Tag Archives: Saturday Art Day

What Dreams May Come?

Lately I have been having problems with passing out during low blood-sugar moments in the middle morning, early afternoon, and shortly after supper, usually when I have already had a snack and my sugars haven’t balanced yet. When I pass out, perchance… I dream. Vivid dreams. So, for art day, I will post images I have made based on dreams I have had.

This one has shadows on everything. I exhausted three pens drawing shadows. Yet, there are no shadows on the child-figures. In the dream, they were glowing white ghosts.

Snowboy is one of the main villains in The Bicycle-wheel Genius. But the boy-robot made entirely of snow, ice, and circuitry first appeared in a 1978 dream that happened while I had a fever from the flu.

This dream is a mental-disturber caused again by fever. Here the two gigantic toys play with the little girl. I was not actually in this dream. I was an observer floating above. I think the bear was inspired by a Care-Bear.

This picture has all the elements of the actual dream, the candle, the line of glowing pixies, the sleeping princess, and Prince Charming. But nothing here looks like it did in the dream. The prince and the princess were both young teens that I did not know in real life. The fairies were larger and a lot more obviously nude.

I actually passed out while writing this post. It happened right here, before I could post this dream of living colors. All the colors were in motion in the dream, something I couldn’t really represent here.

I knew when I dreamed this dream that the Bambi-kin in this dream were members of my family, but at the time I dreamt it I had not met my wife yet, let alone had three kids of my own. Yet I knew that it was not my family at the time of the dream because one of my sisters was not there.

This is from a dream I had in college at Iowa City. I made an entire cartoon out of it called Babysitters Hate My House, It is about a babysitter having a horrible time with my two sons as she loses control when they show her the man in the basement that, “Daddy built out of a kit.”

And, finally, this dream featured not only the spirit stag and the medicine man, but the bolt of lightning in the background. The Dakotah people say having a dream with lightning in it makes you a “lightning dreamer”, a magic man, or a shaman. So, I guess that qualifies me to be one.

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Filed under artwork, dreaming, dreams, humor, Paffooney

Surreal Self-Portraits

What you see is basically me.

It is said by somebody who wasn’t basically me that any time an artist draws a picture of someone, or paints a picture of someone, or twizzles a twizzle-snoot of someone… they are basically making a picture of themselves.

So, this Paffooney that I paffooned of a purple mouse in a Don Martin-esque style, is supposed to be Mickey the cartoonist. And Mickey is supposedly, basically me.

And here I am as Muck Man, the superhero. It is me because the super power he has is his horrible, non-adorable, and unrelenting stench. The horrible smell of him renders villains and bad people unconscious or worse… sometimes straight to the hearse. And using his olfactory assaults on evil as a way to make something terrible into something with a -someness of awe, makes him indubitably, indelibly basically me.

“Long Ago It Might Have Been”

And here is a picture of a boy who might’ve been my son if only I had been given enough good sense to fall in love with that first blond young lady who first had thoughts about making babies with me. I didn’t. I’m stupid. And now she has only girls. That makes it a picture too of basically me.

And this little not-me was me all along, and as the boy who sees colors, it’s really not wrong. Synesthetic they call it in a name that’s not long, but is resoundingly deep like the words of a song.

And you might argue this one and say that it’s true… “This one is too pretty to be a picture of you.” But you would be wrong on this basis, you see…

The monster inside me is basically me

And here I am all magic and purple, and I just blew the rhyme again, so this isn’t another danged verse. I drew this picture of Milt Morgan from an old school picture of me.

I often say the character in the stories is based on the Other Mike, the other boy I grew up with who was named Mike in my little home town.

But he thought like me, he acted a lot like me. He even looked like me, at least a little bit. So, if I am portraying him, I am depicting basically me.

And this is the naked me, as a nudist back in childhood in Rowan, Iowa, which I never was… not like this… but still am. Because I am a writer. And writers always write about their naked selves, showing the whole world what saner and more prudish people keep secret. If they were truly smart and wanted to keep their secrets to themselves, artists would never draw or paint or write about or twizzle about themselves. In fact, they would make no art at all.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, Paffooney

Cardboard Castle Art

Slaying a blue dragon wasn’t the biggest event at the cardboard castle, but it was among the most memorable.
All sorts of people show up to parties I hold there. Of course, the guests don’t really have a choice in the matter.
Celebrities make an appearance if I can afford them. Mickey and Minnie cost me less than five dollars.
The place isn’t actually Hogwarts. It’s made of cardboard. I believe Hogwarts was made of polystyrene.
All sorts of heroes try to save the day in the cardboard castle.
Heroes at the cardboard castle are made, not born.
Sometimes the cast is a bit crazy.’
It is possible to take the Snowball Express from the castle to Toonerville. Mickey and Minnie are always ready to jump in front of the camera.
Of course, a few evil wizards are essential to the game.
Voldemort may have mistaken the place for Hogwarts too.
Sometimes I question the prevailing religion at cardboard castle. But Princess Jasmine seems to be fine with it.
But the old castle is a bit run down in parts of it. Maybe Princess Aurora can convince the Prince to invest in a few wall repairs.

