Category Archives: artwork

The Wings of Imagination

This is, perhaps, my best drawing in colored pencil.

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New Photos of Old Art

I spent some time this last week taking photos of artwork. You see, I bought a new phone a year ago, and the camera installed in it was of much better quality than I had before, even in my digital camera which I mysteriously lost more than a year ago. But, though I played with it a lot in the last year, I only started using it to photograph artwork recently. It makes better digital images of my art than I had before.

The new camera can capture the subtleties of a pure pencil drawing better than any camera I have ever used.

I love this picture… even if Disney sues me over it.

I love this one too. Remember it from yesterday? This is the same digital image made on Wednesday.

Here’s one never seen before. Nude studies of Dionysus and Athena (Made from photos and statues and fauns… Oh, my!)
Another faun, this one in acrylic paint.

Here’s a nude faun to celebrate getting kicked off Pinterest a second time (though this time there was no actual nudity in the picture I got kicked off for… and it was not even my own picture.) (Is there something wrong with cartoon furries?)

This is ironically a portrait of Mark Twain.
A Dickens picture of Bob Crachit and Tiny Tim.
Macaulay Culkin as Johnny Clem.

Valerie Clarke and her Daddy Kyle.

Yes, I used to draw strange things. Still do, in fact.

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Filed under artwork, colored pencil, drawing, oil painting, Paffooney

Picturing What’s Inside

The question before me now is, “What do you know, and how do you know it for certain?”

Well, I really don’t know anything. How do I know that I don’t know anything? Well, Socrates always told everyone who would listen that he didn’t know anything for certain, and he is obviously much smarter than I am. So, being super-stupid by comparison, I don’t even know as much as Socrates.

So, like Socrates, I need to ask questions. But who will I ask? I can look at the picture above for answers, and I can ask you, the reader, the questions.

The picture is one of the most favorite ones I have ever drawn. By that I mean it is one of the pictures I drew with colored pencils that I like the best. It is, therefore, basically a self portrait of things inside my silly head.

Do the soldiers look familiar to you? If they do, it is probably because, like me, you have seen the soldiers from Disney’s Babes in Toyland. Hopefully they are just generic enough that Disney wont sue me for modeling this fantasy on something I saw in their copyrighted movie. I didn’t intentionally copy anything, and I have never knowingly made a single dime off of this picture. So, they don’t need to sue me, right?

Okay, those weren’t Socratic questions. They were leading and focused questions. So, let’s start the Socratic stuff.

Do you see anything in the picture that is innocent and childlike? Could this be illustrating a childish fear of the darkness? Did you notice the darkness they are marching towards on the left of the picture? Could this also be showing a progression towards maturity? Are the children and the soldiers not approaching that darkness… whatever it might be? Are they not getting more prepared to face the darkness as they get closer to it? The weapon pointed straight at the darkness is the bugle. Does the bugle, being an instrument for announcing something in combat, not have some symbolic meaning here? Does the darkness they are approaching not represent something like death? Does the boy with the drum suggest how we might deal with the darkneness in our own too-near future?

So, did you learn anything from this post?

I am asking because…

…I don’t really know anything.

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The Golden Age

I am certainly no expert on the Golden Age of Comics. I was, in fact, born the year that the Golden Age ended. I am a child of the Silver Age (1956 to the early 1970s) and those were the comics I grew up with. But I admit to a fascination with the initial creation of the characters I love, including Batman, Superman, the Flash, Captain America, the Phantom, Steve Canyon, Wonder Woman and numerous others who were first put on the comic book pages in the Golden Age. And being subject to comic book prices that zoomed upward from a dollar an issue, I was bedazzled by the ten cent price on old comics.

Comic books owe their creation to the popular newspaper comic strips from the Depression era and WWII wartime. Originally, comic strips were gathered and printed on cheap paper. Dick Tracy, Prince Valiant, Terry and the Pirates, Flash Gordon, and other adventure strips would lead to the war comics and hero-centered comics that would morph into superhero comics.

