Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Going to Adventureland

August 9, 2011

I’ve always been fascinated by the old Disneyland attraction posters that hang in the tunnels under Main Street Station as you enter Disneyland. Nothing was more exciting as a kid than seeing these great pieces of art beckoning me to ride the Columbia, set sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean, brave the Jungle Cruise, bobsled the Matterhorn, etc.  The images still give me butterflies in the stomach.  Even reproductions of these posters are quite expensive, so I’ve set my mind on a previously-unattempted feat for me.  I’m entering an “Adventureland” of sorts.  I’m going to try to paint my own poster – acrylic on canvas.

Perhaps I’m crazy, but it’s worth a shot.  Just for a teaser and to get me in the zone, I free-handed a copy of the old Jungle Cruise (Jungle River) poster tonight using pencil and Crayon on a piece of off-white construction paper. Check it out and compare with the original below.  Not bad for an accounting major, huh?

Some of the details are missing in mine (the bird on the hippo’s tooth and splashes in the water at the bow of the boat), my scale is off (my boat canopy isn’t positioned quite right), and the small wording at the top is off-kilter, but I did this pretty fast.  Besides, this was just my trial run.  The colors aren’t quite perfect either, but hey, I raided my kids’ crayon stash. I was somewhat limited to colors like “Burnt Sienna”,  “Maize”, “Gray” and “Green”.  I’ll do my best to get the lines and colors dead-on for the final product.

Overall, I am very happy with how this turned out, so this will probably be the first poster I attempt. However, I’m not as confident with paint and brush. I’ll post the results when I’m done.

Wish me luck…



Cut Paper and Stuff

August 7, 2011

This week I’ve been reminded how many kindred spirits there are out there who are obsessed with mid-century American pop culture – the happy, whimsical and colorful images from commercial advertising, entertainment, tiki culture, and Disneyana.  Some other folks just don’t see these images the same way.  To them, mid-century art is just old.  They might easily toss out as trash an old magazine or candy wrapper from the 1950’s, but not me.  For me, it’s home. Maybe it’s a sign of the time of my birth.  Being born in 1970 placed me pretty close to those golden days – the stuff was all around me.  Maybe it’s a southern California thing, where the art and architecture of the 1950’s and 1960’s seemed to take a special foothold.  Maybe it’s a combination of both time and place.  I recorded a song about this called “Katella“, if you’re interested in hearing it.  If not, keep on reading.

Anyway, one particular artist who absolutely gets it is another southern Californian and a Disney designer/artist – Kevin Kidney. If you haven’t seen this talented gentleman’s artwork, go here.  I’ve also added his blog to my favorite blogs on the right hand side of the Lost Transmission blog.

He seems especially drawn (no pun intended) to work in tiki artforms, which is how I first discovered his work.  He has recreated many of the figures and images from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in various forms.  Incidentally, the Tiki Room is my top favorite Disneyland attraction.  A close second is the Haunted Mansion.  I have waffled for years between these two for this place in my heart, and I always come back to the Tiki Room in the end…but I digress.

Mr. Kidney does incredible work in cut paper, and his blog includes links to some other incredible artists and Disney sites.  I asked him a question about his paper art, as my 7-year-old son is currently fascinated with creating paper images of nearly everything.  Kevin was very gracious in his reply and very encouraging to my son, who’s latest creation was a construction paper version of Brainy Smurf (I’d prefer Deputy Dawg, but at least he’s trying).

I hope I’m raising a budding mid-century-inspired artist.  I’ll keep you posted.

Football Facts and Fun by Hod Ray

December 6, 2010

My wife’s 88-year-old grandmother recently passed away.  She was a dear lady and will be missed greatly.  With her passing, a lot of things were left behind for the family to sort through.  She lived in the same house since the mid-1960’s, and the accumulated years of “stuff” was pretty amazing.

One of the items my wife brought home was a book the family picked up somewhere along the way when her dad and uncle were playing football.  Even though I am not much of a sports fanatic, she knew this book was right up my alley.  I am sharing it here on Lost Transmission because it’s a classic piece of mid-century American culture and art, which I know readers of this blog will appreciate.

This book is entitled “Football Facts and Fun”.  It was published in 1949 by a football coach in Palo Alto, CA named Hod Ray.  Hod Ray.  Is that a cool name or what?

Anyhow, this thing is everything you need to know about the game of football filled with humorous 1940’s-styled illustrations by Madilyn and Marilyn Wood.  I have only found a few scant references to this book in a quick Google search, but it did get an awesome write-up in Life Magazine September 19, 1949.  You can check it out here.  Now, let me share some gems from this great piece of Americana.  I think you’ll love this.  I do.

Front Cover

The Block

Penalty: Meeting with the Knee

Penalty: Piling Up

Sensible Fan Attire

In addition to the humor, this book has lots of serious facts, rules and diagrams I’m sure are useful to those who care about football.  As for me, I thoroughly enjoying just looking at the cool illustrations!

Stay tuned.  I made another great find today I plan to share soon for all you vintage Disney nuts out there.  You know who you are.

Pop Art Award of the Week

July 18, 2010

OK, I’m not really doing this every week, but my retro award of the week goes to Sonic drive-ins for the artwork from their latest  promotion, “Even Sweeter After Dark”.

The ice cream cone image taken here is from my paper sack from yesterday’s lunch at Sonic (yes, I scanned my trash).   This little guy makes me happy!  The image is very reminiscent of the logo from the Fosters Freeze chain in Southern California.  It also reminds me a lot of the old drive-in intermission snack bar commercials.  Bravo, Sonic!