I want to talk about a living artist for a change. I know that the artists I have talked about on this goofy blog-that-doesn’t-seem-to-know-what-it-is-really-for, Norman Rockwell, William Bouguereau, Paul Detlafsen, Thomas Kinkade, Fontaine Fox, and Maxfield Parrish, are all quite dead. But conversely that is a good thing because it means their art has stood the test of time. But today I want to plug a working artist I find absolutely fascinating. This is the first artist I ever seized upon as an example of a true master whose chosen medium is primarily digital art.
This is Loish. You can find her at http://loish.net/ or http://http://loish.deviantart.com/. Her name is Lois Van Baarle and she is a Dutch citizen by birth. She has worked as both an animator and a commercial artist/illustrator. She has lived all over the world in countries like France, Belgium, Germany, and the United States, but currently resides back in her home country, the Netherlands. What I find so absolutely engaging about her work is the way she can portray ordinary folk, particularly young people and female people, in luminous digital colors (almost as if she is painting with light… and in fact that is actually what she IS doing), and in such a big-eyed, cartooney way (the way you would expect someone who does animation to do it.) Take a look at all these wondrous creations that I have borrowed from her websites or her Facebook page.
Isn’t that some of the loveliest artwork you’ve ever seen? I know some may not like it, preferring what is more realistic, gritty, hard-edged, or more cutting edge… but I love foofy art of all sorts… goofy foofy girly art… and this is among the best I have ever seen.
In both the books Snow Babies and The Bicycle-Wheel Genius I used the characters of the Magnificent Murphy Clan to weave actual people from my past into my stories. The Murphys; Mary and Warren, Warren’s father Sean “Cudgel” Murphy, Mary’s and Warren’s kids, Danny, Dilsey, Mike, Little Sean, Daisy, Sarah, Thomas “Pumpkin” Murphy, and Baby Jane all live together in a small, four- bedroom house dubbed “Murphy Mansion”.
Here is a look at a Paffooney of the irrepressible Mary Murphy with daughter Dilsey, and Little Sean on her shoulders.,
And here is one of my anti-hero Pirates, Mike Murphy with his little girlfriend Blueberry Bates.
Mike has the distinction of being in all three of my Norwall Novels, a very rare character indeed. And, NO, that doesn’t mean that he is me just because we have the same first name… Okay, maybe a little bit me, but that’s just the nature of writing silly novels about adventures through time and space and farm-town Iowa. I’m hoping to make you curious enough to buy one of my books. Catch a Falling Star is available as a hardback, paperback, or e-book from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and the link here to I-Universe. But I know you are far too smart for me, and I can never hook you just on the strength of my nerdy humor or my implausible Paffoonies. Here’s hoping a look at the Murphys will help.
I submitted my 2012 novel Snow Babies to a novel writing contest. I learn more about the results November 30th. I have a lot riding on this contest, but the book will get published if I have to print it by hand.
I am a cartoon nut. I read them. I write them. I draw them. Cartoon people have always been more real to me than real people. A friend of mine asked to see what I could do because he wants to create a children’s picture book. I drew Puff in the picture displayed here. I can’t help it. I have to draw when I have the chance. I have had arthritis since I was eighteen. I walk with a cane now, wearing a back brace constantly. I dread the day when I can no longer draw. It is coming too soon. but for now, I have a dragon to help me fight off the coming darkness. I know what you’re thinking… “It should say Puff the Magic Dragon!” but it doesn’t because he is not. There is no magic in the creation. I have spent years practicing and learning how. I can now create cartoons almost at will. I just can’t crank them out on a regular basis, not without my hands hurting. So, I have Puff to hang around with for a while, on my computer, on my drawing pad… He’s a really good guy. He’s just not a magic dragon.