Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Theatre! part 2

This what I have been painting for the past two days. It is a very large picture frame. The muslin in the center is going to be lit and actors are going to do a scene in silo et.


There I am up in the Gennie, painting. It is great machine, a little scary till you get your "sea legs" up there. But alot of fun!
I have really enjoyed being back at the theatre this week. Loved being around my good friends , laughing and catching up. This show opens on Friday. So that will end my time with them for now. I have no regrets on leaving this job. And its been nice doing what I love and not having all the pressure of being the one in charge. amy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Theater !

I was back at my old job today, painting scenery. I had not gone back since my last day at the end of September. I had to quit because there was just to much overtime involved. I was their full time Master Scenic for two years. I loved it, but with 4 children it just became to much. Long exhausting hours getting a show up. Up and down ladders all day. Stress! But beautiful at the same time.
This theater is really amazing. There are actually two separate theaters that I painted for. One is down town , a beautiful old theater that they rescued back in the early 80's. That is Theater.... proper. And one up town that they do most of their productions at, that theater was about to go under when Theater stepped in and rescued them. Both theaters do well and they keep alot of artist employed. Their office staff is primarily made up of actors.

The production staff, so talented! So hard working! I love them! So understaffed! The production staff are the people who are involved in every show. Actors come and go for each show, set designers come and go for each show, costume designers come and go for each show, directors come and go for each show. But the production staff, the Production Manager (who is the person who cordites everyone, she is in charge) the T.D.( Technical Director, he is also in charge), A.T.D.(Assistant Technical Director), the Master Carpenter, all the carpenter staff, at this theater about two or three full time, the Master Scenic, Master Electrician, Sound Master, Props Master, often they do without and have to hire one for each show and of course the Costume Shop, those ladies are unbelievable, what they do! These people are the constant, their hands make the designers dreams come to life. And it is alot of hard work. These are full on large productions, with as many beautiful "bells & whistles" not to mention "Magic" that can be provided. And believe me there is "Magic" in theater, especially if you are part of the team that is making it happen. Because, " the show must go on!" and it does.

But, this theater, this beautiful theater that I love so much. They do more shows in a season than any theater I have ever herd of. Two theaters, the one down town only does four shows a year, but ends with the largest, most fantastic show, but the one up town is in constant production, 7 shows a year. Starting in Sept. and ending in June and that show runs all summer. Now, I have not even mentioned, the tour shows. They are the largest children's theatre tour company in the U.S. So on top of all these wonderful stage productions, we sent out vans full of sets, costumes, props, sound equipment and actors, to tour around the U.S. to bring theatre to schools, they cover 36 states. 12 childrens tour shows a year, starting in the fall then going till the spring.

Oh, and then they over the past two years , then added a summer production. This production is for high school kids. Last year it was High School Musical, the year before it was Grease. This is great opportunity for young actors to work with a professional, theatre. But the sad part is, that professional theatre, (the production staff) is pretty tired at this point. So, so, sad ! All these wonderfully talented kids running around, might even be the high point of their high school years and I was so tired. It was hard to join in on their excitement. But, But it happened and was the hit of the year! Sold out ever night, standing room only, it was enchanting!

BUT, after that show I quit. I gave my notice and told them I would stay till they found a good painter. That show opened some time in July and my last day was at the end of September.

Now, I could sit here and list all the things that drove me crazy and there are so many things that drove me crazy, I could, because the in the time I was there, I tryed very hard to make changes, The most important of all was to have two real scenics on staff. But I don't know if they will ever change their ways. As tired as I always was, I loved it. It gave me more blessings than I can count.
I did not get over time pay. This is not Hollywood, no glamor. I was the only painter on staff, so I had interns helping me, that meant that I was teaching scene painting, usually to a young actor, who just wanted a job in the theatre. And right there, working with those young people is where I found most of my blessings. Last year I had two interns that I am very sure that I will know for the rest of my life. One is now a grad student at N.Y.U. , I am so proud of her, that was her dream and I got to watch her make it happen. The other is so remarkable, she is now the Production Mangers Assistant.

And I love the production staff, the best people ever, I have missed them so much.
When I lift, I promised I would come back and help when they needed me.

So today, I met the young man who replaced me for the first time. He looks tired. But he is a wonderful fellow, very talented, "Bless his heart"! Amy

Monday, January 21, 2008

It Is Cold!!!

A wonderful snowy day in the country, 2004.
The house in the country. Where we lived for 9 years.

