Sunday, June 17, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #26

This is image #26 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
I assume this is the cover to an issue of Country Gentleman Magazine from the late 30’s or early 40’s. I can’t identify the artist. The signature in the lower right corner is unreadable. Any thoughts?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Spacenstein, Frankenstein, San Diego Comic Fest, C.A.P.S

This drawing was done Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the monthly meeting of C.A.P.S. (Comic Artist Professional Society) in Burbank, California. I call this character "Spacenstein". 


He was inspired by the meeting's topic of discussion, i.e., how CAPS could take better advantage of Conventions and a how Comic Book Convention organizers could make good use of CAPS. The evening's featured guest. Matt Dunford, organizer of the San Diego Comic Fest, an alternative to Comic Con International, which, in recent years, has come to treat Comic Books and their creators like poor cousins. Matt, when discussing how artists should bring ideas for interesting Panel to conventions, bragged about how the most recent SDCF was practically alone in the field for featuring celebrations attendant to the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein.

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #25

This is image #25 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
I assume this is the cover to an issue of Country Gentleman Magazine from the late 30’s or early 40’s. I can’t identify the artist. This is a very striking image, and I’d love to know the name of the artist.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #24

This is image #24 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
I assume this is the cover to an issue of Country Gentleman Magazine from the late 30’s or early 40’s. I can’t identify the artist. The painting is really cool, though.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #23, Forrest C. Crooks

This is image #23 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
This painting is signed by Forrest C. Crooks, about whom askart.com reports : “(1983-1982); … born in Goshen, Indiana in 1893.  His family moved to southern Michigan when he was 6 months old, and he lived in Michigan until he graduated from High School.  
“Forrest Crooks moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a career in art.  At the art school of Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon), he earned his way with commercial art assignments and completed the four-year course in three years - in 1917.  He then moved to New York City to seek work as a magazine illustrator.  Over the years he illustrated stories for such eminent authors as Irving S. Cobb, Rudyard Kipling and Sir Winston Churchill.  His illustrations appeared in Cosmopolitan, Redbook… (He is) known for: stained glass design, weaving, painting, murals”

This painting is similar in subject matter to yesterday’s post, yet the difference is between night and day in my eyes. I can definitely see this artist designing stained glass. The colors are vibrant-yet-subtle, with a tendency towards flatness and abstraction. I can also see that this artist was in to textiles, the adoration of which seems to be the subject of this piece.

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #22

This is image #22 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
I can’t identify this artist; The lower-left signature is undecipherable. This painting, more than any I’ve posted so far, smacks of a certain Victorianism; it could have been painted (though not reproduced in it’s then-present form) as early as 1870. It’s a matter of taste that I find this period somewhat repellant. 

This may seem as an unfair critique; why should an illustration from the period of the late 20’s/ early 30’s NOT be a product of it’s time? I agree; it’s surprising to me that I find so many of the illustrations that I’ve posted seem fresh and contemporary. (“Contemporary” isn’t the right word; they were probably nostalgic even in the time of their genesis.) I find myself drawn to them and the world they depict, whereas, with this one, I find myself wanting to move on, look away.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #20/21, Walter Emerson Baum

These are images #20 & 21 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
Today’s images are by Walter Emerson Baum; Grandma Minnie clipped more images by this artist than any other.  
Wikipedia sez: “… was an American artist and educator... In addition to being a prolific painter, Baum… found(ed) the Baum School of art and the Allentown Art Museum.

“Born in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, Baum was one of the few Pennsylvania impressionist artists actually born in Bucks County”. Interesting. So, apparently, Baum was part of a group called “Pennsylvania Impressionists”. On the basis of these two works, I’d call him more a  pre-Cubist; these paintings remind me of Paul Cezanne's, without the flattening of perspective.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #19, Sarra

This is image #19 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm
I hardly know what to make of this image. It seems to be a photograph of a well known 40’s character actor (who’s name I do not know), yet it is signed in the lower left by “Sarra”, about whom I can find no information on the web. I assume it’s a cover to “Country Gentleman”, but can’t find it on Ebay. Any body have information? Ideas?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #18, John de Martelly

This is image #18 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
No visible signature, but obviously the work of John de Martelly, BFF to Thomas Hart Benton.

