Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Party with Star Wars and Fallout 4

New Year's Eve: an opportunity to reflect on what has been of real importance this year.

I am not proud to say that if you asked our sons today what they value most, they would tell you respectively, Fallout 4 and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. 

Due to what now looks like a lapse in judgement on my part, the older child has been hard at work on the latest iteration of Fallout since Hanukkah.  For our younger son, the recent frenzy around the release of the new Star Wars movie, "The Force Awakens" has oddly translated into a fixation on the earlier Cartoon Network animated series, now inexpensively, but perhaps unfortunately, available in its 6 season entirety on Netflix.

Therefore, as a memento of our obsessions of 2015, we have a napkin image of some of these characters at a New Year's Eve party: From left to right: Anakin Skywalker, predecessor to the latest Star Wars baddie, Kylo Ren, "Dogmeat" the faithful German Shepherd sidekick in Fallout 4, a Supermutant from the game, and Star Wars' Boba Fett.

Looking at this napkin earlier today, my younger son told me that I had "ruined it!" by putting a party hat on Anakin, because, "everyone knows he looks terrible in a hat."

I think there are more significant problems here than Anakin's head being covered.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dark Side Gingerbread

We have neglected to make a gingerbread anything so far this year. The kids are really enthusiastic about frosting and candy, but frosting and candy that are not intended to be eaten fail to hold their attention for very long.

Perhaps unfortunately, after googling "gingerbread Death Star" with me, my younger son is now convinced that we should make something like that ourselves. Having made this napkin, however, I feel pretty fulfilled in my need for Star Wars gingerbread and am unlikely to take on a frosted AT-AT or the like....(I suspect that there must be some hot glue involved in those gingerbread Star Wars vehicles that one finds pictures online)

We finally (Yes! Finally!) saw the movie today, and I am fighting the urge to say something spoilery about with whom one makes gingerbread houses over the holidays...but I will refrain...mostly. I drew this before we saw the movie so no spoiling was intended.

My son has requested a "Han and Chewie frosting a gingerbread Millinneum Falcon" as a follow up.

I don't know...I have a bad feeling about what would happen with all that fur and frosting.

Princess and Dinosaur Birthday Cake

We were honored to have one of our napkins reproduced on a birthday cake. The birthday child's dad emailed to let me know that they had Googled "princess riding a dinosaur" and found the Leia T-Rex napkin.

As the aging feminist mother of two mostly unappreciative boys, I am always pleased to discover that there is a female audience for any of the napkin imagery. Leila on the T-Rex was part of the "Star Wars rides Dinosaurs" series, or else she might not have made the napkin cut with my son.

While my younger son is actually quite interested in female characters in tv and movies (particularly attractive ones of course) he rarely wanted to take an image of one to school on a napkin...because ironically, manly 8 year old boys don't like girls, or at least don't admit it to their friends.

But I am glad that a three year old girl can enjoy this one- and to know that the image comes up early in a Google search for "princess riding a dinosaur."

Friday, December 18, 2015

Jedi Ewok and Mandalorian Jawa

No, we have not seen the movie yet (opening today, for those reading this in the distant future)....and will not for a while.... but this images was my younger son's request for the occasion of the opening of "The Force Awakens."

He specified that the Ewok should be dressed as a Jedi, and the Jawa as a Mandalorian Bounty Hunter like Boba Fett.  The Fetts are perhaps best recognized by their storm trooper-like helmets.  But when I asked my son if the Jawa should be wearing such a helmet, he regarded me sadly and said, "No, of course not, how can you tell that he's a Jawa if he's wearing a helmet?"

I am pretty sure that he had something more active and slapsticky in mind for these two, but I was only able to pull off something stolid and static.

You'd think I would be better at drawing Ewoks and Jawas by now, wouldn't you?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Card 2015

Happy Holidays 2015

I've been feeling a little hesitant to post actual images of my kids' faces recently. They are getting older and are more in charge of their online appearance...or lack thereof. However, as you can see, this was not a concern here. I am pretty confident that Google's face recognition software is not sophisticated enough to deal with this image.

The kids were quite pleased with their obscurity. (They stuck those bows on their own faces, that wasn't my doing) The actual card does not included the folded arms, but I think I like that part of it.

I do wish a little bit more of their faces were visible.

And, no, it is not a napkin, or even a drawing. Maybe I will do better on that front next year....

Here's our card from way back in 2011.  I don't think Google will be tracking their faces into adulthood based on that one either...


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Kids with Rudolph Menorah

We usually take a picture of the kids for a holiday card. This year, they were feeling uncooperative and I was feeling uninspired, so I drew this very Thomas Kinkade style mess instead.

Yes, there is nothing worse than a saccharine portrait of children drawn by their parent.

...except perhaps adding a reindeer with a bike light strapped to his nose to that portrait.

