Shark Week is eight days of fun, documentary-ish shark shows on Discovery Channel. Sea Shepherd, the ocean conservation group, joined in the conversation via YouTube. As you may know Sea Shepherd inspired my MerSea series books—Superfreak (Book 1), Superflop (Book 2), and Superfly (Book 3).
Sea Shepherd has finally teamed up with Madison Stewart, “Shark Girl Madison,” who was inspiration for my Breanna character in Superfreak (Book 1). Breanna has about one scene in the book.
I would love to swim with sharks like Madison—in the wild of course. That would be a better way to drive tourism rather than killing these fish. But thanks to the movie Jaws, I’m afraid of sharks. And the weird thing is, Valerie and her late husband Taylor, were shark and marine conservation experts who helped film some of the shark sequences for Jaws. They were the first to film great white sharks without a cage. I doubt they knew what a terrible impact that movie would have. Ron passed away in 2012, but Valerie continues their mission of marine and ocean conservation. And Madison grew up idolizing her fellow Aussie Valerie, so much so, that she wore a yellow ribbon in her hair like Valerie. The ladies were able to meet during the filming of the documentary Blue. Check out a 2019 CNN “She Filmed Sharks for Jaws. . .” article about the two conservationists.
Walking into the Sawdust Festival’s outdoor Hobbit house, we are greeted by the white rabbit sitting in a shack topped with a gray spaceship with a tiny man inside. Note the man and not an alien. Straight ahead is Kirk Milette Jewelry booth, the woman’s alarm on her phone rings. She says Kirk made the UFO and that it will move at this very minute. We stare, but no action.
Close to the time travel installation, is new-to-Sawdust, Artist David Kizziar from Blue Bird Studio Arts. Prisma pencil drawings of Laguna Beach are sepia tone photo like. Ornate, dark wood frames give the art a time travel vibe. I imagine being in a coffered ceiling and wainscoted family room with a lit stone fireplace and brown leather sofas. Let’s make them pleather. One frame is ordained with beach rock.
His effervescent wife explains David is self-taught and only went public with his art three years ago. She points at a piece and says he spent 300 hours working on the drawing. Pulling out a sample with sketches here and there, she explains he likes to draw the most difficult part first. From a photo, David begins sketching the grass rather than the buildings. Renaissance Man says, “He could have grown the grass faster.” She laughs and says, “I told him the same thing.”
At the entrance of the booth is a huge replica of David’s oil painted mermaid, which won the City of Laguna Beach Banner Juried Competition. His wife shows us a photo on her phone. It’s of David in his classic jeans and T-shirt standing under Ascend as the banner hangs from a streetlight on Coast Highway 101 in Laguna Beach.
David’s art has many personalities. His earthy drawings that Bo Derek and Robert Englund, known as Freddy Krueger, (Photos sit on a desk.) bought are completely different from his paintings of the blue mermaid. According to David’s postcard, “He wants his art to emit a ‘mood’ that reflects life’s camera and moves the person to ‘feel’ something.
Nancy gives me one of David Kizziar’s Ascend cards. I’d love to give you the card along with my new book Superfly, book three in the MerSea series. Sign up for my newsletter and one lucky winner will be mailed the mermaid card with a signed copy of my book. I’ll choose the winner from the new names on my newsletter list. Just go to my Newsletter page and wait for the pop-up. Newsletter sign up. (Contest is from July 11-July 15, 2019. This time around I’ll only mail to U.S. entrants.)
Pageant of the Masters
Across the street at The Pageant of the Masters, we stroll through fine art exhibits while waiting for The Time Machine show. I notice a jeweler who was at the Sawdust last year is showing at the Pageant. And the guy who makes gorgeous wood furniture is at the Sawdust and not at the Pageant like he has been for years. I’m not sure why people switch, but hopefully they are getting more traffic. I go to both because both exhibits are fabulous. An artist and I were saying how much we love being at the Sawdust. It’s good vibes.
The Time Machine production loosely follows H.G. Wells’ novella “The Time Machine” and one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks. The Victorian gentleman and his steampunk carriage are joined by Countess De La Maitrie in her equestrian dress and with her dachshund from the painting by Charles Albert Walhain. The Victorian gentleman finds Da Vinci’s notebook and they are off in a gold vehicle with a large disc and red carpet.
Living art begins with Napoleon And His General Staff In Egypt, 1867. Napoleon is on his camel with his men on camels and horse trudging through the desert. Narration explains the pyramids and hieroglyphs. There is only a mention of the advanced civilization and that there isn’t real explanation as to why. In the program under the photo of the painting is a quote.
“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” ~Napoleon Bonaparte
The show moves through different chapters like The Art of Science which includes Sir Isaac Newton with Prism, Unknown, Engraving, 1868 to Nikola Tesla Monument, Les Drysdale, Bronze, 2006 to Stephen Hawking Ubermensch, J. & D. Chapman, Fiberglass, 1995.
Marty McFly and Doc ride in their “modified” DeLorean, yep a DMC-12, in The Music Machine chapter. Jumping out of the car and onto the stage, Marty surprises the dancers around the jukebox as Working on the Jalopy, Stevan Dohanos, The Saturday Evening Post, 1950 sets up. There is a lot of great Jitterbugging as an audience member sings along.
One of the final chapters takes us to the moon with Norman Rockwell’s The Final Impossibility, Man’s Tracks On The Moon, 1969 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The props disappear and “Neil” floats reminding the audience these are real people not just paintings.
There is a floating earth and a floating spaceship. The show seems to have gotten cheesier through the years, but I still love it. We have been taught historical inaccuracies in school and in media and many are repeated in the show. The Time Machine isn’t enough to satisfy a MUFON member, but the “living pictures” are always perfection, which is what the show is about.
Festival of Arts • Pageant of the Masters • 650 Laguna Canyon Rd • Laguna Beach • CA • 92651 • 1-800-487-3378 (On 7/11/2019 I received an email with a savings code. Main Tier Madness $25, 3 Dates Only, Use Code: MTM25. Main Tier is where I sat and is good seating. Director’s Tier is also on sale, but too far.)