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Filed under artwork, humor, making cardboard castles, Paffooney, photo paffoonies, playing with toys

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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Filed under artwork, autobiography, Paffooney, poem

School Daze Art Day

A lot of my artwork has to do with students and teachers, and of course, the schools they attend. I wonder where this obsession came from?

The Psionic Ninja Class from AeroQuest.

There’s a lot of science fiction elements in school. After all, we are preparing students for the future.

Schools of the past fascinate me too. This is Chiron the Centaur teaching Hercules, Jason, Achilles, and other demigods and heroes.

It is hard to tell just by looking whether this school is in the past or in the future. The secret is, this illustrates a science fiction novel I haven’t written yet. It is on another planet three thousand years in the future.

This picture of one of my last high school ESL classes is not realistic. Students are far more cartoonish than they are pictured here.

Of course, school is not about the teachers. It is about the students.

These two are Blueberry Bates and Mike Murphy.

They are fictional people.

But they are based on three different seventh grade couples I taught in Texas.

One set actually grew up and married each other.

You know how you can tell that this school is from science fiction? The student in the picture is actually a robot who looks human.

Here’s another picture of Mike and Blue.

Ah, school! How I miss it.

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Filed under artwork, education, humor, kids, Paffooney, teaching

Another Saturday Gallery Peek

The thing about being an artist that I can’t seem to really explain, if I even am one, is “Why?” I mean why am I an artist? I am not a camera. You look at my imperfect drawings, and you can see it is a drawing. Even if I did photo-realistic drawings, I would still have to wonder “Why?” Why go to all that work if we have cameras for that?

And if we draw something that never was, but might have been… if only we were made like gods and could control everything around us completely… why is that worth doing? Just to see things through my eyes? I have weird eyes. They see skateboards with flaming Bart Simpsons on them saying, “Eat my shorts!” What is the value of that?

Perhaps this sort of “Seeing through someone else’s eyes” gives us a perspective that we could get no other way. I know I love art museums, art books, and art collections even more than I like looking at my own art. I love looking at the world as other people see it.

Maybe artwork, in one form or another is the closest we can come to truly sharing what’s inside us with other human beings, mind to mind, heart to heart, liver of blood-curdling revelation to liver of blood-curdling revelation… wait, you mean not everyone has a liver like that?

So, not everyone lives life the way I do, or knows what I know, or remembers the sweet, sad things I remember, or sees things the way I see them. Is that, then, the reason why for being an artist? Or cartoonist if you believe that I am not a real artist?

If I truly am an artist… and I am not convinced that I truly am, then I don’t answer the why questions. It is the job of the scientist to do that. I only ask the questions. And I do it by drawing the next inexplicable thing.

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Filed under artwork, commentary, humor, insight, inspiration, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Mickey Plays with Pictures and Paint

Once I was finally able to scan pictures again, I did some scanning of old pictures that only got the camera treatment before on my blog.

But why stop a drawing at just the pen and ink, when there is potential for so much more?

So, I took the Microsoft generic paint program and my generic photo editor to not only this pen and ink of the Jungle Princess, but a few other pictures as well.

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This is what she looks like after being attacked with color by my arthritic old hands. (There was a day when I could have handled intricate details more cleverly, but that was many, many days ago.

Anyway, I have added new dimensions to Leopard Girrrl with color.

Now I need to add more complications to the basic story of the picture.

”’

Here is an older pen and ink.

This is Dorin Dobbs, one of the dueling plotlines’ protagonists from the novel Catch a Falling Star.

But, of course, Dorin is a more complex character than this old black and white.

So, color needs to be added.

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I had this one actually already painted in…

But in order to use it in this project, I needed to enlarge it to make it fit into the other picture.

Making this unlikely pair work together in a story is one of the challenges of doing surrealist stories. They have to be grounded in realism, but also bring jarringly different things together. Like the Jungle Princess going on an adventure with Norwall’s Lying King.

But, putting these two together is still not enough. Let’s try some other things.

The Jungle Princess together with Tomboy Dilsey Murphy is an unusual pairing.

Or what about the blue faun from Laughing Blue?

Or even Annette Funicello?

Ridiculous, I know. But don’t they look like satin sofa paintings?

