I admit it, I missed Winnie and Duck. I don’t have the time to devote to their adventures that I once did, but I was depressed by not allowing myself to escape into their universe of alternative reality. I merely need to ration my time differently. I think it might be best for my mental health to continue doing a WinnieToon from time to time.
I’m in the process of publishing my very first book An Early Work Late in Life. Here is a link to that separate blog: http://anearlyworklateinlife.wordpress.com/ There is also a Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/DannyAllenArt?ref=
The book is due out with advance copies by mid-March of 2013 and with a general release a month or two later (probably May, 2013) but I’ll talk more about that in a later post. My book is entirely unrelated to WinnieToons in spite of there being ducks featured on the cover.
Concurrent to writing a book, I’ve been trying to keep my art client base happy (especially with Christmas gift commissions) while still finding the time to shower. It hasn’t been easy. Nor have I actually showered until very recently. Winnie had a bath for the first time in over a year today, and the house was cleaned for the first time in eighteen months this past weekend.
I’ve been overextended. I’m a painter by training. An artist/painter, not a house-painter, which is more of an honest trade than a creative calling. I paint quickly as artists go. If you’ve ever painted theatrical sets and you didn’t learn how to paint quickly, then you’re not too quick on the uptake. The economy must be improving, because I almost had more commissions than I could handle. What I didn’t have was free time. Forget the money I wasted joining the gym, there was no way I could ever get there.
A contemporary Philadelphia gentleman painted in the “guise” of Casanova as a Christmas gift from his business partners. 20″ x’ 24″ acrylic on canvas artificially aged.
In the month of December I painted several period-style portrait commissions. I painted a panorama of the Grand Canal in Venice, decorated an historic home for Christmas, constructed a light-up paper theater with movable characters in the French style and managed to largely ignore the holidays even while they took place all around me. Mostly I tried to break my addiction to being a political junkie. I’m only half paying attention these days.
Work not withstanding, we’ve all survived the fiscal cliff/curb/bump-in-the-road and smitten the Mayans with their flawed mathematical calendar. Now we’re waiting for the “debt ceiling” and Congress’s very own “take” on flawed mathematics. Still, the economy be damned, I continue to paint everyday as if I were merrily working for tuppence in 1787. I write daily as if all the troubles of this world weren’t really happening. And I fidget like mad if I don’t have enough to keep my mind occupied.
Portrait of a contemporary young man in Regency garb, commissioned by his mother for Christmas. Dudes get dates these days if they can convince young ladies that they’re actually vampires born centuries ago. 12″ x 16″ in acrylic on canvas, artificially aged.
So here I am adding a disjointed post to a blog I intended to close due to a lack of time, but realized that in doing so, WinnieToons was the only sensible outlet in my life that remotely resembled my own definition of personal creative normalcy.
WinnieToons didn’t start out as a political blog, it morphed into one. I used to merely do Photoshoped cartoons of Winnie and Duck cast as Blanch Hudson and Baby Jane, or as Big and Little Edie Beale; when all of the sudden it occurred to me that my country had so completely lost it’s collective mind, that someone had to speak-out. Who better than a duck and a small-game hunting dog to remind our tiny share of the American ear that we’re all are on the verge of a national nervous breakdown. A breakdown that actually started taking shape sometime around the swearing-in of Ronald Regan as our first made for TV president, but gathering critical mass once Baby Bush was given a free hand to destroy the world in his own image.
However, America didn’t start out anywhere near as shit-assed crazy as what we’ve devolved into. The concept of “laugh at the devil, and the devil will fail” has never been lost on me. I’ve always known that laughter has been my personal survival technique. That said, I couldn’t laugh at all through the entire holiday season. I hate the holidays in the best of times, but the events in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School depressed me so profoundly, I couldn’t find humor in anything. Not until I listened to NRA talking head, Wayne Lapierre have an on-air mini-stroke and then later witnessed pro-gun advocate Alex Jones deliver a deranged, mentally naked out of body experience, that I realized Winnie and Duck still have a great deal more work to do. Reelecting Barack Obama wasn’t our only mission. America still has pot smokers serving time in prison while heavily armed lunatics roam the nation free-range treating real living people as if they’re playing computer games like “Mortal Combat” or “Mafia Wars.” And for some unexplainable reason there are nut-jobs out there who believe violent mental illness is protected by our 2nd Amendment, and rush off to Walmart to by extended ammo clips. What I’m trying to say is, there isn’t anything happening today that’s nearly as comical as Donald Trump endorsing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan; but rather, it’s more a case of there still being fools impacting our world and being taken seriously. What those people really need is to be berated for the imbeciles they really are. (Meaning no offense to clinically diagnosed imbeciles).
The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, 12″ x 24″ in acrylic with oil wash on canvas.