I confess, I find great pleasure in this man’s work. There’s something serene, eternal and sculptural about depictions of farm life, as though he were revealing a mythic truth about human nature.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #17, Matt Clark

This is image #17 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
Here we see, once again, the skillful illustration stylings of Matt Clark (Farmer’s Wife #3), presumably for the cover of Country Gentleman Magazine..

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #16

This is image #16 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
I have no information as to the identify of the artist of this painting. Any leads would be appreciated. Skillful use of light, color. I would judge it to be watercolor with some opaque paint worked into it.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #15, William Meade Prince

This is image #15 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
This painting is the cover image to Country Gentleman Magazine, August, 1936. It is by William Meade Prince. Walter Spearman, on the website ncpedia.org writes, “9 July 1893-10 Nov. 1951.
William Meade Prince, illustrator and author, was born in Roanoke, Va., the son of Robert Watson and Alice Wales Meade Prince. He was descended from Sir Richard Everard, the last governor of North Carolina under the Lords Proprietors, and from Bishop William E. Meade of Virginia.
At age five Prince moved to Chapel Hill and lived with his parents and his grandfather, Dr. William Meade, the Episcopal rector, until he was fifteen. After residing for a time in Birmingham, Ala., where he worked as a railway clerk, he moved to New York and studied at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts (1913–15). There he won an illustration contest sponsored by Collier's magazine. His first illustration was done in black and white for a story by Harold Titus in Red Book in 1919. Prince illustrated the African American stories of Roark Bradford and stories for many magazines (Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, Red Book, Cosmopolitan ) by such authors as James Street, Phillip Wylie, Kathleen Norris, William Saroyan, and Arnold Bennett. He also did numerous advertising illustrations, including a series for Dodge cars.
In the 1930s Mr. and Mrs. Prince moved from their home in Westport, Conn., to Chapel Hill, and he became a lecturer in The University of North Carolina's Art Department, serving as head of the department during World War II. He made drawings and posters for the Committee to Defend America, the American Field Hospital Corps, and the USO, painting portraits of wounded soldiers and sailors. In 1942 Prince created the Sunday comic strip "Aladdin, Jr." He acted in several plays of the Carolina Playmakers with his wife Lillian and played Ananias Dare in Paul Green's outdoor drama, The Lost Colony.
In 1950 he wrote and illustrated a popular book about his experiences growing up in Chapel Hill, entitled The Southern Part of Heaven. A series of wood carvings of a circus parade by Carl Boettcher, based on his illustrations in the book, was installed at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill for a time, but in 1992 the carvings were moved to the new George Watts Hill Alumni Center. His series of portraits of university presidents and professors is also owned by the university.
In November 1951 Prince shot himself in the studio of his home in Chapel Hill. He was survived by his wife, Lillian Hughes, of Birmingham, Ala., whom he married on 24 Nov. 1915 and who died in New York in 1962. He was buried in the Chapel Hill Cemetery.
Prince was a member of the Chapel Hill Town Planning Board, State Planning Board, Building and Grounds Committee of The University of North Carolina, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Southern States Art League, North Carolina Artists Association, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of Illustrators, Artists and Writers Association, Players Club of New York, and Chapel Hill Country Club. In politics, he was a Democrat.”

www.comicskingdom.com reproduces several examples of Prince’s short-lived “Aladdin Jr. comic strip which ran between January 4 1942 to November 21, 1943.http://comicskingdom.com/blog/2016/05/05/ask-the-archivist-aladdin-jr

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #14, Phil Dike (?)

This is image #14 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.

I speculate that this is the same artist who executed the watercolor posted in Farmer’s Wife #13. I’d judge that this work has some gouache (opaque watercolor) involved as well. Phil Dike? Probably not, but whatever signature there might have been was unceremoniously cropped into oblivion 70+ years ago.

