Monday, October 27, 2014

Art Update and Phoenix Temple Open House

I tried to post a few times in the last few days and the entry never got finished. Therefore, I deleted all the obsolete stuff from the attempted entries and figured I'd just dive in with art updates and see where that goes.  

I did finish two big projects last week. My friend Cara had a baby on the 16th and this has been an ongoing project I completed since she did our Fathers Day/Spring pictures last May. I started this artwork months ago, but her baby had to arrive for it to be official and other details to be added.  

And then there's my music pumpkin. I wanted to have a pumpkin with my favorite music that has the Halloween overtones. It's still not 100% done as it's only been worked on a little at a time due to all the other projects on the list. But I'll call it done enough for a photo. If anything is added to make its completion official, it'll just show up when the time comes.

I have a tablet/mobile design in progress for that ongoing project for the Lake of the Woods client in Ontario. That should be completed in the next day or so. In the meantime, my art has consisted of a Minecraft grassblock for Christian that will be the box that will contain his Halloween candy.

The squares on his box are considerably larger than this (below). Going that small with the individual squares on all four sides would be insane.
We did enjoy Open House at the Phoenix Temple on Saturday. My only complaint is it was the 25th of October and it was in the mid-90s. Well, Christian was having some trouble. He's been having some growing pains that makes his chest hurt. His nervousness has escalated the anxiety and he's been worried about his heart and checks to see if it's still beating. He'll also go online to confirm that it is growing pains and not a heart attack, but looking up symptoms online is also a way to get the living beejeezies freaked out of you with all the crazy things the chest pain can be. 
On Saturday, he was experiencing this pain, but we were in the car already miles from home and en route to the temple. Christian seemed to be doing "okay" as we parked at the waterpark about a mile away and took the provided tour bus to the temple.

Even though it was crowded, the tour moved along.  After the tour, I attempted some "happy family" pictures on the grounds, but with a 14 year old girl, anxious 10 year old boy, and obstinate toddler, that proved difficult. But of course I persevered because I'm just that obsessed with taking pictures. 

Then there was the sweet experience that occurred in the little Reception tent area. There was a Christus statue and we sat down to take a rest there in front of the statue. (I didn't take a picture of the statue, so I found one online of a random kid in front of the same statue).

Christian said, "I wish that was really Jesus. Because then I could touch him and the pain would go away....."


A random kid near the Christus statue in the Reception area.
And then he talked about being able to have his dad give him a blessing. Christian wanted the blessing right away. I ran into a friend from high school who was ushering at the temple. Afterwards, I kicked myself that I didn't suggest that he and Chris go in the meetinghouse right there and find a quiet empty room so Christian could be comforted with a blessing. But it worked out. Chris was able to give him a nice blessing when we arrived home.

This was just before Alexander intentionally took a par-cor dive off that wall. Mikelle caught him. She was praised for her Good Catch!

I am so grateful for the faith my son displayed that afternoon, despite his anxiousness and worry about the pain. I'm additionally grateful to have Chris, a loving husband and father who is worthy of his priesthood and that he was there to provide Christian with a blessing later that evening. 

I am also grateful for this temple that will be closer to home. It was hard leaving Queen Creek - with the brand new Gilbert Temple just down the road. I do miss it. However, I already feel at home with this new Phoenix Temple. I hope I can make myself take advantage of it as often as possible. 

Until next time...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hanging with Andy at The Factory...

...well, the annual Halloween party was at the host's business warehouse. But The Factory was the name of artist Andy Warhol's New York City studio.  I'll get into the explanation of our costumes in a minute (though any well-rounded educated individual won't need one...)

Our dear friends the Brights moved back up to the Queen Creek area just before we moved away from there! Bummer. But at the same time, we were able to go to the party with them and crash at their house that night and not worry about driving back home until Sunday morning. 

With the Brights and their Steampunk Duds...I want that hat and goggles!
When the four of us arrived, this is what we came upon wandering the parking lot to find the entrance to the party. It's also not a mystery why this group won the costume contest. It was hilarious. 
Such a sweet family picture...
Some other highlights at The Factory:

Kelly Kawpowski and Zack Morris
Around the Factory
Andy Warhol
In case the context of our costumes isn't completely understood at first glance, Chris was Andy Warhol (1928–1987) and I was a Campbell's Soup can, reflecting one of his well-known works. 

Andy Warhol  was one of the most influential artists in the history of 20th century American pop culture.

Andy Warhol, 'Campbell's Soup Cans,' 1962

When Warhol first exhibited these Campbell’s Soup Cans in 1962, they were displayed together on shelves, like products in a grocery aisle. At each of the canvases had a different flavor of soup. Warhol did not indicate how the canvases should be installed. At the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (otherwise known as the MoMA), they are arranged in rows that reflect the chronological order in which the soups were introduced. I guess the reason Tomato is important is because it was the  first flavor introduced by the company. If I had a choice in the flavor of soup, I'd go with New England Clam Chowder.

Andy's work Campbell’s Soup Cans reproduces an object of mass consumption in the most literal sense. The paintings were silk-screened and repeated in the same basic soup can image on dozens of canvases. He then hand-painted or stenciled the names of the individual soup flavors on his work. 

Warhol said of Campbell's Soup: "I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years.  I guess the same thing over and over again. Someone said my has has dominated me. I liked that."
Warhol's colorful soup cans. 1965

2012 Target had 50th Anniversary Warhol promotional Campbell's Soup.

And heading to Queen Creek also had its practical purposes. I was able to deliver this large pumpkin to my friend Nikki. She was supposed to be at the party, but she had some weird excuse for not being there that couldn't possibly be as fun as the party. Still, she managed to find me and obtain her pumpkin. She had me do two last year and this year she obtained this large 12-inch one (pumpkin on the left) and had me adorn it  with elements that reflected her family. The 9-inch one next to it is one that'll be on sale at a local Wickenburg ice cream shop. I already sold one of my 6-inch pumpkins there.

And then there was piece that adds to the promotional project my customer from Toronto has entrusted her faith in me to complete. It's been a lot of fun and I still have one more piece to go! This is a snapshot of the previous one when it wasn't quite finished. It was about 95% along in this shot.
On that note.. back to the fun! School is back in session and projects are waiting. I wish Chris's crazy schedule would go back to normal. Sure, he was able to go to the party but I picked him up from work on Saturday to head there. Then Sunday morning heading back, I dropped him back off at work. Boooo! 

Normalcy will return. But patience is not my strong point.