Monday, March 7, 2016

PuppyMonkeyBaby Brethren: Telly-Tony-Shetland Pony and Yogi-Yeti-Plate of Spaghetti

Telly Tony Shetland Pony
Yogi Yeti Plate of Spaghetti

PuppyMonkeyBaby Drawing Project:

Recently, the fairly horrifying Mountain Dew PuppyMonkeyBaby ad campaign reminded me of the Exquisite Corpse drawing game in which three people each draw one third of a figure or creature without being able to see the other parts. As a young child, I was quite fond of playing this game with my parents, probably because it involved drawing on what seemed like a more or less even footing with my professional artist parents. And the results were most often humorous and ridiculous.

I started thinking about other potentially ridiculous creatures divided in vertical thirds that have rhyming names ending in the long "E" sound. PuppyBabyMonkey is of course limited to two syllable words, and I considered embracing that parameter as well, but in the end, I decided that I could not always pass up the rhythmic gratification of having two iambs in the last word. (i.e. "Telly Tony Shetland Pony" instead of "Telly Tony Pony")

There are many variables, both linguistic and visual, to consider here while deciding which characters or objects work well stacked together.  As I spend an hour a day riding a bike 9 miles through Manhattan and Brooklyn after dropping off my younger son at school, I have had time to generate a massive list of nouns that range from Dromedary and Cassowary to Houdini and Mussolini....

Yes, I am aware that it is sad that I have spent a lot of time thinking about this.

Mostly I was looking for an organizing principle for a series of drawings. After drawing in markers on napkins more or less daily for over ten years, I was curious if I could manage to draw in and on anything else.

These two are in ink and watercolor on paper. I think it might have been at least 20 years since I have used water color and a brush.

So these could be worse.

And on the specific topics of these two drawings:

Telly Tony Shetland Pony

That's Telly Savalas, bald, lollypop consuming star of the cop show "Kojak" for those of you who were not watching TV in the 70's... And Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes cereal marketing campaign ("They're Great!!") who is enjoying a disturbing bit of resurgence lately thanks to a supposedly unauthorized series of online videos where Tony checks in with the kids from the commercials 30 years ago who are now disturbed or disturbing adults.

And a pony, because who doesn't like a pony?

Yogi Yeti Plate of Spaghetti:

Unsurprisingly, our kids enjoyed the 2010 Yogi Bear movie. I think we saw it about a year ago. It is one of the many kids' movies, that while I viewed it more than once, I can barely remember anything about it besides the fact that the animation was a bit disturbing. Were it not for that movie, however, I am not sure that the kids would know who Yogi Bear is. I have been somewhat remiss in exposing them to classic Hanna Barbera cartoons.

Unlike Yogi and Boo Boo, Yetis come up frequently in our house. They are a staple of the Scooby Doo franchise and appear often in other the other cryptid-filled stories that our sons love.

And spaghetti.... well, it is rare that our kids encounter a plate of simple carbohydrates that they don't like... As long as it does not have too much of a challenging sauce.

On a more formal note, while I wanted the creatures in this series of drawings to be, well, creatures, and not puddles, piles, or foods, I couldn't pass up the sound of "Spaghetti." There are a lot of good nouns with long "e" sounds on the end like Loogie, Uzi, Baloney, Upholstery, Porta-Potty, Potpourri, Jacuzzi, Twinkie...I could go on for a long time. They are tempting, but maybe hard to illustrate.

I am, however, giving some serious thought to Scottie Scotty Porta-Potty

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