Although I am frustrated by the crudity of preservation involved in my late grandmother’s scrapbooking enterprise, it would be churlish of my to complain; at least SOMETHING was saved, diligently, over a period of years and changing (and possibly challenging) circumstances. Plus, I can only imagine the conditions  under which she worked. I assume she didn’t work with an Exacto knife and a straight edge. Did she cut everything out with scissors? Were they the same scissors she used in the sewing and mending? It was the Depression, after all, and new clothes were an infrequent luxury. Mother has reported that the family never went without, but there weren’t a lot of frills. I’m surprised they splurged on a multi-year subscription to Country Gentleman Magazine.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #13, Phil Dike (?)

This is image #13 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
I can’t find a signature and the bottom gutter doesn’t have any type on it. I venture to guess that this painting is by Phil Dike (it’s a watercolor, after all), though I could easily be wrong. The example posted in “Farmer’s Wife #11) is much freer, more bravura. This piece is tightly controlled, skillful though it may be.
Actually, upon reflection, I conclude that it looks nothing like the Dike painting, is by a completely different artist, and am embarrassed that I briefly thought they were by the same hand.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #12, John de Martelly

This is image #12 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
The artist is named on the orange bottom-gutter. John de Martelly. Was he doing Thomas Hart Benton, or the other way around? There are differences: de Martelly is more solid, architectural. Benton is more fluid, distorted, having the feel of an El Greco painting. Also Benton dealt frankly with heterosexual sex (as frankly as one could in those days). The few examples of de Martelly I’ve seen have scarcely a whiff of sexuality to them. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #11, Phil Dike

This is image #11 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
This stunning watercolor was by Phil Dike, painted for the cover of Country Gentleman Magazine. Quoting “California Watercolors 1850-1970” (as quoted on californiawatercolor.com) “Phil Dike, N.A. (1906-1990) Born: Redlands, CA; Studied: Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles), Art Students League (New York), American Academy (France); Member: National Academy of Design, American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society, Philadelphia Water Color Club. Phil Dike was born and raised in Southern California. In 1923, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Chouinard Art Institute and received instruction from F. Tolles Chamberlin and Clarence Hinkle. He continued his art education in New York City studying with George Bridgman, Frank Vincent DuMond and George Luks. After returning to California in 1929, he began teaching at the Chouinard Art Institute and was one of the first artists to develop what became known as the California Style of watercolor painting.
In the early 1930s, he continued teaching and painting and took further studies in Paris. His watercolors were being exhibited in museum shows throughout America and he was receiving wide acclaim and numerous awards. By 1935, he was also working at the Walt Disney Studios where he taught art and color theory while working on animated films. Among the many classic films he worked on were Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and The Three Caballeros. In 1938, Dike served as president of the California Water Color Society.
After World War II, Dike left Disney and went back into teaching and painting full time. He and Rex Brandt formed the highly successful Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting and during regular school months, he taught at the Chouinard Art Institute. It was at this time that Dikes watercolors became more modern looking. He began using calligraphy in very creative ways and incorporating geometric abstractionist ideas into his work.
Through the 1950s and 1960s, he was a Professor of Art at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School. He was an inspiration to many well-known artists who came out of these schools, and was honored with the title of Professor Emeritus when he retired. In addition to living in Claremont and painting at Balboa Bay, Dike also built a second home in Cambria on the central California coast. Harbors, driftwood, figures on the beach and dramatic rock formations all became subjects for his many abstract watercolors of this era. Dike is remembered as a thoughtful, caring teacher and is one of the main innovators in the development of the watercolor painting movement in California.”

Cool! He’s a Disney guy! Worked on some of my favorite animated movies!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #10, John de Martelly

This is image #10 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather, Charlie Holsinger, were saving to buy a farm.
The signature/credit on this illustration has been cropped, but it seems to be in the style of credited works I will post this coming week. They are by John de Martelly (1903-1979). 
Wikipedia sez: “John de Marelly was born in Philedalphiz and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in Florence, Italy, as well as the Royal College of Art in London. In the (30’s and 40’s) he taught printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute to the same students who studied painting with Thomas Hart Benton. De Martelly became a close friend of Benton, and was influenced by his Regionalist style. When Benton was fired from the Art Institute, the Board of Governors offered de Martelly Benton’s job as head of the Painting Department. De Martelly was furious and quit. De Martelly’s lithographs, sold through the Associated American Galleries in New York in the (30’s and 40’s), captured the essence of the rural American landscape.”