Some of the artwork in Golden Age comics leaves a lot to be desired. Especially original, straight to comic book publications that were produced fast and furiously by publishers who would open one week, produce three issues. and go out of business three weeks later. But in the mad scramble, some truly great artists formed the start of their illustrious careers, Will Eisner, Hal Foster, Milt Caniff, and Bill Elder learned to master their craft in the newspaper strips, and all later created comic books and graphic novels. True geniuses like Jack “King” Kirby and Bob Kane and Jack Davis grew directly from comic book studio madhouses into comic-book-artist immortality.

As with most things that have a Golden Age, the truth was that later comic book eras were superior in most ways. But this Golden Age was the foundational age for an American art-form that I truly love. So, flaws and warts are overlooked. And some of these old ten cent books on super-cheap paper are worth huge amounts of money if you still have a rare one in mint condition. Ah, there’s the rub for a manic old collector guy like me.

Most of the Golden Age comic book images used for this post were borrowed from the ComicsintheGoldenAge Twitter page @ComicsintheGA. If you love old comics like I do, you should definitely check it out.

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Filed under artists I admire, artwork, comic book heroes, comic strips

How Does Mickey Justify This?

Swashbuckling mice fighting racist weasels? Why?

There’s something really wrong with this guy.

And what does this oil painting signify? It’s called “The Madonna of the Golden Door.” But the door is obviously made of brown wood, surrounded by all the gold paint the doofy artist could afford at the time.

And is this a painting of a naked young girl, or a shirtless boy with long hair? And how can there be an ocean in the background if the painting was done in Iowa, as far away from the ocean in every direction as you can get in North America?

And no explanation of this is worth the time it would take to explain.

Are they green because they are aliens? Or do they just eat too many leafy vegetables?

One of the models in this picture didn’t show up to pose for this picture… but his clothes did?

So, maybe this post is geared toward artworks that Mickey doesn’t reveal very often because they show some of his mistakes and tendency to bad judgments. Yeah,, that’ll do, unless he decides to tell us the real reasons at some later time.

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Consecutive Daily Post #587

This is a new and better photo of an old colored-pencil picture. Yes, there are copyrighted characters in this multi-portrait, but I am not making any money at all with this post, so I am not violating anybody’s copyright.

This is the 587th consecutive day of Mickey posting at least one post on this danged old Catch a Falling Star thingy. That is not a record or even a milestone. I have reached this point at least twice before.

This is an oil painting you haven’t seen in a long time on this blog, though this is also a new and better photo of it.

A year ago in September, I lost my mother to heart and kidney problems that conspired to defeat her doctors and bring an end to her consecutive run of 87 years of being alive. I kept writing and posting all during that time because it helped in many ways. In two consecutive years, I lost both of my parents, my Dad in 2020 and my Mom in 2021. I had a lot of memories to process as well as an inheritance and all the stages of grief. The time I spent writing resulted in two books, Laughing Blue and Mickey’s Rememberries, that contained all of it… I mean most of it… err, maybe just some important parts of it. And I had them both published before my mother died, though she never got to read either one.

This is basically a portrait of my daughter, the Princess, though it was drawn more than a decade before she was born. It is based on a dream. I don’t expect you to believe any of that. And that is because it is often hard to take the truth of things at face value. Truth is only an idea after all.

I am beginning to be noticed as a writer. It is painfully slow, only a dollar or two at a time, but real. People are actually reading my books without being paid to do it. And a few of them even like the stories. I now have 21 books written. I have #22 written, but not yet published. I also have #23, a novella, only two chapters from finished. And I have started both #24 and #25 already. And the potential is there… but it is also a good thing that I don’t depend on writing for income.

This is a picture of daily life in a sealed environment on Mars, created in 1980 with a pencil and paper.

I have managed in 65 years to create some evidence that I can do art in a couple of different forms with intelligence and humor (though I’m sure there are some readers who would strongly dispute that I have either quality in any amount at all.) It is enough. I may not be the superstar I once dreamed of being. But I have learned that I wouldn’t want to be that anyway. Being an ordinary unrecognized genius is good enough to justify a life.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, happiness, humor, Paffooney

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

It is, of course, one of the most powerful, masterful, and best-known pieces of music ever written.

