Thursday, July 26, 2007

Super Secret Show opens, Art in Heat Closes

This week has been dominated by getting the Super Secret Show up off the ground. I spent the large part of Saturday painting the show(basically Noon to Midnight...which isn't bad on a Saturday because I get to hear the whole Saturday lineup on WETA, which is great...except for "the splendid table", but I digress...)

Gun and Hooch flats for Trixie's Super Secret Show
11'x7' cutout luan, Hinged in the middle

Owl and Phone Flats for Trixie's Super Secret Show
8'x7' cutout luan, Hinged in the middle

Progress shot of Super secret backdrop being painted flat in scene shop
12'x12' Muslin Backdrop

Hopefully this week I will be getting some production shots of the show...but its going to be difficult because the Fringe festival has events booked back to back...

I am going to start work this week on a backdrop for Trixie, in her mermaid persona, for the Virgin Festival. She's given me free reign over the design, which she may live to regret...of course, this is due by a week from Friday (Aug 3rd), so the next pictures I will have for you is of the finished product.

I had some good news on the Palace of Wonders front. I had a sit down with Erik, and he enthusiastically agreed that a "quarterly" design arrangement would be best for the valance project. So you can expect me to kvetch about designing and painting another valance every three months or so...

I also made some progress on a tattoo I am designing for Dustin. He wants to have a matchbox on his arm, and he has asked me to design the cover. The matches are for a mythical motel (perhaps mythical is not the right word...perhaps existential is better) called "the Chaos Motel".
Chaos Motel Tattoo Design
Photoshop Sketch

This is really a process sketch, so don't look at it as done in any significant way. I will be adding monkeys and babes, and alligators to the pool...I need to move a bit faster, however, because he wants to have it in place (on his arm) in time for Burning Man...

This weekend we can look forward to two significant events. First, our annual "purge" yard sale. This year we will be having it at Blair and Gwen's place (3210 38th St. NW...near the Cathedral) on Sunday 8am-3pm...come on by and take some of our crap back to your house!

And Lastly, all good things must come to an end!

Closing Reception for Art in Heat: Saturday, July 28

It’s the last week for Art in Heat, and we’re having a closing reception this Saturday, July 28 from 7 - 9pm. Swing by and join us for one last hurrah!

The Capital Fringe Festival is going strong. There are several events at the Warehouse itself, so catch a Fringe show and stop by before or after.

Alert your procrastinating friends, and come on out.

Warehouse Arts Complex
1021 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Friday, July 20, 2007

Letting you in on a secret...

Right off the bat I'd like to admit that I have not had it together enough to submit anything for the DCAC Wall Mountables show. Which is a shame because I probably wont remember to renew my membership this year without being in the show...Oh well, I still encourage everyone to go out an see this show, because there is always a great selection of artists, and it is good to support the DCAC in general.

I do have pictures to show of progress on the two other things I mentioned at the end of the last post. I have gotten over the first design "hump" for Joseph...
Joseph and the... TAP, Thomas Jefferson Theater
Photoshop Sketch of Pharaoh number

The director seemed to like my concepts for the entire show. He seems to have a good sense of humor, and wants to the show to be "Vegas/circus" that's what I'm shooting for with these quick photoshop sketches. I have developed a shorthand for sketching with photoshop that sometimes feels like cheating, but to be honest, it really speeds up workflow, and generates more ideas. Lots of people (like Ming Cho Lee, and other old guard theater fuddy duddies) are against using the computer as a tool in design. I can see where they are coming from with lots of people who design everything in CAD, because their work looks stilted and mechanized, but that is not what I am doing. I don't think its wrong to use the computer as the best-est collage tool ever. For someone like me who cant work if something becomes precious (by slaving over a drawing for example) its great to have a medium that can be undone, and rescaled, flipped, distorted, recolored and filtered without losing any of the work. I would go mad if a director wanted to change something in a design I spent three days inking...with this process, that is no longer an issue. So its not really cheating, its just a new tool; and my only sin is showing the process to you, and everyone else on the interwebs...

