Category Archives: old art

The Secret Gallery in Grandma’s Closet

After years of being stored away, I discovered that my mother had hidden a hoard of my old artworks in the upstairs closet in Grandma Aldrich’s house (now my parents’ house).

C360_2017-06-22-15-50-19-9622

This oil painting was done on an old saw blade at the request of my Grandpa Aldrich.  He wanted a farm painting on it, like the one he’d seen in a restaurant during a fishing trip in Minnesota.  I chose as the subject Sally the pig.  Sally was a hairlip piglet that had to be bottle fed and raised in a box by the stove until later in life she became a favorite pet.  Believe it or not, pigs are smarter than the family dog.  She became a pig you could ride.  And Grandma had taken a precious old photo of my mother and Uncle Larry riding the pig.  I used that photo to make this painting.  It was also the painting I wanted to find on this trip to Iowa.  Searching for it led to finding all the others.

These two are among the earliest paintings I did.  They were both done on canvases that I stretched over the frame myself in high school art class.  The purple one is a scene from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The blue one doesn’t have a title, but you can see what it is.  It is an ancient shibboleth water monster lurking under a dock, fishing for young boys to eat.

20170622_215004

This drawing was done on the front porch in the house in Rowan.  It would be years before mom framed it.  It is another example of what I could do as a high school kid.  In fact, I composed it from art-class sketches I did my senior year in school.

20170622_215257

The Boy in the Barn was painted on the remains of an old chalkboard that my sisters, brother, and I had used in grade school.

20170622_215408

Grandma Aldrich asked for this picture to hang over the sofa in the farmhouse living room.  It stayed there for many years.

20170622_214755.jpg

Great Grandma Hinckley passed away in 1980.  I created this portrait from a combination of photos and memory.  It was too good.  It was never hung anywhere because it always made her daughter, my Grandma Aldrich, tear up.

20170622_215535

This pencil drawing won a blue ribbon at the Wright County Fair in the late 70’s.

20170622_215115

This picture is called First Years are Hard Years.  It was painted in 1982 after my first year of teaching at the junior high school in Cotulla, Texas.   I painted mostly the good kids.  The girl on the lower right would later go on to become a teacher for our school district.  I can’t claim to be the one who inspired her, but she did make straight A’s in my class.

20170622_215653

This is called Beauty.  It is done in oil crayon on canvas.  I did it for my mother to hang in the hallway in the house in Taylor, Texas.

So, it turns out, I unearthed art treasures by searching for the one painting.

2 Comments

Filed under artwork, colored pencil, homely art, humor, oil painting, old art, Paffooney

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.

c360_2016-12-27-07-57-11-113

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.

c360_2017-01-02-05-14-38-246

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.

c360_2016-11-26-08-31-03-750

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.

Leave a comment

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

C360_2016-12-21-17-27-40-934.jpg

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-26-52-638

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-26-08-244

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-25-30-575

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-25-11-104

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-24-36-579

Also Maxfield Parrish

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-24-09-869

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.

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-23-44-163

More Leyendecker

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-23-26-011

Even more from Leyendecker

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-22-58-983

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.

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-22-02-082

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-21-38-237

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.

c360_2016-12-21-17-21-14-634

Also Gibson

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-20-49-992

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

 

c360_2016-12-21-17-20-06-847

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.

4 Comments

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.

20160104_141546

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.

mythos

But some of it is merely wacky.

flying-goldfish

Though some might be considered inspirational.

wings-of-imagination

new-kid

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.

2 Comments

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.

    539637_414849215220540_1199730384_n

  5. 988544_991166777562976_6597368353492715309_n

  6. 10501970_991148260898161_1611444846896190024_n

    1. This is a porcelain doll, not a real girl… just so you know I didn’t break any rules.
  7. david_1

    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.

2 Comments

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

Growing the Gallery

DSCN5520

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.

DSCN5521

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.

3 Comments

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.

Unfinished Stag n snow

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.

Stag n snow

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.

 

 

2 Comments

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