Category Archives: old art

Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor

You should listen to the music.  Not only is it beautiful, it is the perfect description of the now.  Yes, I am a touch depressed, and the music is deep blue.  But there are such strains of the bittersweet and angelic light, that Albinoni must be speaking directly from his heart into mine.  This music paints my soul.

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The sky reflects my mood with lurking dark blues and obscuring clouds incapable of completely taking away the sun.  I finally had enough money to visit the doctor today.  I had an infection in throat and sinus.  I got medicine to heal the sores, and the medicine will prevent pneumonia, and probably saved my life.

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My family was whole and together for the holidays, though three of us were sick for a good share of it and unable to spend the time together  as we would’ve liked.  Still, even though we had to take number one son to DFW Airport in the rain and send him back to Marine world, we got to see him and share good times with him, no matter how short.  Deep blue with angelic violins of musical light.  He made it back safely.  I have more days and probably more months to live and write.  And the music of existence continues to quietly play.

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I continue to collect photos of new dawns.  Here is December 27th.

It is possible that Tomaso Albinoni did not write the Adagio in G Minor.  It is believed that it was cobbled together as a sort of hoax by his chief transcriber, Remo Giazotto.  He apparently took old Dresden manuscripts and made this beautiful piece as a reflection of the work of Albinoni.  Albinoni,a prolific composer of the 1700’s, beloved by Johan Sebastian Bach, wrote opera scores that never quite got published, and so,even though he is a composer of many musical works, most of them are lost to history.  Yet, how can such a thing be considered a fake?  The music touches my soul.  From Albinoni’s soul, through Giazotto’s, to mine, and, hopefully, thence to yours.  Listen to it.  Really listen.  You can’t help but understand what I mean.  Even if you can’t stand classical music.  Though, if you truly can’t stand classical music… I weep for thee.

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Filed under classical music, commentary, Depression, family, feeling sorry for myself, forgiveness, humor, illness, old art, review of music, strange and wonderful ideas about life

A $3.00 Treasure Trove

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If you cruise the bargain sections in an old used book store like Half-Price Books, eventually you are going to find something priceless.  This book I am showing you is that very thing for me.

It was copyrighted in 1978.  The inscription inside the front cover says this was a Father’s Day gift on June 19th, 1988.  Someone named Gary gifted it to someone named Claude in Burleson, Texas.  It was probably a cherished book until someone passed away and the book changed hands in an estate sale.

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Howard Pyle

The book chronicles the height of the publishing era when being able to print books and reproduce artworks began entertaining the masses.  Always before painters and great artists worked for a patron for the purpose of decorating their home in a way that displayed their great wealth.  But from the 1880’s to the rise of cinema, magazines and books kept the masses entertained, helped more people to become literate than ever before, and created the stories that made our shared culture and life experiences grow stronger and ever more inventive.  The book focuses on the best of the best among a new breed of artist… the illustrators.

These are the ones the book details;

Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Frederick Remington, Maxfield Parrish, J.C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell, Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, and John Held Jr.

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N.C. Wyeth

Wyeth was most famous as a book illustrator for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, other books by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain,  and a famous volume of tales about Robin Hood.

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Frederick Remington

Remington is a name you probably know as a maker of Western art.  He was a famous painter of cowboys and Indians and the American frontier.

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Maxfield Parrish

Maxfield Parrish is my all-time favorite painter.  His work is something I gushed about in previous posts because I own other books about his fanciful works painted in Maxfield Parrish blue.

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Also Maxfield Parrish

 

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J.C. Leyendecker

You will probably recognize Leyendecker’s work in magazine and advertising illustration as the standard of the Roaring 20’s.  His paintings set a style that swept American culture for more than a decade, and still affects how we dress to this very day.

 

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More Leyendecker

 

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Even more from Leyendecker

 

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Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell and his work for The Saturday Evening Post is still familiar to practically everyone who reads and looks at the illustrations.  As you can see he was a master of folksy realism and could do a portrait better than practically anyone.

 

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Also Rockwell

I have also written about Norman Rockwell before too.  I have half a dozen books that include his works.  My wife is from the Philippines and she knew about him before I ever said a word to her about him.

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Charles Dana Gibson

As you can plainly see, Gibson was a master of pen and ink.  His work for Collier’s and other magazines thrills in simple black and white.  More cartoonists than just little ol’ me obsess about how he did what he did.

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Also Gibson

 

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James Montgomery Flagg… with a name like that, who else could it be?

 

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John Held Jr.

The work of Held is stylistically different than all the rest in easily noticeable ways.  He’s the guy that made all the big-headed Pinocchio-looking people in the 1920’s.  You may have seen his work before, though you probably never knew his name.

This bit of someone else’s treasure hoard will now become a part of my own dragon’s treasure, staying by my bedside for quite a while, while I continue to suck the marrow from each of its bones.  I love this book.  It is mine, and you can’t have it… unless you find your own copy in a used bookstore somewhere.

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Filed under art criticism, art my Grandpa loved, book reports, book review, humor, illustrations, imagination, oil painting, old art, old books, pen and ink, Uncategorized

The Gallery of Goofiness

Looking for stuff to organize into a post today led me to realize that I currently exist swimming in a tidal wave of goofy images that I myself have created.

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So, lazy and goofy old me will now show you some of these things.

I don’t even remember why I drew some of these things.

Some of it, is obviously because I was a teacher.

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But some of it is merely wacky.

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Though some might be considered inspirational.

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While some of it is just meant to be appealing.

But all of it provides me with an easy post that you can read fast, but still get plenty to think about from.

