Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Butchart Gardens

It's easy to see why everyone tells you the 22-acre Butchart Gardens is a "must-see" when visiting Victoria, B.C. It was a perfect day!!!

The famous Sunken Garden was created to beautify a worked-out limestone quarry which had supplied the Butchart family's nearby Portland cement plant.

Two towering totems were dedicated in 2004 to commemorate Butchart Gardens' 100th anniversary. Butchart Gardens, which borders on Tod Inlet close to Brentwood Bay, was also designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004.

A path from the Rose Garden leads to the Sturgeon Fountain; the three sturgeons were cast in Florence, Italy, by Sirio Tofanari.

Work on the beautiful Japanese Garden started in 1906 and in the spring visitors have the opportunity to see rare Himalayan Blue Poppies in bloom.

Before leaving Butchart Gardens, we stopped for a picture with The Butchart Boar, fondly called "Tacca" and dedicated to all the children who visit Butchart Gardens. This rare copy of Porcellino (the original sits on the south side of the straw market in Florence, Italy) was acquired on a trip to Italy.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Big Belly

On our Houston-to-Seattle flight to attend the April 4-5 Emerald City Comicon, we met Seattle resident James Poss, president of Big Belly Solar. We talked about the renewable energy industry and his innovative product - solar powered trash compactors, which were already in use in a number of cities in B.C. Before landing in Seattle, we told Poss that we'd look for one when we visited Victoria.

The Gatsby Mansion on Belleville Street, where Doug and I stayed during our 4 days in Victoria, was only a few blocks from The Parliament Buildings, which we walked past daily while sightseeing. So, imagine our surprise to get the opportunity to see Big Belly Solar trash compactors installed on Belleville Street and the grounds of The Parliament Buildings.

Doug and I were impressed to see the circular drive at the Parliament Buildings featuring a number of Big Belly Solar trash compactors.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Aboriginal Culture in Victoria

In addition to the award-winning exhibits of First Nations artifacts at the Royal B.C. Museum, the Victoria Conference Center, adjacent to the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, has a number of impressive totems. Doug admires the First Wolf Dancer totem done by artist Art Thompson in 1982. The Center acquired it in 1992 from the Ditidaht Village of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples of the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

During the 1989 renovation of the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, the Victoria Conference Center was built. It is one of several sites throughout the city that displays an impressive collection of towering totems celebrating the ancient heritage of First Nations people in British Columbia.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Visiting Victoria

After the April 4-5 Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, Doug and I visited Victoria and Vancouver. While in Victoria, we stayed at The Gatsby Mansion - a Queen Anne style home, overlooking the beautiful Inner Harbour, built by William J. Pendray. It was completed in 1897, the same year the Parliament Buildings opened.

The Parliament Buildings, one of Victoria's most impressive structures - along with the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Old Customs House, were built around the Inner Harbour. Doug and I passed by here daily as The Gatsby Mansion, where we stayed during our 4-day visit to Victoria, was only a few blocks away on Belleville Street.

Totems celebrate First Nations heritage throughout Victoria whether on the walkway at the Inner Harbour, Thunderbird Park or Butchart Gardens.

No need for a jacket the afternoon we arrived in Victoria; the walkway overlooking the Inner Harbour was lined with gorgeous flowering fruit trees.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Tucson Sightseeing

As well as being named one of the top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S. and Canada, Tohono Chul Park is "a living museum" within the City of Tucson. It's a wonderful, ever-changing oasis also affiliated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Lunch at the Tohono Chul Park Tea Room is a great way to end a visit to what is called "an Arizona Treasure." Doug and I visited the park with Barbara, a long-time friend and retired teaching colleague from Park Ridge, Illinois. She spends her winters in Tucson.

Visitors to Tucson should definitely make plans to tour the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place. More than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants are on display. The Cactus Garden features nearly 100 species of cactus and other desert plants.

It was quite a pleasant surprise to learn that my former neighbors from Richmond, Illinois would be in Tucson the same time Doug and I would be there. We met for an afternoon at the Desert Museum; Sue (far right) and I walked along the paths traversing the Desert Museum's 21 acres.

We also visited the Sabino Canyon, which is located in Tucson's Coronado National Forest. After leaving Lower Sabino Canyon and crossing over nine stone bridges, the tram climbed nearly 4 miles to Stop #9 in the Upper Sabino Canyon, called one of the most beautiful canyons in southern Arizona and very popular with hikers and bicyclists.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Tucson Golf

Doug and I scheduled a week in March to visit friends and play golf in Tucson, Arizona; after our early morning flight from Pensacola, Florida to Tucson, we had lunch on the outdoor lounge at the Marriott Starr Pass Resort.

