Category Archives: artwork

Songs Sung with Paint Brushes and Colored Pencils

I tend to draw and photograph and make artistic images about the things that I love.

Swashbuckling adventure.

Magic.

Scantily dressed young girls.

Iowa landscapes.

Forgotten dreams that came back to me in the night.

Spaceheart and Mai Ling.

Stories with amazing features and paintings with soft sable brushwork.

Painted in oil.

Revealing who I used to be…

And who I still am.

Songs sung with paintbrushes.

And colored pencils.

Drawings done with syncopated tunes.

And full-color half-notes.

The people and places and faces…

Of who I am and who I love…

For life is a poem sung out loud.

And to live is an artform.

So we must make art to live.

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Filed under Paffooney, humor, artwork, poetry, metaphor

The Art of Miniatures by Mickey

The Princess on her balcony.

These images were created by me by doing a number of things I learned to do as a kid who loved model trains. Some of the buildings are made from HO railroad model kits. Some are knickknacks found at Goodwill and repaired or repainted or altered by me. Most of the people are plastic and lead figures bought unpainted and painted by me. All of it is put together by me, and it tends to take over the house to the point it makes my wife complain.

s.

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Filed under artwork, homely art, photo paffoonies, toystore quests, Trains

Pen and Ink Storytelling

Today’s Art Day post is about using pen and ink to tell at least a part of a story. Narrative can indeed occur in black and white images.
After a lifetime of studying the works of other pen and ink masters, I can copy many styles and I make as much of it a part of my own style as possible.
I know I probably draw nude figures too often. I get unfollowed by prudes and pious people on Twitter practically every day.
And nudes can attract the wrong sorts of followers too. But they usually don’t follow very long when they begin to notice my drawings never contain what they are actually looking for.
I am not a racist. I do identify with rabbit people, but I recognize that wolves are people too. And you have to appreciate diversity as a strength of humanity. Otherwise rabbit people would be persecuted too.
Some of my art contains portraits of people I have known.
And sometimes it is the illustration of characters in one of my books that help me recognize who those characters really are based on. “Hello, Sofie.”
And sometimes the story the picture tells is funny.
And sometimes it is simply silly.
Sometimes it is a story we all know already.
And sometimes the story is entirely original and new.

But however you look at it, pen and ink is fun.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, characters, humor, illustrations, Paffooney, pen and ink

My Version of Fantasy Art

Most of my fantasy artwork is inspired by old comic books and illustrated children’s fantasy. Admittedly, sometimes a bit more violent.
I like to create anthropomorohic animals and fairy-type creatures.
I sometimes need more realism, though. Sejii here does not know how to hold onto a bow. And he better hope he strapped a rubber knife to his leg if he ever wants to sit down.
And a lot of my fantasies are about being a teacher.
I can do fairly realistic fantasy art. Bur calling it “surreal” is more proper.
I borrow as much from Disney as from Mythology

All of today’s artwork was uploaded to this blog before the start of 2015.

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Filed under artwork, humor, Paffooney, surrealism

The Iris of the Eye

Maxfield Parrish = the Girl with the Watering Can

Blue eyes, brown eyes… see differently,

Bur the eyes still see,

Immune to bright sun

Or comfortable with the blue-black shadow.

Whatever the color of the eye… the seeing is the important thing.

Have you ever noticed, that all the best artists,

The ones who see and record what they see the best,

Are now dead and gone?

And all we have left of them

Are the artifacts,

What their eyes beheld,

What their hand captured and interpreted,

In paint

Or picture

In book

Or song.

Or is it only that… the new eyes remain yet to be discovered?

Whatever color your eye is now,

The iris of the eye,

Won’t you look with me?

To see?

What yet we may uncover?

Not as good as Georgia O’Keefe, but still sexy and beautiful… even if it is by Mickey.

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Filed under artwork, commentary, empathy, insight, inspiration, poem, poetry

Penguin Proverbs

Penguins

You know how creepy penguins in cartoons can be, right?  The Penguins of Madagascar are like a Mission-Impossible Team gone horribly wrong and transformed into penguins.  The penguin in Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers disguised himself as a chicken to perform acts of pure evil.  Cartoonists all know that penguins are inherently creepy and evil.