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #9

This is image #9 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
This illustration appears to be from an early 40’s issue of “Country Gentleman Magazine”.
Facebook acquaintance, David Clemons, identified the artist as Amos Sewell. On the website pulpartists.com, David Saunders writes, “Amos F. Sewell was born June 7, 1901 in Oakland California. …he sold his first drawings to Street & Smith (in between 1921 and 1929). In 1937 he began together assignments from slick magazines such as Country Gentleman and later for The Saturday Evening Post. (He) died…. at the age of 82 on October 30, 1983.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife # 8, Jack Welch

This is image #8 of my on-going series sharing the pages of the scrap book of Minnie Holsinger, which she collected in the 30s and 40s while she and my Grandfather Charlie Holsinger were saving to buy a farm.
This illustration appears to be from an early 40’s issue of “Country Gentleman Magazine”. The barely legible signature in the low right could be by Jack Welch, an U.S.A. illustrator who was active during this period. All it says about him in Wikipedia is “Jack Welch (1905 in Cleburne, Texas- 1985) was an American Illustrator known for his drawings and gouache paintings of droll family activities and he is cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, Farmer's Wife #7

This is image #7 of my on-going series sharing the pages of my late maternal grandmother’s scrap book which she collected in the 30s and 40s.
This work has no signature, and I cannot identify the artist.  I assume it’s clipped from a cover of “Country Gentleman Magazine” around 1937 but can’s find anything about it on-line.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #6, Diana Thorne

This is image #6 of my on-going series sharing the pages of my late maternal grandmother’s scrap book which she collected in the 30s and 40s.
“The dog possesses an ebullience which is a sheer delight.”

The preceding is a quote by Diane Thorne, artist of today’s image. Quoting from her website, dianathorne.com:
“Diane Thorne was born Ann Woursell on 10-07-1895, in Odessa, Russia. She was eventually to become one of America’s most recognized canine artists.
“Thorne began her formal art studies at the Imperial Art Academy in Munich and Charlottenburg College in Berlin. WW 1 began two years later and Thorne and her family were detained by the German government. They managed to escape to England, where Thorne was said to have supported herself as a reporter, Librarian, writer, bicycle shop owner, and typewriter repair person. At this time she began her experiments in both illustration and etching and was said to have studied with artist William Strang. On 09-27-1920, Thorne and several of her family members arrived in the USA. Her first published etching, “Rollin’ Home” was well received in 1926. From this point on the became an established artist. 
“In her private life she was known as Mrs. Arthur North…The pseudonym “Thorne” is an anagram of the name “North”. There is evidence that Arthur North is an alias of artist Carton Moore-Park (1877-1956). This ru se allowed Thorne and Moore-Park to present themselves as a married couple, even though Moore-Park was already married.
“The author-illustrator of more than 40 books and illustrator of more than 50, Thorne’s main reason for success was a total dedication to her drawing and a deep lover for her subject matter. Very much in demand as an animal portrait painter, Thorne illustrated some of the most famous dogs in America, including Franklin E. Roosevelt’s Scotty “Fala”, and Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s “Igloo”, the terrier who accompanied him on his famous Antarcttic Expedition.
“Diana Thorne was most active between the 1920’s and 1940’s. Sadly, she was diagnosed as mentally ill and committed to the New York City’s Belleville Hospital in September 1962. Thorne died in July 1963”
This is a somewhat expurgated version of the original article, which can be read in its entirety at dianathorne.com.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #5, Hi Hintermeister

This is image #5 of my on-going series sharing the pages of my late maternal grandmother’s scrap book which she collected in the 30s and 40s. The cover is signed in the lower left by Hi Hintermeister.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Minnie Holsinger, The Farmer's Wife #4, Paul Sample

This is image #4 of my on-going series sharing the pages of my late maternal grandmother’s scrap book which she collected in the 30s and 40s. The signature and blurb in the lower gutter says “Painted by Paul Sample for the Country Gentleman Collection of Modern American Painters”

This article is quoted from Wikipedia

“Paul Starrett Sample (09/14/1896 - 02/26/1974) was an American Artist who portrayed life in New England in the middle 20th Century in a style containing elements of Social Realism and Regionalism.

