Friday, May 13, 2016

Haircuts for Radio and Other Weird Things

It's been a busy month or two.

At the moment I'm set dressing Wait Until Dark for Stage West and construction is starting on The Winter's Tale for Trinity Shakespeare, while I'm starting sketches for Circle's Don't Talk to the Actors.

Wait Until Dark, Stage West, design by Clare Floyd DeVries

But what was that about haircuts?

Yesterday a videographer for our local public radio station, KERA, followed me around the stage at Stage West, watching me safety-pin up giant (16' long!) B&W photocopies of the outside-the-basement-window view.  When this got boring (set designer with nice hair cut climbs ladder again!), the TD took us on an Alice's rabbit hole tour through the darkened corners of the theater.  We looked at ancient steel safes and old sofas up nifty counter-weighted folding attic stairs... Fun!  Explore the Theater could make a great virtual reality game.

I think the talk got more interesting too as the TD and I back-n-forthed over scenic problems.

Why all this videoed ridiculousness?

Well, KERA's Art & Seek has gotten a grant to document an artist a week for a year in a how-the-work-happens sort of thing.  As I understand it, there'll be a little bit on the radio and more (like vid) on the website.  Cool idea, huh?

Anyway, 52 weeks, 52 artists... starting, oddly, with me.

So that's weird.  On Monday they're coming by my studio to interview me.  (I'll be vacuuming till then.)  

More weirdness was my battle with the big rendering for the big big backdrop for The Winter's Tale.  I mean, I can design and I can draw... but painting... meh.  So I struggled with it for hours trying to meet the deadline - to the point where, when family arrived, I had to ask 'em whether the result was terrible or okay.  I couldn't tell.  (The consensus was "use it.")

Backdrop for The Winter's Tale, Trinity Shakespeare - design by Clare Floyd DeVries

So there I was yesterday, presenting this alleged artwork to a real painter - the scenic artist - with, as it happened, another very good scenic designer / painter whose opinion I respect looking over my shoulder.  

All he said was, "Colored pencil?"

"Watercolor pencil and colored pencil," I answered.  "But don't look at the technique, just the color."

Actually, that scene shop is absolutely stuffed with good painters who will, naturally, look at my, you should forgive the expression, "technique."  

I have now vowed to take an official watercolor class.

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