Posts Tagged ‘Snoopy’

Snoopy and Schroeder DanceAt the Kada Gallery opening last week,  a very pleasant man asked if my work was influenced by the Peanuts cartoons.  He said the work had that same feeling for him.  I laughed and said that, of course, these cartoons had been a large influence on my work and probably the way I see things in general.  After all, Snoopy was the first thing I ever learned to draw, the result of an older boy on my school bus ( thank you, Tom Hillman, wherever you might be) showing me how to do so in several easy steps.  Throughout grade school Snoopy was drawn all over every piece of paper I came across, his Joe Cool and World War I Flying Ace characters being personal favorites.

I explained that many of those early cartoons — the great Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes , the very early Popeyes , the Disney cartoons with their gorgeous color, and so many more–informed and influenced the way I looked at things and set a pattern for the way I would later interpret the landscape.  They created a visual shorthand in the work that simplified the  forms in the surrounding landscape yet still gave a sense of place and time and emotion.

And that’s precisely what I try to do in my work today.

For me, A Charlie Brown Christmas is as close to perfect as any cartoon can be.  It’s a wonderful blending  of mood, movement and music with a smartness and charm that never seems to diminish. For this week’s dose of Sunday morning music, what could be more fitting than the Vince Guaraldi’s Christmas Dance from it?

Have a great Sunday and, if you feel like it, dance along with the Peanuts gang.  It’ll do ya’ good…

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Snoopy ThanksgivingIt’s Thanksgiving and hopefully you haven’t waited all year to express a little gratitude for the good things in your life.  If that is the case, get on the stick and start giving out the thanks, pronto.  If you have been grateful throughout the year, relax and listen to a little Thanksgiving-inspired music.  It’s pianist George Winston‘s version of the theme from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  The cartoon itself is not quite up to the level of A Charlie Brown Christmas but the music of Vince Guaraldi always shines.

And I am thankful for that.  And for Snoopy.

PS: The original YouTube clip with the George Winston version has been taken down but I have inserted Vince Guaraldi’s original below.  You can hear the Winston version on YouTube by clicking his name above or here.

Have a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving.

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Alfred E. NeumanOne of the great things about the internet  is being able to, with a few clicks, come across things and images that have been stored away in your memory for a very long time.  The characters that lived so vividly with you as kid come back to life the second you see them, taking you back to specific memories associated with them.  For me, many are cartoon characters and other highly visual creations, all influencing my eye.  I probably shouldn’t be admitting that. 

Maybe it’s simple nostalgia but there’s something kind of comforting in seeing these icons from your past for just a moment just to know they’re still there.  Many have never left, such as the eternally grinning Alfred E. Neuman from  Mad Magazine or the icon of all kid icons, Snoopy,whokid snoopy_cool holds a special place in my memory.  Snoopy was the first thing I really learned to draw well.  A kid on my school bus, Tom  Hillman, who was a couple of years older and a drawing whiz, showed me the basics of how Snoopy was put together with a few simple circles and ovals and a curved line here and there.  It seemed like magic and I was hooked.  I drew Snoopy everywhere.  I particularly liked drawing him when he was in the character of one of his alter egos such as the World War I pilot battling the Red Baron, or Joe Cool who was definitely the Big Man on Campus.

Spy Vs. SpyMad Magazine also provided a wide variety of other imagery from the their wonderful parodies of current TV shows and movies to their great back covers that you had to carefully fold to reveal it’s true content to the regular strips such as Spy Vs. Spy, with its Cold War characters trying to off one another in every issue.

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was in his heyday in my youth and his Rat Fink kid ratfink_logo_smcharacter was the hero of young boys everywhere.  There was a sense of anarchy  and chaos in his drawings that really appealed to kids in the 60’s.  I think every kid wanted to sit in one of his crazy hot rods for just a minute and feel the tires screeching and the heat from the flames blowing out the side pipes.

There are so many more images I could show.  Great cartoon characters.  Great characters from kid books.  Advertising icons.  All littering my memory and still living somewhere on the web.  If you want to just look…

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