I recently learned a hard lesson about penguins.  You know the joke, “What’s black and white and red all over?  A penguin with a sunburn.”  I told that joke one too many times.  Who knew the Dallas metroplex had so many loose penguins lurking around?  They are literally everywhere.  One of them overheard me.  And apparently they have vowed a sacred penguin vow that no penguin joke goes unpunished.

As I walked the dog this morning, I spotted creepy penguin eyes, about three pairs, looking at me from behind the bank of the creek bed in the park.  When I went to retrieve the empty recycle bins from the driveway, there they were again, looking at me over the top of the neighbor’s privacy fence.

“Penguins see the world in black and white,” said one of the Penguins.

“Except for purple ones,” added the purple one.

“Penguins can talk?” I tried unsuccessfully to ask.

“Penguins only talk in proverbs,” said one of the penguins.

“But the purple one gives the counterpoint,” said the purple one.

“The wisdom of penguins is always cold and harsh,” said one of the penguins.

“Except on days like this when it’s hot,” said the purple one.

“You should always listen to penguins,” said one of the penguins.

“Of course, people will think you are crazy if you do,” said the purple one.

“People who talk to penguins are headed for a nervous breakdown,” said one of the penguins.

“Unless you are a cartoonist.  Then it is probably normal behavior,” said the purple one.

“Is this all real?” I tried unsuccessfully to ask.

“Everyone knows that penguins are real,” said one of the penguins.

“But there are no purple penguins in nature,” said the purple one.

So, I sat down to write this post about penguins and their proverbs with a very disturbing thought in my little cartoonist’s head…  Why am I really writing about penguins today?  I really have nothing profound to say about penguin proverbs.  Especially profound penguin proverbs with a counterpoint by a purple penguin.  Maybe it is all merely a load of goofy silliness and a waste of my time.

“Writing about penguins is never a waste of time,” said one of the penguins.

“And if you believe that, I have some choice real estate in the Okefenokee Swamp I need to talk to you about,” added the purple one.

 

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Filed under artwork, birds, cartoons, goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney, philosophy, surrealism

What Dreams May Come

I have always had very vivid dreams. This picture was inspired by one. I dreamed of being a seventh-grader going to school in lizard-person school on a dinosaur planet. And throughout the dream my classmates were threatening to eat me. Oh, and the clothes they are wearing in the picture were the school uniforms.

Of course, naked-in-school dreams are a common one. This picture is more of a naked-on-Main-Street dream.

The title of this post is a Shakespearian Hamlet phrase. The picture above is a detail from a dream about Shakespeare’s The Tempest dream.

That particular nightmare had Caliban in it.

Fairy tale dreams are much nicer. In this Sleeping Beauty dream, the monsters are tiny.

I also admit to having animated-cartoon-type dreams. The turtle-boy in front is from the actual dream. The rest of it is made up to fill in the background of the picture.

This dream was obviously inspired by a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I have both good dreams and nightmares. And all of it provides fodder to fuel pictures and stories, but not always in that order.

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Filed under artwork, dreaming, dreams, humor, old art, Paffooney

Go and Catch a Falling Star…

You may have looked at the name of my website here on WordPress and wondered, “Why in the heck has that fool Mickey called this thing he writes Catch a Falling Star?”

The answer is, he named it after the first good published novel he wrote at the insistence of the I-Universe Publishing’s marketing adviser. Very poor reason for doing anything, that.

But, the secondary reason is because of where that title came from. Look at the first stanza of this poem by John Donne.

So, now, you are justified in asking, “What nonsense is this? That doesn’t have any coherent meaning, does it?”