My apologies to those who celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas... and to Thomas Kinkade enthusiasts also.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Boba Fett Squares off with a Predator, with Godzillas

Who's ready to take on the Sarlacc?

Boba Fett is suddenly a very popular character at our house.  Of course all things Star Wars are being whipped up into froth in anticipation of the new movie opening next week. I am pretty sure that Mr. Fett, is not going to appear in the film.  Theoretically, he is still in the midst of being digested over a thousand years in the Sarlacc pit that he fell into during "Return of the Jedi."

But Boba Fett is a playable character in the Star Wars Battlefront game, and he has become our younger son's new favorite.  He chose Boba as his lead combatant when the kids staged a large action figure battle over the weekend.

His older brother chose a Predator figure as his lead. When he looked at the image on this napkin, he told me there was no way Boba was going to win the contest, even if he shot the Predator in the knee first.  I suggested that maybe they were just posing, and not actually fighting each other.

At least we know that Godzilla could deal with the Sarlacc just by stepping on it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Class Napkins

Napkin drawings by my son's third grade class (and a couple of teachers)
These were done after my son brought in a few napkins to show. As he has been eating lunch in the cafeteria lately, there has been no packed lunch, and no lunch napkins.
These napkins from his classmates came back home with him. 

Thanks for the very nice drawings and the kind notes!

Alien and Predator Holiday Selfie

If it bleeds, we can celebrate Christmas with it.

Christmas is a pretty secular holiday at our house. When I was a child, I thought I could be both Jewish and Christian at the same time. But the reality is that despite the lighting of Hanukkah candles and the trimming of Christmas trees, we are not playing for either team.

But we can embrace the general spirit of generosity and togetherness in the season... particularly when it comes to the characters from violent movie and video game franchises.  The Santa/Rudolph theme is popular with the kids even if they don't have the same irrational affection for the old stop motion Rudolph TV show that I do.

I am afraid that they have more affection for the Alien vs Predator franchise in fact.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Darth Menorah

It's hard to stay on the Dark Side when your head is on fire.

Last night was only the first night of Hanukkah, but any drawing of a menorah seems to require a full complement of candles.  While I was considering sticking 8 candles on the top of Vader's shiny helmet, the kids convinced me that Darth Maul was the better choice. Fortuitously, Maul has exactly 8 horns visible from the front view.

I guess he must be holding the shamus in his hand since it doesn't fit on his head.

Ewok and Jawa on Swagways

A lower center of gravity might help when it comes to a Swagway....

This image was definitely not one of my better efforts. I cannot really explain why rudimentary drawing skills, including basic perspective, seemed to elude me here.

Our younger son has been coveting a "hover board" recently.  While we will not be able to provide one of these rather pricey items for the coming holiday, I did my best to draw them on a napkin at least.

Usually, there is nothing that cannot be improved with the addition of a Jawa or an Ewok, but even short aliens who say things like "Ootini" and "Yub yub" was not enough to redeem this image.

My younger son's reaction to this drawing was, "What is wrong with the Jawa?" Obviously, my hilarious concept of the Star Wars characters having trouble balancing on the boards was not convincing.

My old son told me that the Jawa should be taking apart the board instead of riding on it.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Appearance on Good Morning America

I finally got around to uploading our very grainy shot-with-an-iPhone-on-a-computer-screen video of our appearance on the 40th anniversary live stream for Good Morning America from a couple of weeks ago. My younger son wanted to be able to show it to his art teacher at school.

I was supposed to drawing a napkin live on the program, which didn't really work out. This was definitely all for the best, as having the kids talk was much more entertaining than watching me try to draw.

Unfortunately, we do not have a recording of our later appearance during the hour, during which the host Dan Harris told me that my very talkative older son might have a future in TV.  My husband, the holder of the iPhone, had to answer the door, and missed the second segment.

But I hear that this has been broadcast on actual TV since, so perhaps it is out there somewhere.

You can watch this video at this Youtube link  should you so desire.
I can't stand to view it myself unless I turn the sound off so I can't hear what I was saying and I focus exclusively on watching what the kids are doing.

Zombie Santa and Skeleton Rudolph

That's a red flashlight in the reindeer skull's nasal cavity, if that needs to be said.

It's all just holiday build-up from here on out.  We are not especially observant of any particular tradition beyond the giving of presents to our children. I've done a lot of, "So what are YOU planning to GIVE to your grandma?...or aunt?...or father?" Because, of course, it is better to give than to receive.  Or at least it is best to not annoy the adults around you with your greedy requests to the point where they decide to give you nothing.

While it is true that I could use some brains for the holidays...despite my somewhat jaundiced parental perspective on the holidays, the drawing of Undead Santa and Very Dead Rudolph is not for my kids. It is for for "Deck the Halls," a holiday auction  to benefit The New York Academy of Art, where I teach occasionally...

I teach sculpture at the NYAA, and most definitely not the drawing of zombies on napkins, just to be clear.