Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Art, Part 3

(Continued from Part 2)

"DECEMBER"  (October 1987)
Acrylic (I think).  Perhaps the assignment was to do a greeting card, or perhaps a holiday or season of the year?  I recall the original idea was much sadder. The finished design wound up much cheerier than I felt at the time I did it.  Note the reindeer-less sleigh which is apparently powered by some fort of jet exchaust!
"MY FAVORITE PIXIE"  (October 1987)
Acrylic.  I can only recall we were doing landscapes (I think).  I had just recently seen the film PETER PAN (I think) for the first time, and became quite enamored of Tinkerbelle, who in some ways, reminded me of my missing friend Gina.  Thus, Gina makes her 2nd appearance here, re-interpreted as a pixie.  Over the summer I'd found out that she lived in Chestnut Hill, right next to Wissohickon Valley, one of the most stunningly beautiful areas I've ever seen, and no doubt putting the two together helped inspire this piece.  Although I seem to recall she actually wore a swearter just like the one seen here, the "electric blue" pants actually came from a friend of hers from South Philly, Rachelle.  (Apart from their both being Italian, you could hardly imagine 2 girls more different from each other!)
"COCKER SPANIEL"  (October 1987)
Acrylic.  A portrait of my family's beloved pet dog "Suzy", who was with us for 13 year.  She was perhaps the smartest and sweetest (and, given the right moment, craziest) dogs I have ever seen in my life.
"THE ALOHA SHIRT"  (October 1987)
Acrylic.  Some kind of "ad design" project, I think.  Little did I realize when I painted this that I would develop a fondness for Hawaiian shirts, after going to see the band Los Straitjackets in late 1995.  The style here was inspired by Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the early 1960's.  I was slowly (very slowly) becoming aware that "cartoony" was a more legitimate style than many would have you believe, and I had much more of a fondness for it that too many years of trying to draw "realistically" would have had me believe.
"RED RACKHAM"  (November 1987)
Acrylic.  Another "ad design" project, this one for the logo of a liquor company.  I took the design straight out of the TINTIN book, "The Secret Of The Unicorn" by Herge, perhaps my all-time favorite comic-book writer & artist.
"DINOSAURS"  (November 1987)
Acrylic.  I long considered this one "unfinished", but the truth is, the longer I look at it, the more I think it's fine just as it is.  I don't even remember if there was a particular assignment this was connected with, or if it was just a "portfolio" piece.  The young man in question is Jonathan, son of an old friend of mine.  We shared an interest in prehistoric critters, and I thought this was a rather humorous commentary on them. I always imagine the young man is trying to point out to a real dinosaur what he's supposed to be like (according to books), rather than how he is.
"HITLER"  (November 1987)
Flair pen.  A purely "design" exercise, never even intended by the teacher to be taken to the next step, though it easily could have been.  My Dad had a fascination with World War 2 (having served in the army at the time), Nazis and Hitler in general, and had a lot of books I was able to use for reference.  No need for a special trip to a library here!
"BATMAN"  (December 1987)
Collage;  photocopies, spray adhesive and watercolor.  The project was "nostalgia", and I picked a favorite subject of mine. A unique, personal celebration of various versions of "The Caped Crusader" who was my introduction to the very strange concept of "costumed crimefighters" (superheroes), which includes the cover of my 1st issue of DETECTIVE COMICS, the cover of the Nelson Riddle TV soundtrack LP, a set of bubble-gum cards (which I've since learned were illustrated by Bob Powell & Norman Saunders), the 1966 newspaper strip (illustrated by Joe Giella), the logos of both the 1960's BATMAN comics and the TV show, and several panels from my OWN Batman comics, done in my own refined "stick-figure" style!  Another large piece, about 22" x 14", I believe.
"DANCE MY LOVE"  (December 1987)
Guache.  Design for a menu for a Greek resturant.  I don't actually remember if the girl was based on anyone in particular or not.
"NEXUS"  (February 1988)
Acrylic.  I can't remember the criteria for this project. What I remember most was the teacher, one Carl Lundgren, while being a brilliant, talented artist, was also the biggest pain-in-the-ass who ever taught at the Art Institute.  My class never got along or agreed on anything, with one exception.  Every single person in the class (including me) put in a complaint about Carl.  The next quarter, the department head found a way to shuffle the schedule so he didn't need Carl. For which all of us were grateful.  This piece, of course, was my tribute to Steve Rude, who had only recently become a new hero of mine in the comics biz.

(Continued in Part 4)

More as I go!

All Artwork Copyright (C) Henry R. Kujawa
Red Rackham,  Batman, Nexus, and any other previously-existing characters are all the properties of the various Copyright holders.

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