Friday, July 25, 2008

J. Wellington Wimpy

8" tall, and weighing in at 1.5oz!
Next up: Brutus; aka Bluto

Har de har har

My work in a museum!

OK, I have to admit I got totally hooked on this timewaster. It's just so goofy. What the hey - Try it yourself at:

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Amelia and I were both asked to submit pieces for an upcoming Art Auction, "The Totoro Forest Project," an international charity effort to preserve Sayama Forest, also known as Totoro Forest. This endangered sanctuary on the outskirts of Tokyo is where director Hayao Miyazaki got the inspiration for his much loved movie "My Neighbor Totoro.” From what I gather, protecting this forest has been a pet project of Miyazaki's since 1990, and since Pixar people hold Miyazaki in the utmost highest esteem, they decided to do something to help out by organizing this art auction.

This is such an honor; I still can't even believe it. I don't feel worthy of being in the same company of the artists involved in this project. But just the fact that I was invited is just about the biggest compliment I've ever had.

I was asked to do a felt sculpture. Anyone who's been around me for the last two weeks knows how stressed I've been about my piece. We were invited sort of late in the game, and therefore had very little time. My biggest problem was narrowing my focus to one good idea. My brain was exploding with ideas - I went down numerous dead-end paths; everything I did ended up looking over-worked. I finally decided to tame the wild ideas, back up, slow down, and focus on simplicity.

In the movie, the Totoro hands a gift to Mae and Satsuki. It is wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with a "dragon's whisker." When they get home and open it, it is full of acorns and seeds. My piece represents an acorn from the gift which has dropped onto the forest floor. Resting on a decaying leaf, it eventually sprouts, bringing new life to the forest.

"Sprout," Needle-felted wool

And here's what Amelia submitted: an amazing watercolor of the Camphor Tree from the movie, with it's garland of paper tied around the trunk. I love the way she captured the knarly wood, the billowy Miazaki-esque clouds, and the perspective looking up into the tree and off in the distance to the valley below. The hat at the base of the tree belongs to Mae, one of the little girls in the movie. This movie was originally released in 1988, the same year Amelia was born. Amelia's middle name is May. And you already know this, but Amelia likes hats.

The auction will be held on Sept. 6th at Pixar Animation Studios. There is a website with more information, and a gallery of the artwork at

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wimpy is Waiting ...

Poor Wimpy. I didn't get time to finish him before getting waylayed on another project. Here he is with his necktie unfinished, no arms, hands or shoes, and NO HAMBURGER! Poor guy! Every time I walk by him, I feel bad. He looks like he is patiently waiting. I promise to get right back to you, Wimpy, as soon as I can!

Photos from a great weekend

Food, friends, an 'ukulele jam - who could ask for anything more?

Friday night, Doni and Michelle arrived and we went to see Amelia play at the Occidental Farmer's Market L-R: Pat, Amelia, Eva

Simmering vats of Paella!

Doni, Dave & I had the Seafood Paella. mmmmmmmmm

Oh, man, it was so good to get together with Michelle & Doni again.

The next day Doni & Michelle joined in on our 'ukulele workshop. Not shown are Dave & Amelia, who also accompanied us on bass. Brian came by, we had a great pot-luck, and then more 'ukulele jam; complete with a bit of hula. How lucky we are to have such great friends. L-R: Sibyl, Ross, me, Michelle, Doni, Ron, and Carol in front.