#76 Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose & –do you remember the lyrics?

corn cob pipe & button nose

 


#76 Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose
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…& two eyes made out of coal.

Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Kwanzaa!
and¬†for a few dear friends of mine…
Bah Humbug!


Frosty the Snowman

“a corn cob pipe & a button nose & two eyes made out of coal”

I chose this frigid but fun little guy to wish all my AmperArt friends a Happy Holiday Season. I don’t think Frosty has any religious preference‚ÄĒwell, maybe he worships the Ice Man.

For this AmperArt piece I¬†couldn’t quite remember the lyrics‚ÄĒI just recalled¬†“a corn cob pipe & a button nose & something something something”‚ÄĒso I pulled up the animated short that I’ve always heard about but never seen: Frosty the Snowman by Bass/Raskin Productions (1969). I was delighted to hear one of my favorite voices narrating the story‚ÄĒJimmy Durante. (Paul Frees, the voice of Disney’s Haunted Mansion Ghost Host, Ludwig Von Drake, and¬†Boris Badenov of Rocky & Bullwinkle,¬†is featured as Santa Claus himself.)

Here are the full lyrics:

Frosty the Snowman
Written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson
Originally sung by Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys
Released December 14, 1950

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe & a button nose
& two eyes made out of coal
Frosty the snowman is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow but the children
know how he came to life one day
There must have been some magic in that
old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
he began to dance around

Oh
Frosty the snowman
was alive as he could be
& the children say he could laugh
& play just the same as you& me
Thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Look at Frosty go
Thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Over the hills of snow

Frosty the snowman knew
the sun was hot that day
So he said
Let’s run¬†&
we’ll have some fun
now before I melt away
Down to the village
with a broomstick in his hand
Running here & there all
around the square saying
Catch me if you can
He led them down the streets of town
right to the traffic cop
& he only paused a moment when
he heard him holler “Stop!”
For Frosty the snow man
had to hurry on his way
But he waved goodbye saying
Don’t you cry
I’ll be back again some day
thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Look at Frosty go
thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Over the hills of snow

If you want to watch the 1969 animated short, click on Frosty’s hat:

tophat

I wish all of you, my loyal subscribers, visitors, and ampersand fans around the world, a warm and wonderful¬†holiday season…
except for Frosty‚ÄĒa jolly freezing cold one for him & his corn cob pipe & button nose.


 Note on design:

I frequently have the opportunity to¬†apply my formula for “aha!”¬†design, which is¬†luck + talent = damn good design. Take a look at the lyrics in¬†Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose.¬†There is at least one “o” in each line! That gave me the idea to use Frosty’s body for each “o.” Though it appears there might be missing or hidden letters, they’re all there. We (Frosty & I) have just turned every “o” into a snowball.


 

Production notes for Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose:
Original size: 20×30¬†inches
Program: Illustrator
Typographic styling: There are no letters missing or hidden by Frosty’s body. Each “O” is rendered as one of his snowballs.
Font: KB The End Is Broken
Ampersand: the finest wool, of course
Images for Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose:
Snowflake background: psdgraphics.com (hundreds of free hi-rez images)
Top hat: clipartbest.com

#74 Creak & Quake

AmperArt 74 Creak & Quake


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Greetings, mortals.

This morbid installment of my AmperArt series could have been entitled “Crypt Doors & Tombstones” but I chose the just-as-eerie verbs over the nouns¬†“Creak & Quake.” These words are all from the first stanza of Grim Grinning Ghosts, the theme song permeating¬†Walt¬†Disney’s Haunted Mansion.¬†

Truth be told, I’m still only 99% sure that the song starts with¬†

“When the crypt doors creak & the tombstones quake…” or
“When the crypt goes creak & the tombstones quake…”

Why? Because after visiting¬†several websites to make sure I got the lyrics right (even though I’ve heard the song hundreds of times, it’s not embedded into the skull¬†like “It’s a Small World”) there were discrepancies. The first site which sounded like an official lyrics site is what threw me off: It read “…goes creak” which was surprising, as I’ve always heard, so I thought, “When the crypt doors creak…” The original songwriters‚ÄĒBuddy Baker, melody, and lyrics by¬†Xavier “X” Atencio, the Disney legend‚ÄĒwere listed, along with dates and other information. ¬†So I figured that was what they wrote, and everyone just adapted what they thought they heard.¬†

Until I visited a few more sites. Everywhere else the song goes “…doors creak…” which sounds so much better; is part of the Disney fans’ venacular; and what I chose to use in my piece of artwork. (It’s probably the correct choice.)