“Sample was born in Louisville, Kentucky. After moving around the country with his family on several occasions, he attended Dartmouth College… where he studied architecture, graduating in 1921. While visiting his brother, Donald, at a sanatorium in Saranac Lake, New York, Sample contracted tuberculosis. He stayed for treatment… in Saranac Lake for four years. There he met SylviaHowland, whom he married in 1928.

“At Saranac Lake, Sample studied drawing and painting under Jonas Lie. He then studied at at the Otis Arto Institute in Los Angeles, California. There his work reflected social issues connected with the Great Depression with to noted paintings in 1931. In 1926, Sample joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in the school of architecture, where he remained until 1938. In (that year) he returned to New Hampshire to become the artist in residence at Dartmouth college, a position he held until 1962. In addition to his social and regional paintings, Sample produced artwork for various magazines during World War 2.

“Sample did the cover art for Carl Sandburg’s 1948 novel, “Remembrance Rock”.
In 1941 he was inducted into the National Academy.”


I really like the painting’s use of white and negative space in the foreground and the manner in which the landscape is dimmed by shadow in the background. I like the touch of the barn in the middle ground having no snow on its roof, presumably because it was metal and uninsulated. Also, it breaks up the field of white more than a snow covered roof would have. It would be interesting to know how much of this composition was drawn from life and what was created to serve the needs of the work.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Minne Holsinger, Farmer's Wife 3, Matt Clark

This is image #2 of my on-going series sharing the pages of my late maternal grandmother’s scrap book which she collected in the 30s and 40s.
I don’t know this artist. I can’t make out his signature; “Matt Charsic(?) Charsiac? What’s the word, fellow illustration buffs? David Clemons a fellow Facebook Illustration Fan, gave me the illustrator's name, "Matt Clark". 
societyillustrators.org gives me further information:
"Benton and Matt Clark were born and raised in Coshocton, Ohio, into a family that was centered around horses. Their father was a harness maker by profession and an expert horseman. They developed an instinctive sense of equine anatomy and action, which was later to play a key role in both of their careers.
Benton studied at the School of the National Academy of Art and also at the Art Institute of Chicago. He then worked in the famed advertising art studio of Stevens, Sundblom. By 1925 he had begun to do work for Liberty Magazine. He also worked at MGM Studios’ art department in California. Then he returned East and developed his freelance career as an illustrator of the Old West. His work regularly appeared in Cosmopolitan, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping and The Saturday Evening Post.
Matt also attended the National Academy School. By 1925 he sold his first illustration to College Humor. Much of his work was rendered in dry-brush, a popular medium at that time. He soon adapted the addition of a transparent wash over the dry-brush drawing, which reproduced beautifully in half-tone. The same approach could be used in full color from a palette of dyes or watercolor.
Because their work was so similar, both in conception and subject matter, the brothers sometimes found themselves in competition with one another. Art editors tended to use one or the other, not both, in the same magazine issue.
Both artists tended to take a long view in their picture concepts. Not reliant on close-ups or facial expression to express the emotions of the story characters, they used the attitudes or the actions of whole figures to describe their relationships. That also included the settings - letting the landscape play its role. Aside from horses, they incorporated many animals in their illustrations, from yaks to tigers.
For several years the brothers shared a studio in Greenwich Village, drawing many of the same models and critiquing each other’s work. When asked who their favorite artist was, each named the other.
Both won their spurs as major players in the romantic era of the ’30s and ’40s when magazines provided escapist fiction for millions. They enticed browsers to become readers and vicarious participants in the stories through their dramatic pictures of adventures around the world, from the Far East to the Old West.
The Clarks had long, successful careers and were published in almost all the major periodicals. Benton finished his career as the cover artist for Blue Book and Matt was a regular contributor to American Weekly until his retirement.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Minne Holsinger, Farmer's Wife 2, Hy Hintermeister

