February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Day

Today is Mardi Gras Day, also known as Fat Tuesday, and this is one of the cultural traditions I miss from the years we lived in Mobile, Alabama. Just a few weeks after moving to the Gulf Coast in the fall of 2003 I responded to an "Artist's Wanted" newspaper ad. Days later I found myself immersed in the "behind the scenes" of Mardi Gras culture working for a float building company. It is a year round endeavor to build, craft, sculpt, paint and decorate the floats used by local Krewes during the weeks of celebration. The floats are housed in large warehouses along the Mobile Bay and working inside these buildings the hot days seemed hotter and the cold seemed colder! My stint at this company lasted only one season, around 9 months, but I have many lasting memories.

My very first assignment was to sculpt the faces for a barber shop quartet themed float.

Getting the hats on these guys was quite annoying, it involved some precarious ladder situations!

First painting assignment was to help paint a Willy Wonka float.

Detail of one of the many seagulls I sculpted for this float.

Airbrushing this lady from a ladder was tricky.

A daytime parade with a Dr. Suess theme.

Painting Horton was a ton of fun. All the water below was not.

And that's it for now folks!
Happy Mardi Gras Day--go eat a moon pie!!

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