William Shakespeare & his¬†poem, Venus & Adonis, influenced¬†the title of the Haunted Mansion’s theme song:

Look, how the world’s poor people are amaz’d
At apparitions, signs, and prodigies,
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gaz’d,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies;

So she at these sad sighs draws up her breath,
And, sighing it again, exclaims on Death.
‚ÄėHard-favour’d tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love,’‚ÄĒthus chides she Death,‚ÄĒ
‚ÄėGrim-grinning ghost, earth’s worm, what dost thou mean
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath,

Who when he liv’d, his breath and beauty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?

The tombstone and graveyard in this piece really do¬†exist: The Granary Cemetery, Boston, Mass. Well, almost. The top and borders of the tombstone are authentic¬†(except for the iconic “D” under the skull); I elongated the entire monument and replaced the somber inscription with silly lyrics. So much for reverence. I wish to give credit to an incredible photographer, whose image I came across on the Internet and used as reference for this piece. Her name is Della Huff. Her photography is spectacular. See it at¬†http://dellahuffphoto.zenfolio.com/ I had no idea such morbid tombstones actually existed. The graveyard, though heavily distorted by my twisted mind, is among many wonderful photographs I found at¬†https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbdezines/sets/72157607857008082/


listen up!

As much as I detest innacuracy (why can’t others do a little research like I did, even though it took longer than the artwork?) it led me to several interesting¬†haunts:

I discovered alternate, highly entertaining versions of Grim Grinning Ghosts; a great video for the kids (and the grown-up kids); and of course it was hauntingly wonderful to hear the original soundtrack again (where I could swear they enunciate¬†“doors”). Here are those sites:

Turn off the lights and turn up the sound:

Entertaining a capella from VoicePlay:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpw0yQpvb_c

Here’s the original soundtrack followed by a cool alternate version (which seems to have been produced by James Presley) and some of the beginning and ending narrative:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSaqSVi–Ms

The kids will enjoy this singalong video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eavo08IXduQ (I like it very much myself.)

And something really entertaining — spooky at first with organ and choir, then wildly zany with unique voices, and all sorts of other sounds…produced by James Presley:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI_4vzqevLg


Production notes:
Original size: 10×15 inches
Program: Photoshop, Illustrator (for the dingbats)
Fonts: Willow, Eccentric, Harrington
Ampersand: Harrington (line shadow added)
Images:
Tombstone & graveyard  reference: Granary Cemetery, Boston, Massachussetts, USA

Della Huff is the photographer whose tombstone photo was used for reference and sampling¬†by the artist. See her spectacular fine art photography at¬†http://dellahuffphoto.zenfolio.com/ ¬†Della’s¬†original photo that made this AmperArt piece possible:
http://www.pbase.com/dellybean/image/40946116
Graveyard background: mbdezines¬†Image modified so extensively it does not resemble the original photograph…but the background would ¬†not be “authentic” without this photographer’s contribution.
Artist discovered that crypts do have doors at:
http://idiotphotographer.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/the-crypt-doors-of-ricoleta/
Music and lyrics sites visited for reference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpw0yQpvb_c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSaqSVi–Ms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eavo08IXduQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI_4vzqevLg

H u r r y  b a c k . . .

#65 Black & Blue

65-black-blue


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This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
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My favorite colors are black &¬†“charlie blue.”

