Dogs!!!!

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Richard Scarry

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               Love Scarry’s colors and shapes, and the way he labels objects in his books. Someone pointed out to me recently that all of the animals in his illustrations are basically composed of the same exact forms, with a very small range of expressions. I find that interesting, in the sense that his characters become recognizable, but also very repetitive. What I like most about these is the sense of a little world that he creates, which is obviously fictional, but is real enough to be able to enter through his fairly basic drawings. Maybe a part of it is his depiction of everyday scenes and activities, despite the fact that all of the characters are animals. In a way that makes the story more convincing? 

More Lynda Barry

I heard a talk that Lynda Barry was giving at RISD a year or two ago, and she was talking about this thing I’m posting below. I was really affected by this part of the talk, since I think about my lack of drawing ability alot of the time. Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about supposedly “Naive” art and “primitive” art, outsider art etc., art made by patients in mental hospitals etc., only because I think this is really valuable stuff to think about, and I am confused at the distinction between a “truly” naive work of art and a work of art made in a naive style through intense artistic training. I’m confused about my drawing style and its relationship to this kind of stuff. 

Lynda Barry’s “Let’s draw a car and then let’s draw batman” http://thenearsightedmonkey.tumblr.com/page/3

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Music, Poetry and Writing

Thinking about all of the correlations between these three things. Here are some lyrics from a Daniel Johnston song:

Your picture 
Is still 
On my wall 
On my wall 
The colors are bright 
Bright as ever 
The red is strong 
The blue is true 
Some things last a long time 
Some things last a long time 

Your picture 
Is still 
On my wall 
On my wall 
I think 
About you 
Often 
Often 
I can’t forget all the things we did 
Some things last a long time 
Some things last a long time 

It’s funny 
But it’s true 
And it’s true 
But it’s not funny 
Time comes and goes 
All the while 
I still think of you 
Some things last a long time 

Your picture 
Is still 
On my wall 
On my wall 
The colors 
Are bright 
Bright 
As ever 
Things that we did 
All we forget 
Some things last a life time 
Some things last a life time

 
Also this:
 

Listen up and I’ll tell a story

About an artist growing old

Some would try for fame and glory

Others aren’t so bold

 

Everyone, and friends and family

Saying, “Hey! Get a job!”

“Why do you only do that only?

Why are you so odd?

We don’t really like what you do.

We don’t think anyone ever will.

It’s a problem that you have,

And this problem’s made you ill.”

 

Listen up and I’ll tell a story

About an artist growing old

Some would try for fame and glory

Others aren’t so bold

 

The artist walks alone

Someone says behind his back,

“He’s got his gall to call himself that!

He doesn’t even know where he’s at!”

The artist walks among the flowers

Appreciating the sun

He does this all his waking hours

But is it really so wrong?

 

They sit in front of their TV

Saying, “Hey! This is fun!”

And they laugh at the artist

Saying, “He doesn’t know how to have fun.”

The best things in life are truly free

Singing birds and laughing bees

“You’ve got me wrong”, says he.

“The sun don’t shine in your TV”

 

Listen up and I’ll tell a story

About an artist growing old

Some would try for fame and glory

Others aren’t so bold

 

Everyone, and friends and family

Saying, “Hey! Get a job!”

“Why do you only do that only?

Why are you so odd?

We don’t really like what you do.

We don’t think anyone ever will.

It’s a problem that you have,

And this problem’s made you ill.”

 

Listen up and I’ll tell a story

About an artist growing old.

Some would try for fame and glory

Others just like to watch the world.

 

 

Also Daniel Jonhnston lyrics. Then if you look at poetry:

 

Poem by Robert Creeley:

 

A Song

 

I had wanted a quiet testament
and I had wanted, among other things,
a song.
That was to be
of a like monotony.
(A grace
Simply. Very very quiet.
A murmur of some lost
thrush, though I have never seen one.

Which was you then. Sitting
and so, at peace, so very much now this same quiet.

A song.

And of you the sign now, surely, of a gross
perpetuity
(which is not reluctant, or if it is,
it is no longer important.

A song.

Which one sings, if he sings it,
with care. 

 

Another poem by him:

 

Four Days In Vermont

Window’s tree trunk’s predominant face
a single eye-leveled hole where limb’s torn off
another larger contorts to swell growing in around
imploding wound beside a clutch of thin twigs
hold to one two three four five six dry twisted
yellowish brown leaves flat against the other
gray trees in back stick upright then the glimpse
of lighter still grayish sky behind the close
welted solid large trunk with clumps of gray-green
lichen seen in boxed glass squared window back
of two shaded lamps on brown chiffonier between
two beds echo in mirror on far wall of small room. 

 

I’m trying to think of writing and poetry alongside visual elements in the prints that I’m working on. My parents are both writers, and I thought I was one for a while, but it’s just another art form, which I’m hoping I can successfully combine with printed imagery.

 

 

 

Musicians

I love it when amazing musicians have a genuine affect on their audiences. That’s the same deal for artists, and I think it’s one of the most valuable things an artist can do, to affect people in some way. Maybe it’s not always good, but it’s always something, and that’s really important I think. This is Reverend Gary Davis, one of the greatest Blues musicians, playing sometime in the 60’s or 70’s when the folk revival kind of brought him some attention. The way he sings and plays his guitar is kind of like the way I want to make art; it’s incredibly expressive and singular, and also real and honest and unabashed.