Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Edition


I took a break from my day job for a few weeks to help out the art department at The Mortuary (a haunted house here in New Orleans) decorate for a private party at a St. Charles mansion. With fellow artists Brian Demski, Johnny Bullard, and John Marchiafava, we helped turn this home into a house of horrors. Which was made much easier by The Mortuary's amazing warehouse of horror props. Oh, and having a budget the size of most people's student loan debt.









The bar was made into a serial killer's lair:




The owner's inside basketball court was made into a small walk through haunt:




Did I mention The Mortuary's amazing horror props?


video



video



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Schembartlauf

I came across an excellent article a while back linking Albrecht Dürer's artwork to Nuremberg's  Schembartlauf, a 15th -16th Century pre-Lenten festival similar to Mardi Gras. It led me to a beautiful archive of costume and float designs from the time, subsequently leading me down the google image search rabbit hole. Here's some of my favorite finds:



















Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Little Guys


Last year, I started working on these little paintings of dreamscapes (for lack of a better word at this point). I got sort of stuck and set them aside, but I've recently been working back into them, and think it might lead to something more extensive. Anyway, I'll keep you updated.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Proteus 2013

Here's some floats I painted and designed last Mardi Gras for Proteus.





   

 




Friday, September 20, 2013

Another Day Another Holler


Michael converting an old Kim Kardasian prop into a prostitute for next year's Krewe d'Etat parade. What else is there to say, really? 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

THE WHOLE GRITTY CITY

After years in post-production, "The Whole Gritty City" will finally be premiering at the New Orleans Film Festival on October 12th! When it comes to movies, it take a lot to make me cry. That being said, every time I watch this trailer I start weeping. Every. Single. Time.



For those who won't be in the city for the premiere, you can follow them on facebook or go to their website. In the meantime, I suggest getting lost in the endless youtube videos showcasing the city's amazing marching bands:

Newcomb and Jennie Wilde


In 1914, my great-grandmother, at the tender age of sixteen, studied art at Newcomb College here in New Orleans. She stayed in a set of dorms right behind Commander's Palace, so the story goes. It wasn't under the happiest of circumstances - two years prior, her mother had died in childbirth. Much to the scandal of the family, her father quickly got remarried to a flamboyant pianist with a fondness for feather boas (and little interest in children). Her new stepmother wanted to escape the Cincinnati winter down in New Orleans, and my great-grandmother was obliged to go along. Despite her reservations and the briefness of her enrollment, I'm told that Newcomb served as a life line for her. One can imagine this girl, motherless and friendless in a strange city. Art would have meant everything, as any troubled teen can attest. That spring she was sent off to boarding school. Her father (a former Episcopalian pastor, since excommunicated for disbelief in the virgin birth) soon headed out to California with his new wife, where he would eventually open a health food store and maintain chilly relations with his children from afar.

Living in the same city, I think about her from time to time. I picture a morose teen, hunched over an easel, missing home, cursing her luck and her stepmother. I wonder what all she saw - and what a time to be in the city! Louis Armstrong would have been thirteen, learning to read music at the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs. Storyville would have been swinging away, with the help of King Oliver and Kid Ory. And Mardi Gras would have been in the middle of a golden age. I doubt she went to Storyville, but I really hope she stayed through Mardi Gras.

Which brings me to another Newcomb artist: Jennie Wilde. In the year 1914, she was designing some of the most elegant floats in New Orleans history. Wilde possessed the sort of artistry that if she had chosen to go into something with universal appeal like, pottery or glass, she would be up there today with the biggest names of the Arts and Crafts Movement. But instead she decided to design floats, costumes, prop jewelry, queens' mantles, and the ornate, die-cut invitations for the krewes' balls. I first came across her in Henri Schindler's book of float designs, but recently I've been pouring over the more extensive collection of her work available through Tulane's digital library. Here's a few examples from the 1914 Comus parade:


The Squire's Tale
The Squire's Tale





Truth
Truth
    

Anelida
Anelida


Comus
Comus


The Romance of the Rose
The Romance of the Rose
   

The Prioress Tale
The Prioress' Tale



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fire!

Unleashing my inner showgirl...

The ostrich feathers up top are my first attempt at dying my own. I'm not totally satisfied with the results - the feathers lost a lot of their fluff, even though I did what the internet suggested, gently blow drying them, then steaming. Luckily, they were high end feathers to begin with, so they still look nice and full despite everything. Not that I'm giving up. I really want more control over my color palate, and I love the idea of creating subtle color gradations. Maybe I'll do a feather dying tutorial if I manage to break the code.



Fire headpieceFire  burlesque headpieace


Fire carnival headpiece




































Friday, September 6, 2013

New headpieces at FifI's!


Head over to Fifi Mahony's in the French Quarter for my newest batch of headpieces. There's some really fun ones :)

New Orleans, LA


French Quarter New Orleans, LA

French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hi

I make things. And I would like to share.




For the Proteus 2014 parade.
Sculpture by Randy Morrison