#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 — well, maybe he wor­ships the Ice Man.

For this Amper­Art piece I could­n’t quite remem­ber the lyrics — I just recalled “a corn cob pipe & a but­ton nose & some­thing some­thing some­thing”—so 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 — Jim­my 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 — a 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: 20x30 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: psd​graph​ics​.com (hundreds of free hi-​rez images)
Top hat: cli​partbest​.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 — Bud­dy Bak­er, melody, and lyrics by Xavier “X” Aten­cio, the Dis­ney leg­end — were 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.
Hard-​favour’d tyrant, ugly, mea­gre, lean,
Hate­ful divorce of love,’ — thus chides she Death,—
Grim-​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://​del​lahuff​pho​to​.zen​fo​lio​.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/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​m​b​d​e​z​i​n​e​s​/​s​e​t​s​/​7​2​1​5​7​6​0​7​8​5​7​0​0​8​0​82/


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/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​j​p​w​0​y​Q​p​v​b_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/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​X​S​a​q​SVi – Ms

The kids will enjoy this sin­ga­long video: https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​e​a​v​o​0​8​I​X​duQ (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/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​I​_​4​v​z​q​e​vLg


Production notes:
Original size: 10x15 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://​del​lahuff​pho​to​.zen​fo​lio​.com/  Della’s original photo that made this AmperArt piece possible:
http://​www​.pbase​.com/​d​e​l​l​y​b​e​a​n​/​i​m​a​g​e​/​4​0​9​4​6​116
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://​idiot​pho​tog​ra​ph​er​.word​press​.com/​2​0​1​4​/​0​5​/​2​8​/​t​h​e​-​c​r​y​p​t​-​d​o​o​r​s​-​o​f​-​r​i​c​o​l​e​ta/
Music and lyrics sites visited for reference:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​j​p​w​0​y​Q​p​v​b_c
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​X​S​a​q​SVi – Ms
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​e​a​v​o​0​8​I​X​duQ
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​I​_​4​v​z​q​e​vLg

H u r r y  b a c k …

#65 Black & Blue

65-black-blue


Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

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, navybaby blue nor roy­al blue. They are cold. (Yes, I know, my very favorite col­or—black—is 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 — 152 dif­fer­ent col­ors! — on 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: 20×30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Lettering: Hand-​lettered by Chaz DeSimone
Colors: Cyan, cobalt blue, Crayola Blue Green & black
CREDITS:
Vicks ad: flickr​.com/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​2​8​1​5​3​7​8​3​@​N​08/ “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 pin​ter​est​.com/​p​i​n​/​2​7​4​9​3​0​7​5​2​2​2​5​6​7​2​7​32/ and etsy​.com/​s​h​o​p​/​o​w​l​s​o​n​g​v​i​n​t​age Beautiful collectibles and antiques.