Black is actually my very favorite color &¬†yes, it is a color. (See “chaz sez” below.) “Charlie blue,” as my friends know it, is anything between Crayola Blue Green to cerulean to turquoise to cyan (one of the four printing ink colors). AmperArt #65, Black & Blue, features CBG as I call it, cyan, and one other blue which I’ll get to later. All my favorite blues are somewhere in-between CBG and cyan.

I am not fond of sky blue, navy,¬†baby blue¬†nor royal blue. They are cold. (Yes, I know, my very favorite color‚ÄĒblack‚ÄĒis definitely freezing. But we’re talking blue here.)

There is a very deep blue that does tingle my color bone. That’s cobalt blue. My first memory of that color is my father’s blue cuff links. Also the knob on his steering wheel to help turn¬†the tires¬†before power steering (that accessory became¬†illegal because when the steering wheel snapped back the knob could remove a finger or two). &¬†the cool red¬†tail lights with the blue¬†dot in the middle, which created a magical color effect. ¬†They’re popular again today but I remember the originals on my dad’s 1950-something automobile. Probably no other recollection of cobalt blue is stronger for me than the bottle of Vicks VapoRub. That stuff felt¬†ice-cold as the color of the bottle it was packaged in. I’m also partial to cobalt blue because it is the favorite color of my mother and my brother Rob. So that is the other blue¬†in this AmperArt piece.

Vicks-jar-with-lid-circle

Just looking at this Vicks jar opens my sinuses! Other¬†products¬†in¬†cobalt blue bottles were Noxzema, Phillips Milk of Magnesia (sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?), Bromo Seltzer, Nivea and Blue Coral.

In fairness to navy, royal blue, sky blue & all those that are not my favorites, combine them with various other colors & they create outstanding color schemes. Of course, the same could be said for poop brown.

I am releasing #65 Black & Blue during the playful days of¬†summer, because that’s when I recall we’d get the most bruised up falling off our bikes, skateboards, or just playing in the backyard. I did, anyway. I was a real klutz. Still can’t ride a skateboard.


listen up! Black is a color! Not the absence of color, nor the combination of all colors. It is color. So is white. So why do people say it’s all the colors or no¬†color? Because they don’t know the definition of color. “Color” means the description of the hue, value &¬†tone.¬†Pure yellow is a color that has a hue somewhere between orange¬†& green on the color wheel, a very light value (high-key, or very bright compared to very dark such as navy blue), &¬†minimal¬†tone (grayishness; mauve &¬†sage green have medium¬†tone).

The color black is defined by no hue (red, yellow, blue, etc.), the darkest value, & zero tone. White is defined by no hue, the lightest value, & zero tone. So you see, black & white have no hue & no tone, but they are both colors.

If you want to have some fun with all the other colors, check out the Crayola website, especially the¬†history¬†&¬†the Crayola Experience where kids (including big kids) get to play &¬†create among all things Crayola, & see how they are made. If you can’t make it to the factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, watch this video: How Crayolas Are Made.

I love Crayolas. (I won’t use any other brand; the colors aren’t as pure, they’re waxy & they just aren’t Crayola.) I remember when the box of 64 premiered, with the awesome¬†Built-In Sharpener. I probably have the few stubs that are left of my original set somewhere, but today I have The Ultimate Crayola Collection‚ÄĒ152 different colors!‚ÄĒon my desk. I use them frequently, &¬†always to sign important legal documents. For that task, of course, it’s Crayola Blue Green.


PRODUCTION NOTES:
Original size: 20√ó30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Lettering: Hand-lettered by Chaz DeSimone
Colors: Cyan, cobalt blue, Crayola Blue Green & black
CREDITS:
Vicks ad: flickr.com/photos/28153783@N08/ “SaltyCotton” has nearly 2000 photos of vintage ads in pristine condition. An ad designer’s or collector’s eye candy overload!
Vicks jar: Joe Corr on pinterest.com/pin/274930752225672732/ and etsy.com/shop/owlsongvintage Beautiful collectibles and antiques.