I spend everyday in my little 3rd floor studio listening to the TV as if it were a radio, longing for the past. Not even my own past, anyone’s past, just not the present state of affairs we’re living through. Truth to tell, I often wish I was living in the 18th century – however, I know all too well if I were to get that magical dream-come-true, I’d still be among the impoverished and abused. I know my place in the world.
I’d prefer to be sitting on the Grand Canal, sipping Italian wine but that isn’t in my budget according to my credit councilor. The picture above was painted as a gift for one of my team of terrific lawyers. It takes an Iditarod of lawyers to defend me because I keep getting into trouble largely as a result of getting up in the morning and simply leaving the house. Were it not for the dog, I’d never go outside. So I take sanctuary in painting pictures of Venice and other dreamworld activities. That painting is barely dry as of this posting, and it’s already hanging in my lawyer’s home. There is no reason for a painting like that to actually ever dry, as it is, after all, Venice. I live in a fantasy world because reality is not a viable option if the news I’m consuming on air and online is to be believed.
Double-sided LED lighted classical French paper theater with foosball figures of all the dinner guests in drag as later beheaded historical French figures.
Instead I show up at pot luck dinner parties with other friends who are discontented with contemporary reality, and I bring the centerpiece because no one trusts my cooking. I make vats of rice and beans. I’m indestructible, so if I’m out of olive oil, I use linseed oil, although it does catch fire more easily and will reward you with a stomach ache that lands you in the ER. If I’m out of red wine, Japan Drier is much the same color. My friends know better than to eat my food. I’m only ever assigned the task of creating centerpieces. This year’s Christmas theme was 18th century French cooking. For a centerpiece, I made a light-up French paper theater with paper dolls of all the guests, each of whom entered and exited the stage like Foosball figures. Each guest’s likeness was dressed to resemble one of the Kings or Queens of France, gender notwithstanding. All the figures bore banner sashes announcing the dish they’d prepared for the feast. That dinner is always the highlight of my yuletide. And in spite of the 18th century French theme, all the guests refrained from leading one another to the guillotine after the Yule Log was served.
The sweeping staircase leading to the ballroom at Oaks Cloister, where I spent my New Years Eve hoping to get kissed at midnight by someone who wasn’t carrying the flu.
New Years Eve was spent at a lovely home belonging to the only friends I know who’ve got a ballroom and a separate, free-standing Library wing. Curiously enough, I’m not remotely jealous, because that couple are by nature generous, down to earth, and show no latent signs of morphing into Republicans. At midnight, I was kissed by strangers, and thus far have not come down with influenza, although there’s still time.
The New Years Eve bash is a wonderful annual party, where all the guests, regardless of income level, get to feel like extras in an old Merchant Ivory film. The house is magnificent, and was featured on A&E’s America’s Castles. I’m still waiting for someone to return the glass slipper I left behind, but considering all the foot fetishists in attendance, I’ll probably never see that shoe ever again. Living alone, and having no close family living nearby, my Christmas and New Years Eve parties are the only holiday gifts I receive. But I don’t want to get trapped into a volley of exchanging presents anyway. I can’t afford to get caught up in all that.
Still, everyone needs to do something special for themselves during the holiday season. And my gift to myself was to piss off right to life protestors picketing Planned Parenthood. I suppose I should really be ashamed of myself, but I’m not. I do feel badly for my neighbor who was walking down the street with me when I snapped-out, forcing her to witness my moment of temporary insanity – I completely went off my nut. I was walking past the Planned Parenthood offices at 12th and Locust Streets here in Philadelphia, and kicked down one of the anti-abortionist’s tomato puree, dead lasagna sandwich boards set up on the sidewalk.
Portrait of a Moral Majority Right Wing Christian right to life protestor who believes stem cells should have personhood and voting rights, but congenital idiots need to be armed with semiautomatic weapons.
One of the “men” protesting (they’re always men) came thundering after me, and I just happened to have in my possession, a full, steaming bag of dog-shit that Winnie had just pinched out. I threw it at him and got him square in the face. Unfortunately, the bag did not break. I was cuffed and put into the back of a police car. It was a very stimulating experience, I only wish the cops had been more attractive. Donuts can be so damaging to the figure. When I told the police I’d thrown dog shit at the old fool who’s always on the corner protesting, they laughed, unlocked my cuffs and sent me home. So I still don’t have an official police record, but I am recorded as having “participated” in a disturbance. I won’t be required to go to court. I’m supposed to pretend like I feel contrite. Maybe I’ll wait until lent. The officers only detained me as “window dressing.” It turns out the police can’t stand the anti-abortionist protestors any more than I can.
Twelfth Night has passed. We (by which I mean “I”) are as safely far away from the Christmas holidays as we’ll ever be in 2013. Today’s lapse into stream of consciousness has resolved itself. And it’s time to face a new year ending in the numeral thirteen. Good luck everyone. – Dissociated Press, 1/9/2013