm an architect.  I've watched an interior designer fight to be paid any fee at all for work completed.  I've known other architects and designers who have been stiffed by clients.  I've seen architectural firms close because they've been stiffed by clients.  It makes me mad.

Trump's architect, Andrew Tesoro: 

I feel for this architect.  This is what Trump really thinks of small business owners, whatever economic and job growth he may now promise at a podium.

Potential Trump Voters!  You could get stiffed too - so could the country.  

Please reconsider.  

This is a still from the Clinton ad HERE.  Not public domain, but I don't think Hillary will mind my using it, do you?