Mozart completed the “little serenade” in Vienna in 1787, but it wasn’t published until 1827, long after Mozart’s untimely death.

The Serenade is incorrectly translated into English as “A Little Night Music”. But this is and always has been the way I prefer to think of it. A creation of Mozart written shortly before he hopped aboard the ferryman’s boat and rode off into the eternal night. It is the artifact that proves the art of the master who even has the word “art” as a part of his name. A little music to play on after the master is gone to prove his universal connection to the great silent symphony that is everything in the universe singing silently together.

It is basically what I myself am laboring now to do. I have been dancing along the edge of the abyss of poverty, suffering, and death since I left my teaching job in 2014. I will soon be taking my own trip into night aboard the ferryman’s dreaded boat. And I feel the need to put my own art out there in novel and cartoon form before that happens.

I am not saying that I am a master on the level of a Mozart. My name is not Mickart. But I do have a “key’ in the name Mickey. And it will hopefully unlock something worthwhile for my family and all those I loved and leave behind me. And hopefully, it will provide a little night music to help soothe the next in line behind me at the ferryman’s dock.

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Filed under Paffooney, artwork, cartoons, magic, classical music, feeling sorry for myself, Hidden Kingdom, commentary, metaphor, music

Humble Pie

The difference between who you want to be and who you are is humbling.

The recipe for humble pie requires good, clear eyesight.

And you need a reliable mirror that only shows the flaws in the reflected image, not in the mirror itself.

And you need to look at every detail in the whole of you. Even the secret things that you tend to conceal from everybody, especially yourself.

And writing a novel, if you do it right, is a form of baking humble pie.

The good and the not-so-good is reflected in reviews, which are often written with mirrors that have flaws.

But what you see, if you are honest with yourself, can show you that, even though you are far from perfect, you are exactly what you are supposed to be.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, commentary, empathy, feeling sorry for myself, irony, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Debussy Reverie

Some Sunday thoughts require the right music.

Some Sunday thoughts actually are music.

rev·er·ie

/ˈrev(ə)rē/

noun

  • 1.a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream:”a knock on the door broke her reverie

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I had originally thought to call this post “A Walk with God.” But that would probably offend my Christian friends and alienate my Jehovah’s Witness wife. It would bother my intellectual atheist friends too. Because they know I claim to be a Christian Existentialist, in other words, “an atheist who believes in God.” Agnostics are agnostics because they literally know they don’t know what is true and what is merely made up by men. And not knowing offends most people in the Western world.

But Debussy’s Reverie is a quiet walk in the sacred woods, the forest of as-yet-uncovered truths.

And that is what I need today. A quiet walk in the woods… when no literal woods are available.

I have apparently survived the Covid pandemic. But this pandemic has been hard on me. Having had the Omicron variant, I am left without the strength I once had even though I am fully vaccinated. I have lost the power to be a substitute teacher, a job I love. The loss of the ability to teach in any form still drives me to tears. I am a prisoner in my room at home most days. My soul is in darkness, knowing that the end could be right around the corner. There is so much left to do, to say, to write down for those who come after so they can fail to read any of it and reinforce the cruel irony that informs the universe. I have stories and lessons and morals and meanings to give the world still if only someone is willing to listen.

I am not afraid to die. I have no regrets. But I have been in a reverie about what has been in the past, what might have been, and what yet may be… if only I am granted the time.

And, as always, I feel like I have more writing yet to do. I am about to finish The Education of PoppenSparkle. And I have started He Rose on a Golden Wing, The Haunted Toystore, and AeroQuest 5. And I have stories beyond that to complete if I may.

But the most important thing right now is having time to think. Time for Reverie. And reflections upon the great symphony of life as it continues to play on… with or without me.

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The World Does Not See Me

The world does not see me. I am invisible. I could invade your planet and the world would never know it… or care.

I have told my stories, sung my songs, and raised my family in the shadows while the world was unaware.

I’ve shaped lives from other cultures, and made myself a home in the quiet places there.

My imagination has been soaring, and I create things in mid-air.

And I’ve not forgotten heartland dreams, and the good lands all so fair.

And the world just does not see me, though my eyes, they are upon it as it’s around me everywhere.

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