My favorite holiday of the entire year is coming. Okay, it’s not officially recognized as a holiday, but if it were up to me, Halloween would get a four day weekend. I have loved Halloween since I was a little girl, and the tradition was passed to my son (see him below in one of his very best costumes when he was five years old–the scowl was not him trying to look like a scruffy pirate so much as it was displeasure with me for forcing him to wear the wig).
I love nothing more than a good costume party. A masked ball would be a dream come true. So this year, I decided that it would be fun to do some event at the California Art Institute where I teach. I’m pitching it to Buddy as a way to create interest in the school and camraderie, bla bla bla.
At first I thought about having a seance to conjure Sargent, or Rembrandt himself. (I’d personally like to have a little discussion with Zorn as well, over the issue of his reportedly using photographs to work from.) I figure we could sell tickets to it to pay the conjurer–if that’s what they’re called. It’s just campy enough that it might work. However, my student Chris told me he thought he might get the giggles in the middle of a seance (even though I was thinking about pulling off some pretty spectacular special effects, thank you Chris). Then I started thinking about how visually exciting a conjurer conjuring would be, and I thought about how all of us painters would end up wanting to just paint it instead.
So then, Chris and I discussed having fortune tellers, palm readers and the like pose in the different studios and everyone who wants to, can simply come and paint. I really like this idea which brings me to why I even brought this up. If any of you have any idea where I can conjure up a conjurer or two, please let me know. I did a search on the Internet, and found one woman that looked great on her website, but when I emailed her, she let me know she was not really a conjurer involved in summoning the dead, and that it would take more that $60 to get her to pose for three hours for us. Things must be going well in the fortune telling business. It was slim pickins after her, as far as finding someone who wears a good costume with tons of makeup and brings a crystal ball AND can conjure a good spirit on demand. Please let me know if anyone out there knows of anyone. A crystal ball is a must, and at this point they can be actors. I’ll even settle for a leprechaun.
And if that doesn’t pan out, masked ball it is…