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Filed under artwork, blog posting, colored pencil, goofiness, humor, illustrations, imagination, insight, old art, Paffooney

Sculpture Anatomy

Here is a collage that represents one of my hoarding-disorder collecting diseases enabled by the internet.  The rules for this collection are basically;

  1. Only photographs.
  2. Only human bodies, or people parts.
  3. Only artistically created people parts made of non-people stuff.
  4. Naked is not only allowed, but preferred.

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    1. This is a porcelain doll, not a real girl… just so you know I didn’t break any rules.
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    The point is, art is a depiction of us.  No matter how you create it, what it visually portrays is a reflection, like the one in the bathroom mirror every morning.  Beautiful, grotesque, sexy, repulsive, adorable, or disturbing… it is who we are.  The point is also, it allows me to point, click, and save and create a collection that I don’t have to hide from my wife.  Because, well, you know… it’s art.

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Filed under artists I admire, artwork, collage, humor, nudes, old art

Growing the Gallery

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My bedroom walls serve as a gallery of my Paffooney artwork.

I have been collecting pieces of colored-pencil Paffoonery for a very long time now.  I am a life-long scribbler and doodler.  You are bound to build up an ocean of old drawings that you could easily drown in if you live that way long enough.  I recently found a few more in an old scrapbook I had squirreled away in the library between cartoon books.

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These are all drawings I did for my three kids when they were little.  I suppose that gives them sentimental value.  They are all imitations of copyrighted characters.  But I am not selling them.  I haven’t actually stolen anybody’s intellectual property yet.  But it makes a good filler post as I continue to rest and work on other things.

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Filed under artwork, blog posting, humor, nostalgia, old art, Paffooney

Follow-Ups

Unfinished Stag

Remember this picture that I said was unfinished?  It was supposed to be a picture called The Stag in Snow.  But I was always reluctant to dab the snowflakes on over top of the picture I basically felt was good the way it was.  So, I have experimented with art editing programs to the point of putting snow flakes into the picture without risking spoiling the original with blobs of white paint.

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I successfully added snowflakes to the blue background.  I couldn’t help but feel like it is a starry night in the background rather than snowfall.  And so I saved this product separately before continuing to experiment.

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The final product faithfully carried out my original plan.  And it does look like a rather mechanical snowfall.  But I don’t like it as much as I like the starry background step.  It makes me truly glad that I did not put white paint on the original.  I would be happy to have your opinion in the comments.  Of course that is also a tricky way to make you reveal whether you are actually reading the words of this post or just looking at the pictures.

 

 

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Filed under art editing, artwork, humor, illustrations, oil painting, old art, Paffooney

Buried Treasure

Spring cleaning is how I have spent at least a portion of my lonely invalid’s Spring Break.  I get to walk the dog and clean the house while my family is enjoying the somewhat chilly beaches of Florida’s panhandle.  Well, it isn’t all misery.  As I was cleaning in the library upstairs, I came across a set of drawings from the 1980’s that I had been looking everywhere for.  You have no idea what kind of treasure exists under stuff until you start putting stuff in other places.  I picked stuff up, and low and behold… treasure.  How long since I last moved that stuff?   I have no idea.  Stuff moves around in the library constantly.  Some of the books fly off the shelves in the middle of the night, I swear it.  But this stuff wasn’t books, so it was becoming a permanent accretion of stuff.  Not yet icky stuff, but it was painter stuff, brushes and oil paints and mixing bowls and acrylic paints and linseed oil and all kinds of stuff that can become very icky in an upstairs room in Texas with no air conditioning.

So, let me give you a look at what I found before I start trying to turn it into writer’s stuff and Paffooney posts.

Bobby

This first picture is called Bobby, because Bobby Zeffer sat for the portrait of the boy.  (You are aware that I don’t use people’s real names in my work.  So, Bobby, if you read this post and see this picture, you will have to remember that it is really you.)  (No chance of that, though.  Bobby is not illiterate, but I know he hates to read.)  I could also call it Horatio T. Dogg, because that is the name of the talking dog detective who smokes a pipe and wears a hat and was the main character of a mystery novel that became too silly to finish.  It turned out to be one of those stories where I reached the point of having a Tyrannosaurus leap out of a wormhole and eat all the main characters.  I gave up on that story rather abruptly.

Long John Silver

The second picture is rather obviously Robert Newton playing the part of Long John Silver in the Disney version of Treasure Island.  I was still in my twenties when I drew this.  I was inspired to try my hand at further portraiture because the picture of Bobby turned out to actually look like him.

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The third picture is the reason I was desperate to find these old drawings.  It is one of my prescient pictures.  I drew it in the 1980’s from an image that haunted my dreams as a young teacher.  I later realized how remarkable it was while I was teaching in Cotulla in about 2000.  The girl was in my seventh grade fifth period English class.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to dig this picture out and stare at her face.  Almost twenty years before, six or seven years before she was even born, I drew this girl, and it looks exactly like her.  I became even more mystified by this portrait when the boy walked into my classroom last year.  He was from Africa.  Eritrea to be precise.  He was a wonderful, soft-spoken, highly-intelligent boy with a deep Christian faith in God.  I almost went crazy searching for this picture so I could compare what I had drawn to the real boy.  It turns out he has a bit less hair in real life and a small scar above his left eye.  How did I not see that in my dream?

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The last picture was designed as a cover for my graphic novel Hidden Kingdom.  I have recently revisited that project and I am thinking now more strongly than ever of trying to finish it.  I can do a lot of drawing with my arthritic hands as long as I only do a little bit at a time.  And this whole drawing thing, this raging addiction, has finally become fun again now that I am retired and have the time to do stuff.  Not icky stuff… Treasure!

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Filed under humor, old art, Paffooney