The Marriott hotel overlooks the Rattler 9th.

Doug enjoyed playing all three of the Arnold Palmer-designed courses at Starr Pass; the Marriott hotel is in the distance when on the 8th hole of the Rattler course.

Doug's on the 5th hole of the Rattler course. Starr Pass Golf - with its Rattler, Roadrunner and Coyote courses - is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Member, aiming to enhance wildlife habitats and protect natural resources.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Photo Scrapbook: Boeing Tour

Before leaving Seattle, Doug and I toured the Boeing Everett factory, which the Guinness World Records lists as the largest building in the world by volume - 472 million cubic feet. Nearly 30,000 people work at the site; there are 2.33 miles of pedestrian tunnels running below the factory, which has 1,300 bicycles available so employees can get around conveniently. The tour was extremely interesting and well worth the visit.

Doug found many of the aviation displays quite interesting.

Like most people taking the Boeing factory tour, Doug stopped long enough for a photo with founder William E. Boeing (1881-1956).

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thanks, Seattle!!!

Doug enjoyed talking with attendees during the 2-day convention in Seattle; James (from Olympia, Washington) and Sondra (from Seattle) were the last fans on Sunday, April 5, to get personalized copies of Unpublished Sneyd.

Doug will exhibit at two more conventions in 2009:

the 40th anniversary Comic-Con July 22-26 in San Diego - Doug will be with Big Wow Art.

the 15th annual Fan Expo Canada August 28-30 in Toronto - he's a featured celebrity guest.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Doug and Greg Will Exhibit With Big Wow Art at Comic-Con

Doug and Greg Horn were among the Special Guests at the 7th annual Emerald City Comicon; they will both exhibit with Big Wow Art at the July 22-26 Comic-Con in San Diego.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fans Take Costume Contest Seriously

The Saturday 5 p.m. costume contest drew a large crowd of both spectators and participants, including:

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fans Stop by Doug's Booth

Adam, a Seattle resident, knew he'd found a great gift at Doug's booth. He bought a limited edition print and had Doug personalize it - "Hank, I'm sure you read it for the articles! Doug Sneyd"

Laura (from eastern Washington) wanted to get Doug "trolled" with Torvald.

Fans of Doug's work with Playboy were happy to talk with him one-on-one during the April 4-5 Seattle convention.
(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Alberto Ruiz Designed and Edited 2009 Emerald City Comicon Artbook

Doug had the booth next to Alberto Ruiz so it was easy to catch up with what's going on in his life. Not only is the New York resident an accomplished artist; he owns Brandstudio Press, which published the 2009 Emerald City Comicon hardcover, limited edition artbook Monsters & Dames. A portion of the proceeds from artbook sales will benefit the Seattle Children's Hospital.

Alberto will exhibit at the July 22-26 Comic-Con in San Diego as will Doug, who will exhibit in the Big Wow Art booths. Both Alberto and Doug will then be in Toronto for the 15th Fan Expo Canada, August 28-30 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Doug will be making a Special Appearance during the 3-day event.
(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

These Fans Wouldn't Miss the Annual Seattle Conventions

Mariah (top) and Jack (bottom) stopped by Doug's booth Sunday afternoon for personalized copies of Unpublished Sneyd. Neither would miss attending Emerald City Comicon - Jack, especially, as he's the official convention photographer.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Doug Does Bettie Page-Style Sketch

Pin-up artist Amano Jyaku - exhibiting in Artist Alley at the 7th annual Emerald City Comicon - made time Sunday afternoon to visit with Doug and have him do a Bettie Page-style sketch in Unpublished Sneyd.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bunny Ears Rule!!!

Attendees at the April 4-5 Emerald City Comicon - (from top) Maria, Katherine and Jacob - had Doug add bunny ears to the personalized sketches he did in Unpublished Sneyd.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Artists Network at Conventions

Like Doug, Stephen Silver was also a Special Guest at Seattle's 7th annual Emerald City Comicon; Doug met Stephen at the '08 New York Comic-Con and has networked with him at a number of comic-cartoon conventions.

Both Doug and Stephen will exhibit at Comic-Con July 22-26 - attendees can locate Doug with Big Wow Art - as well as at the 15th annual Fan Expo Canada August 28-30 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)