And how surreal is that?

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Filed under artwork, coloring, drawing, goofiness, humor, Paffooney, surrealism

Saturdays are Coming Faster and Faster

I suppose with the threat of Coronavirus hanging over the house, the days are getting shorter because the end of time for me is drawing nearer. I have just started a subscription with Pubby, an online company that lets you review the books of others. And in return, they will review yours. That’s a plan that will only bear fruit if it has enough time to grow.

I, of course, started with Snow Babies. It may not be the best that I have written, but it’s at least close, and it is my favorite.

Sing Sad Songs will be the second one I will add.

The first review I got was a five-star review. But the reader read it apparently only in one day, rather than the four days I gave him. (That is the most that Pubby allows.) I would really rather get a lower score if I knew that the reader was actually reading and not just skimming.

The novel covers and illustrations I have included here for Saturday Art Day are all other books I think are worthwhile getting reviewed. It takes a while though to earn enough points by reading and reviewing to get another review on one of my books. They say that once you buy a subscription, the reviews are free. But they are not. You have to earn points to get them. In other words, you have to work for it.

These first few all have four or five star reviews on them already, before Pubby. But some of them have nudist characters in them doing nudist activities, and that may cause them to do poorly with people who think you shouldn’t even read about people having no clothes on. The one directly above got a five star review, but it is set in a nudist park and it was a nudist who reviewed it.

This book has not yet been read by anyone but me, as far as I know.

I can finally get a review on Magical Miss Morgan too, now that I got back my publishing rights from Page Publishing and republished it on Amazon.

And this weekend I have a free promotion going on this book, the second in the AeroQuest series. You can click on the BUY ON AMAZON button and buy it in Kindle format for zero dollars.

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, publishing

Scanning for Illustrations

After trying to hash out a truce with hard-headed hardware, I finally got my scanner working again, despite an unruly and uncooperative keyboard that puts in the wrong command even as I am trying to type this.

Once harnessed to the wagon again, the scanner must now pull more than its own weight as I attempt to create illustrations for my book of essays.

I am working on scanning and converting things to all black and white. So, all of these Art Day illustrations are pulling towards that goal. And much of what I will show you is newly scanned, or re-scanned, or black-and-white.

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Filed under art editing, artwork, humor, illustrations, Paffooney

Another Single Artwork

Here again I will attempt to foolishly explain what a picture means and why I created it. I say “foolishly” because I know, as an artist, that once a picture is finished, it is really no longer mine to interpret. It becomes the exclusive province of the viewer to define what you see in your own terms. Your experience of the picture is your own private matter, entirely between you and your eyeballs and your own happy little brain.

That being said, here is the insight into my own internal bad weather in the brain that led to the making of this picture.

I created this picture in colored pencil back in 1981 when I was finishing my grad school degree, and waiting for my comprehensive exam in the spring led to a lot of sitting around with nothing to do nor money to do anything with. I was living in an efficiency apartment in Iowa City, a twenty-minute walk from most of my classes in the University of Iowa Campus, nestled nicely among the downtown features of one of the most progressive cities available in farm-centric Republican-conservative Iowa. It was no Berkley, California. But it was not Hayseed Hicksville either.

So, I was thinking about how my mind had been freed from the prison of Iowegian conservatism by learning in the school where Kurt Vonnegut had once been part of the acclaimed Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. I had taken some courses that really opened my eyes. A philosophy course taught by a professor who had been excommunicated by the Catholic Church. A deep study of English linguistics with a fairly radioactive dose of the breakthroughs of understanding made by Noam Chomsky. I was moved to “think about thinking,” and so, I drew a picture I would call “The Wings of Imagination.”

As a pencil drawing, I had originally set the eagle-winged Pegasus in the middle of a Medieval village (having recently discovered the original blooming of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons that was sweeping the university.) But when I looked at the drawing of the winged horse compared to the surrounding drawing, I knew the beautiful imaginary creature had to show the ability to soar high even though its feet were on the ground. So, I erased everything but the Pegasus and turned the background into the mountain heights you now see in the finished version.

I cannot claim the picture is without flaws, however. You may have noticed that the horse part has overly massive hind legs compared to excessively spindly front legs. The mountainous region I set it in was inspired by watching Bob Ross paint mountains on PBS. I had some pictures from National Geographic as reference for the mountain tops, but the lower valley came entirely from memories of vacation-time Colorado and Montana. The clunky parts were caused by an imperfect memory and a lack of landscape skill.

So, that is why I did what I did. And I am proud of it.

But it is entirely up to you to make of it what you will. That is how the artist/viewer relationship works.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, Paffooney, Uncategorized