Holiday on Oz

I’m really not a huge Oz fanatic. It just seems to pop up in my life every few years, and I guess this was one of those years.

We saw Wicked the other night at the Kennedy Center and enjoyed it a great deal, though I was a bit stunned at the “new” ending. Mike gave me the book for Christmas, and I just finished it so the story was still fresh. It was interesting to see how they changed a few things around, and I might have enjoyed it even more had I read the book after seeing the play.

We watched the original movie last night (another gift) to catch up and see where things fit in. The new DVD box set is amazingly restored, with lots of extras.

Here are some previous instances that Oz has popped up in my life:

This is my first Wizard of Oz mural. I painted it at my old elementary school in Mt. Morris, Michigan. I attended kindergarden through 4th grade here then came back and did murals in all the rooms while in high school and college. Now it’s the first stop when I’ve finished a new children’s book and doing school visits. Do notice the tin man has two left hands; everyone else does.

oz 1

Mural at the Genesee County Health Department. It took months to do this mural, plus the several others not shown. During that time I got to know some of the employees very well. I lost a commission because I made a smart-ass remark about the woman in the photo to her boyfriend while we were out one night. Something about him picking her up at a bar. I also did a life-size painting of Elvis in another gal’s basement that worked there. Lastly, about a year or two after finishing the murals I went back for my very first HIV test. Ahh, the memories.

oz 2

oz 4

oz 3

oz 5

Mural at 2122 P St. NW, near Uni Sushi and Omega. The title is “Friends of Dorothy.” Get it? Do ya? It wasn’t my idea, but for the money they paid I could live with it. My original concept was “The Ascension of the Dorothy”. It would have been “fabulous,” with flying monkeys and witches, way over the top, but they paid me the same amount for 3 characters as they would have for 20 or more, so I agreed. I’ll scan in the concept sketch and post it at some point.

A fun thing about this job is that someone just handed me the keys to that cherry picker thing and walked away. I gave people rides, and I helped James at Uni Sushi wash his windows. Every night I drove it around and parked in the back alley.

oz 7

oz 8

mural 2