Time Machine Giveaway

1 Sawdust
53rd Annual Summer Sawdust Art Festival (2019). You’ll have to trust me it looks like a little man in the spaceship. Photo by M.C.

Sawdust Festival Artists & Makers

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.”

3 Kizziar Mermaid Card.jpg
Ascend by Artist David Kizziar. Photo of card by M.C.

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.)

4 Pageant TIme Machine
The Pageant of the Masters 2019. Photo by M.C.

 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.

Napoleon And His General Staff In Egypt, Jean-Leon Gerome, Oil, 1867. Photo of painting from Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Sawdust • 935 Laguna Canyon Road • Laguna Beach • CA • 92651

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.)

Copyright 2019 Melissa Crismon

Vegas Mermaid

vegas mermaid tail (2)Vegas Mermaid at Silverton Casino. Photo by M.C.


One of Renaissance Man’s cousins died so off we went to Las Vegas for the funeral. If you want a lot of people to show at your funeral have it in Vegas. It was a chance to see family I hadn’t seen in a while and family I had only heard about. His cousin, KDawg, (I’ll call him by his nickname.) was my age and was a funny Samoan guy. Many people spoke about how he gave them courage to do things they wouldn’t normally do or to face something scary. Sometimes he was the bodyguard for the little guy at school. Sometimes he encouraged his friend to cut someone off on the road. “Be that person,” he’d say to her. Then his friend said she was going to end her speech by singing Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.” She paused then said, “Nah, just kidding.” I don’t think I’ve laughed so much at a funeral. There were a lot of stories that had to be censored. Of course, KDawg loved to eat. And once a friend asked if he’d share some fries with him. “Heck no!” he said.

Some family said they read my book. My niece read Superfreak three times! So I came home and returned to editing book two titled Superflop. It’s in the editor’s hands. I’ll publish in June 2017. Sign up for my author newsletter where I’ll publish a free story once in a while https://melissacrismon.com/about-author/ .

After, we swung by one of the houses I grew up in. The neighborhood has gotten dumpy. So strange to see. Vegas has changed, but then it kinda hasn’t. The Strip didn’t seem that big to me even though it’s grown. It did seem strange to force large buildings so close when there is so much desert. It’s an easy small city to drive and has so much to love about it. But it was great crossing the state line back into California. (That was a jab at my friend R, who always takes digs at CA and says he does a “Yahoo!” when he crosses the state line back into Nevada.)

My old friend R suggested we meet at Silverton Casino. I’m not sure if he chose it for me because of the mermaid. I’m pretty sure he just wanted to shop at the Bass Pro Shops connected to the casino. Only in Vegas.

The mermaid slipped in from the top of the tank in her white and red tail with a bikini top. She engaged the audience and made a water heart for me then posed. She did twists and somersaults. I want her job! At least for a day. They should charge people to do a ten minute mermaid performance. There is also mermaid art by www.wilcormier.com. It was tempting to buy The Proposal. A pirate pulls out gold from his tooth with his hook, giving it to a mermaid on his lap. Cute.

Then I saw R and didn’t recognize him. He had to wave at me. It’s been years and we’ve gotten older, but he sounded like the same immature guy. He has a sweet, patient wife now. So since we were only making a pit stop we walked around Bass Pro where they had tons of taxidermy. I wanted to touch the giraffe, but the sign said not to feed or touch the animals. R said, “Touch it.” R and KDawg would have liked each other. Actually, I should have touched the lion because I wrote a Cecil the Lion story. Oh well. R said people take their dogs into Bass Pro to get used to wild animals.

Yes R hunts. We are complete opposites. He kills coyotes because he can. I lecture him not to kill what he’s not going to eat. Don’t we all have friends like that?

I see KDawg and R in my future books. ‘Cause I’m gonna be that person.

And now an update on my blog. For the summer, I am headed to my usual places in Laguna Beach and San Diego. Pageant of the Masters theme is The Grand Tour, inspired by pilgrimages to Europe’s cultural centers. And the Shakespeare Festival at the Old Globe is producing Hamlet and King Richard II. I am itching to see Gustavo Dudamel conduct the LA Philharmonic and an opera. I’m keeping my eye on the little theatres too.

Turn off your TV and head to the theatre. The arts are suffering because of budget cuts. Live theatre is a great way to create a special memory.