Of Trout and Virgin Queens…and the Arroyo Seco

My thoughts at the moment are on all things piscine. I’m participating in an upcoming celebration of the Arroyo Seco, a tributary of the LA River, a costumed parade bash celebrating this once vital body of water. I’m helping with community puppet making and looking forward to that opportunity  Apparently at one time trout was abundant in the Arroyo Seco;  that is now difficult to imagine to this newcomer, the LA River is at times choked with debris, the tributary often a mere trickle. But one can hope through activism, awareness and frankly fun events such as the Fish Outta Water parade that the river will once again be alive with all sorts of wildlife. 


The Virgin Queen Goes a Troutin’ 


houseplant and dumpster furniture

(This is from a piece of painted furniture from a million years ago, I was very young, living in Maine, peddling painted furniture to summering dowagers. This sold almost instantly to a lovely woman in Blue Hill.)

My attention is turned to fashioning a suitable costume and mask. I want the mask to be a relief print so I can make several if I wish . I would like for it to a personification of the Arroyo Seco (granted more baroque, more absurd). But what the hell. This quick sketch is the basis of where I think I want to go, simple construction, wildly ornamented.


I’ve spent the first part of the day brainstorming ideas for the masks, drawing literally on baroque ornamental cartouches. I’ve gone through a heck of a lot of paper, but I have whittled it down to three potential candidates.




I think this last one will be the winner. I want to make additional water critters and dangle them down from the watery beard.  My new friend , the very talented Peter Hess ( see link: http://www.peterhessart.com ) designed the poster for the event. It is incredible .


In closing I just wanted to include some images taken a few months ago at the LA River. It is a favorite haunt of ours to run,bike or just walk the brats, and although it is not as conventionally romantic as an east coast river, it is rich with wildlife. Sadly much of that is gone, in preparation for El Nino , habitat has been  damaged if not out right destroyed to facilitate drainage. We have heard rumors that the river was to be completely dredged of plantlife, further compromising sanctuary for the egrets, turtles, fish and other critters that call this oddball place home.

May the River God Arroyo Seco protect them.




Now to some lino carving!