And you would be right. These are impossible things that I am being ordered to do by a very religious cleric in the Anglican Church who was originally a Catholic, but, in the time of Henry VIII Catholicism was made illegal, and he wrote this poem about not being able to find an honest woman in his drunken, wasted youth anyway. He is ordering me here to not only “catch a falling star” (and catching a meteorite with your bare hands has rather hot consequences), but also to have sex with a semi-poisonous plant, explain why we can’t go backwards in time, determine whether and why God might’ve given Satan goat feet, listen to probably-nonexistent humanoid creatures singing, find a way to avoid anybody ever looking at me with envy and then doing something to me because of it, and, most importantly, find a place where the wind blows in a way that fills your head with facts that actually makes you smarter.

Challenge accepted!

It is exactly what I wanted to write about. Impossible things actually being accomplished. Finding the meaning behind alien beings from outer space developing an intense love of I Love Lucy television broadcasts and Mickey Mouse Club music. Discovering why intensely shy people need to embrace social nudity. Defining who is actually a werewolf and who is not, uncovering who and what real monsters are. Singing songs so sad that it magically makes people fall in love with you. Talking to clowns in your dreams and getting real answers to the meaning of life, love, and laughter.

Catching falling stars is the stupid idea that this wacky, idiotic little blog is about. It is what I write about constantly. You have to kill me to get me to stop. So, there is your fair warning. Read on at your own peril.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, goofy thoughts, Paffooney, poetry, strange and wonderful ideas about life, surrealism

The Brothers Hildebrandt

Born on January 23rd, 1939 Greg and Tim Hildebrandt were twin brothers who both had considerable painting skills. Much like Mickey claims to be, they originally wanted to be Disney animators, but, failing that, decided on a professional art career strongly influenced by Disney, Norman Rockwell, and Maxfield Parrish. They both turned pro in 1959 and began painting fantasy art in oil, working on projects together.

Their styles were very similar.

The picture above is done by Tim without help from Greg.
This Lord of the Rings painting of Eowyn and the Nazgul was a solo effort by Greg.

This illustration for Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara series was a collaboration, showing how seamlessly the brothers worked together.

Their first truly big break came with the popularity in the 1970’s of their Lord of the Rings Calendars.

And then, of course, in 1977 they were asked by 20th Century Fox to rework the poster concept done by Tom Jung for the movie Star Wars. It was done on a very tight schedule with the brothers working in shifts to complete it in only 36 hours. It resulted in the well-known image that began this post.

Here follows a few more of my favorite works of the Brothers Hildebrandt.

This one by Greg Hildebrandt was my favorite poster in college.
Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy
The Mad Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland
Islands in the Sky 1999

Sadly, Tim passed away in 2006 at the age of 67. But here you see Greg still painting at age 82,

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Filed under artists I admire, artwork

Art Influenced by the Boob Tube

Yes, it is very possible that my imagination was galvanized in childhood by TV.

It seems to me that NBC had even more power over me than the other two networks. We could get CBS and ABC on our black-and-white TV. But the only NBC affiliate in Iowa was not able to be received in our little town. We had to go to Grandma’s house in Mason City where Grandma had a color TV.

Wow! Color!

Of course, it used to be referred to as the “Boob Tube” because psychologists and people who mattered kept saying that TV makes you stupid. Which, naturally, has a grain of truth to it because you don’t watch TV actively. You sit there and passively let the stories, commercials, and propaganda about sugary breakfast cereals flow in one ear, poison your brain, and then flow out the other ear leaving only water-logged thinking-muscles behind them.

The Saturday Matinees on CBS provided my youthful imagination with science fiction, fantasy, and heroes of all kinds.

I taught myself to draw cartoon characters based on the animated shows I watched on TV. I not only copied Mickey, for obvious reasons, but also Donald and Daffy Ducks, Space Ghost, Jonny Quest, Yogi Bear, and the Herculoids.

And Batman! With Adam West and Burt Ward and Cesar Romero as the Joker. Bam! Boff! Sock! Pow! Bright colors, goofy Riddler plots, and really bad jokes that were so bad they made you laugh.

And I loved monster movies. Not horror movies really. I never loved Freddy Krueger or Jason. But the Wolfman? Frankenstein’s Monster? Bela Lugosi’s Dracula? The Creature from the Black Lagoon? My inspirations!

And, of course, Disney on Sunday nights. The Wonderful World of Disney in living color.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, TV review