Just a quick note today, as my little fingers are freezing. The kids have a 3 day weekend & are home today. Martin Luther King Day. Because of the holiday, the girls & I had a sleep over at my Moms last night, she lives only about a mile away, but it was Rowans ideal and she had been planning this sleepover for a week. So, because Rowan is going threw a "I can't be away from my Mom" stage in her life, I also got to go to the Granny"s house sleepover.I don't mind, I like cuddling up at my Moms and watching movies. It was nice. But, this morning my husband called, "fuel oil ran out, am ordering more." Oh pooh! We just had some delivered less than a month ago. And it is cold!
Came home to a freezing house. I haven't taken my coat off yet! Our heater unit is old and had to be serviced last month, 187.00$ on top of the oil added, which I don't think we really needed as we had to call the company back because the heater did not fire off after fuel was added. So, again the same situation! But, this time my husband has called a friend over to help, he does this for a living, wish us luck as we freeze our "little tail feathers off!" The heater will have to be replaced before next winter, but hopefully it will last threw this winter.

Did I say quick post? We have lived in this city house for two years now, before that we lived in the country. At the top of this post, you see the house where we lived. We renovated that house.But, our heat came from the wood stove. It took some work, but it heated our old farmhouse very well. I am missing that wood stove today! Fuel oil is so expensive and I really hate feeling so dependent on something that is so costly. The price for heat just keeps going up. I mean really there has to be a better way! Any suggestions? I have been looking into those little electric heaters that are supposed to be energy saving and have a pleasing fireplace look to them.Or maybe getting a pellet stove, they say those are great.
Anyway, our friend has gotten the heater going, thank goodness, I might be able to peel my fisrt layer of clothes off in about an hour. So, I am still frustrated about the whole thing and am going to make it my mission to find an alternative way of warming our home. But really, if anyone out there has found away, please clue me in. Thank you, Amy

Popped back in to say, guess what happened about 2 hours ago? Wow, you guessed it! Thats right, the power went out on our block. What a poohpy day it has been.
I'll be back at the theatre painting tomorrow, hope its a better day! amy

Saturday, January 19, 2008

SNOW, the next day!

Mom: Rowan, you are going to get soaking wet!

Rowan: I don't care, I will take a hot bath.

So, this time we did not wear our pajamas inside out.
We tried not to shout it out.
But! Snow was in the air!
This time we tried, not to care.
We got up this morning and went to ballet, it is Saturday,
About our business we did go. We tried not to think of snow.
Out to lunch, as we always go, not thinking about the snow.
To the bookstore we did go, not thinking about the snow.
Out we came with our books in tow.
And what do you know? SNOW!!! by amy

This is a true story. It has not snowed much, but enough to send a little girl out in her nighty to try & build a snowman, with what was out there.So pray for snow, it is a good thing! oxox amy

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It is SNOWING! And I took my poor babes to school. It started when I got home. Bummer Man! I want them here, out in the snow having fun, getting rejuvenated! Gotta go and take more pictures, I will post them soon. SNOW!I LOVE SNOW!!! ox amy
tThis was about 9:00 in the morning, by 10:30, it had turned to rain.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Such Tiny Noses!

Tiny Nose One! They got it from their Dads side, lucky girls.
Tiny Nose Two, so sweet!

two Tiny Noses, I LOVE those little noses!

Mouth wide open and a very happy girl at dance class, what does that mean? It makes her HAPPY, thats what I want, what she does with it , is up to her.
The one with her mouth wide open is my baby girl. Every Saturday morn we get up and go to ballet class. The dance instructure, in white, is just one of the most beautiful dancers I have ever watched. At this dance studio, little ones can wear what they like, and I love it. No snootyness here! You are dancing, be comfortable!
Hannah takes Tap here also, it may take some doing, but I will try & get some pics. of her.

So, after dance we might go thrifting, oh yeah, I am one of the original thrifters. I have been thrifting for, well I am 47, since, well since I was about 10. Because, I was raised by a Scotsmen, and he loved thrifting.
But this weekend, we had lunch at the park and fed the birds. We had a great Saturday!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Father Time

I painted this oil painting 30 years ago, I was 17. Back then I wanted to paint every detail, every hair. Then I began to loosen up in my painting and color became very important to me. But, I just love this old man, he now belongs to my brother Matt. These days I am feeling the need to go back to the very detailed work and bring with it the color that I love so much. He does look like he could be" Father Time," doesn't he? But, he has always been called"the Old Man Painting".

This is one of my portraits, it is also oil, well all my work is done in oil. I just can't get acrylic to do what I like. It is pretty large. So now I am thinking that I want to start being more detailly, (is that a word?), computer says"no", anyway, more detail and keep the fun color happening too. Theo, I love being all loosey with paint. I start a new painting tomorrow morning, I will keep you posted.
Have a lovely day! Amy

New Calender

From my 2006 Carl Larsson calender. For Kath, this is one of my faves, I want to be that lady getting ready to take that lovely bath. I would love to be in any of the scenes from his paintings, all cozy & happy.