The other show that I have been working on this week (and I hope to have finished and installed by Monday...goodbye weekend!) is Trixie Little's Super Secret Show for the Fringe Festival
Backdrop design for Super Secret Show
Photoshop sketch for 12'x12' drop (Trixie and Monkey added for scale)

Hooch and Gun masking flats
Pencil Sketch and Photoshop

This should be a fun show. It was kinda last minute (everything with Trixie is...) (actually that is not entirely true. If we do have a concept early, it never seems to get enough steam to get off the ground...) Its a "Film Noir" show, which has a "body cavity search" effect...can you guess what is going in that big blank space on the backdrop? Anyway, I better get back to making this show a reality...Next week, I'll show you finished photos and let you know about the "Mermaid" backdrop I will be working on for the Virgin festival...

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I have been really busy these last few weeks (months really) and I know you have noticed a significant decline in the quality of the reportage here at BTT. I would like to apologize. I promise to have more time to whine about my personal artistic crises in the coming weeks, especially since Art in Heat has moved into the "exhibition only" phase. Which is to say, if you missed any of the events I will be showing pictures of, you can still see the show, that is, the artwork, between now and the 30th (did I mention that Art in Heat got a mention on the Kojo Namdi show today?)

So I will try to be roughly chronological with the pictures of the show, starting with the opening:
Picture of the display window in front of the warehouse on 7th st NW...can you make out the severed panda head on a fork?
Random crowd shot at the start of the opening. (DJ ADAM and DJ AMOL are apparently kicking out the mellow tunes at this point.) We had a good crowd of people throughout the night. In fact we broke some sort of record with the warehouse for bar sales! To be sure, this wasn't your typical DC Gallery going crowd!
Yours truly, stopping briefly to lend a reassuring smile...
Wanna buy anything? Just ask Kate!Scott (big chief curator) Brooks poses with some of the shows artists, Emily and Candy...

So then one week later, we did it all again (sorta) with the Dr. Sketchy's show!
Elvis, Lil' Dutch, Bambi Galore and Buster Hymen all pose at the end of the night while some of DC's best artistic talent attempts to capture the moment on paper...

It was a religious experience, I tell ya...

These are just some of the photos that helped capture the last two weeks of Art in heat craziness...if you have any of your own that you would like to share, please drop me a line.

I hesitate to mention it here, because of a certain conflict of interests I feel about this, however, if you are a regular reader of BTT you will know that I have been trying to get my "Valance" concept off the ground at the Palace of Wonders. Well, as it turns out, they were having their one year anniversary on the same day as the Art in Heat opening...and they asked me to do an anniversary valance for it. Here's a photo of the result in the shop:
And here's one of it installed at the POW
I took it down today, with the intention of repainting the rabbit, substituting the bars cat "Al" in his place. If I understand correctly, you might be able to get a T-Shirt with this image on it in the very near future. I'll keep you posted.

Hopefully by this time next week, I will have some good updates about, Wallmountables at the DCAC, Joseph... and Trixie's Super Secret Show for Fringe!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


As part of Art in Heat, there will be a Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School this Saturday night at the Warehouse. Hosted by Elvis, the “Red King” (yours truly) and featuring Bambi Galore and Lil’ Dutch. The show starts at 7, and drawing continues until 11:30. There will be drawing contests and drink specials, and everyone is invited to stay after Dr. Sketchy for karaoke with Elvis.

Space is limited, but you can buy tickets online now and reserve a spot via the Art in Heat website:

Date: Saturday, July 7
Time: 2 Sessions! Act I: 7-9pm, Act II: 9:30-11:30pm
Place: Warehouse Second Stage
Cost: $8 for each session or $10 for both

Email if you have any questions.

Dr. Sketchy Poster
art by Alan Defibaugh

FAQ (courtesy of

How is Dr. Sketchy’s different from a normal life drawing class?

In normal life classes, silent students sit in a silent room and draw a bored, oft-uninteresting model. In Dr. Sketchy’s we’ve got bodacious burlesque queens as models. We’ve got ridiculous art contests (best incorporation of a woodland animal? Best imagined costume?), good music and flashy prizes. We’ve got a selection of posh beverages- alcoholic and not- available to buy.

At Dr. Sketchy’s, we don’t care if you picked up a pad yesterday or 50 years ago. Come to drink or to draw. We’re happy to have you.

What mediums can I use?

All dry mediums are okay, as are dip pens and a neat watercolour sets. Oil paints, messy mediums and stinky mediums are not okay. Please don’t cause a mess. Sharpen your pencils over the garbage can.

Are there easles? Tables? Sketchpads?

The Warehouse has a few tables. All seating is first come, first served.