So, I am putting up my new 2008 calender today. This year my husband got me a Humming Bird Calender, perfect! Beautiful calenders are
very important in my daily life, as I write on them and document the our daily life on their 2x2" squares. They were especially handy when my babes were performing those milestone moments in their lives, standing up, first words, walking. I would jot it on my calender. If I hadn't those wonderful moments would have slipped away from my mind. And as all children do, when they asked about their 1st words or how old was I when I walked, I am sure I would have had them all mixed up. A lovely calender is always a good baby shower gift, as days pass so quickly and that baby book can be over whelming, so I always tell the new Mom my trick, then at a later date, you can set down with your calender and baby book and put it all where it belongs. I save each calender, so I can refer back to them and will find myself leafing threw the months and feeling happy about all we do in a year.

I don't think I have ever had to buy my own new calender, they are usually a Christmas gift from my darling man or my Mom. And they always get it right. This year will be beautiful close-ups of those quick and fancy creatures that fascinate me so. I have put out a humming bird feeder for years now and once you start feeding them, you must continue as they will return to you year after year.You should also have the proper flowers about your yard , for their nutrition. I once got to hold a humming bird, really I did! I stepped outside just in time to find the poor thing in the jaws of my cat. I quickly ran to the rescue, and removed the precious little thing from its certain and untimely death. I carefully placed him in a bucket, he was breathing hard and was in shock, so I just watched him and every now and then, I could not resist the chance to reach in and pet him on his head. He was not very happy about that. After about 20 minutes I reached in one more time and just like a helicopter up and off he went, that day went down on my calender. My hummers have always seemed to trust me, I keep my feeder on a branch just above my outside table, where I set daily. They come to the feeder at curtain times of the day, morning and evening and if it is really hot, threw out the day. So they drink just a few feet over my head, I love going out and waiting for them .
In the past I have had Mary Casset, Carl Larsson, (yes Kath another thing we have in common, I adore that man & his beautiful art) of cause Beatrix Potter, Jessie Wilcox Smith, just so many years of beautiful calenders. And it does my heart good to know they were given to me by these two precious people in my life, they understand me and how important art and beauty is to me.
So put up your calender, write on them, save them and don't forget to say "RABBIT, RABBIT !", out loud each time you flip your page up to a new month. For good luck! Amy

Friday, January 4, 2008

Some Moments From Our Christmas Break

I'v just had a request for a picture of me, so I went back and could only find this one. I had just made these cookies for Rowan's Christmas party at school. I'm the Room Mom. I am hoping that others will send some pictures my way. Thats what happens when you are the one taking pictures.
This is my Mom, 7 children, isn't she just beautiful. I am so proud to be her daughter. She used to say that even when all her children were grown and gone, she would get a sudden panic feeling when she was out, thinking that someone was at home waiting for her. Now she spends her time quilting, and spending time with her grandchildren and children. She'll just call out of the blue and ask if the kids want to go see a movie. My sisters and I live very close by to each other, my Mom lives only about 5 min. from me. It was not always that way for me, but thats another story. I am close by now and I love it.
So this is my longest post and it took me forever to do it. But I learned alot in the process. I just wanted to share with you some of the many pictures I took over Christmas. I am second oldest of seven children, we get together as often as we can, but Christmas is when we all meet, with our children and husband and wives. So here I share with you my siblings , it is always a grand time, but this year it just felt different in a wonderful way. We had so much fun. You know when everyone calls each other the next day still talking about what fun it was.

This is Bridget there in the middle, She is the oldest, 18 months older than me,( almost Irish twins) she is an actress and spent most of the evening singing kareoke. We all were singing. But Bridget really does have a great voice.This is Bridgets husband Greig, he is an amazing artist. He just recently shaved his fury face, I'v never seen him without a beard before.
My brother Matt, 3rd. of the 7 of us. This is his girlfriend, the lovely Maleafa.
Bronwyn and Elliot, Bronwyn is the 4th child. The party was held at her house this year. Pretty sisters.

My little sister Megan and her son. Chris, Megan's husband. She should be at the end of this picture list of siblings, because she is the youngest, our baby. I spent many hours drawing her, she is 15 years younger than me.

My brother John, 3rd. youngest in my family. In this picture he is wearing the Redskins jacket my Mom got him. And that same day they won. He is really the only one in my fam. that is into football. He works with Luke at his grooming business.
Luke, 2nd to the youngest, the only one who got my Dads blue eyes. He has his own Dog Grooming company in Alexandria. A wonderful Dad and sweet husband.

My Mom, Baby sister Megan, Brother Luke, thats me in white. Many clusters of happy laughter, enjoying each others company.

This is my brother John, playing boardgames with Hannah and Ian. John is the 3rd youngest in my family. He is perfect uncle.
This is my husband Philip, carving. The food! So good.