This is image #2 of my on-going series sharing the pages of my late maternal grandmother’s scrap book which she collected in the 30s and 40s.
Today’s illustration is by John Henry “Hy” Hintermeister (1869-1945). To quote the biography on askart.com, “… was born inn 1869 in Witherthur, Switzerland. After studying art at the University of Zurich, John turned down a teaching position in favor of immigrating to the United States, where he found work as a courtroom artist for a local New York paper. 
“His successful courtroom works soon shifted focus to illustration and magazine cover art. He worked with several calendar art companies...
From the 1890s-1940s John, along with his son, Henry, worked together producing over 1,050 illustrations that were reproduced as prints and as jigsaw puzzles.  Both artists used identical signatures making distinction of their work nearly impossible.  

Both Hintermeister's works display a sense of humor, whether depicting setter pups or friends' fishing antics.  They were a prolific and well-respected team.”

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Farmer's Wife, Minnie Holsinger, Ralph Pallen Coleman

My maternal grandparents, Charles and Minnie Holsinger, lived in Kansas City, Kansas. Charles worked as an ice-delivery man, saving his money so that the family could buy a farm. He made the final payment in 1947 and moved the family to out their new home, near the Oklahoma border.
Minnie kept scrap books durning the 1930’s and 40’s, clip from magazines of the period. They bespeak a nostalgic longing for country life; I wonder how the actual experience measured up to her dreams. I never spoke to her about it. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, I only saw her a handful of times when she was alive.

Some of the material she saved is kitschy to my jaded, cynical eyes, but some of it is quite beautiful. I am always struck by the level of craft that was commonplace, taken for granted in illustration and cartooning in the early half of the 20th century. This painting is a case in point. It is signed by Ralph Palley Coleman. He worked extensively for Saturday Evening Post, Libery, Needlepoint, Motor Age and other magazines in the 1920s to the 1940s.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Birthday Card From The ALF Crew, 1987

This is a Birthday Jam Card I received in 1987 to commemorate my birthday. I’m posting not only the overall card but cropping and cleaning each artist’s individual drawing for readability sake. Also, some fool spilled coffee on it at some point, so there’s some slight damage in that regard.
Artists I can identify are Kevin Altieri, Dan Riba, Al Zegler, Steve Swaja, John Calmette, Richie Chavez, Dan Quantstrum, Gabi Payne and Alex Stevens. I don’t Moe's last name.

ALF and ALFTails were really good series, and y’all should check them out.  It was one of the 10 best written series I’ve worked on in my 30+ year career. Up to this point I accepted the reality that I would have to ignore the staging directions in scripts. Frequently, on ALF, I could use them exactly as-written; I felt almost guilty, like I wasn’t doing my job.

 Al Zegler was part of the D.I.C. quality unit for 3 years until it was dissolved in 1989, as D.I.C. surrendered whatever pretensions it had to producing quality animation. He later went on W.B. to board on “Tazmania”  Season 1, at the same time as most of the rest of the D.I.C. quality unit was starting on  “Batman” Season 1. I lost track of him after that. Perhaps he felt more comfortable drawing comedy that action-adventure, though he was equally skilled at both, in my opinion. His comedic clarity of posing would have made his Bat-boards something to see. Oh well…
Alex… Who? Could it have been Alex Stevens? I don’t remember knowing him that far back, though he must have been around. I recall Bruce Timm (before his success on Batman) complaining about the then-prevalent tendency in animation to “draw every shoe-lace”. Alex Stevens was exemplary of that since that was his precise critique of Bruce’s character designs on a project Alex was art directing. (? I could be wrong about all of this; don’t quote me.) His IMBd page says he designed BGs on the series, so it must have been him.
 Dan Quantstrum designed backgrounds, or was it props? He came from an illustration career, having work appear regularly in “Rolling Stone Magazine” among other places. He later went on to art direct at Rhythm and Hues. I haven’t seen him since 1997 when I took my Art Center storyboard class to Rhythm and Hues on a field trip.
 Dan Riba and I were hired simultaneously for our first jobs-out-of-art-school in 1983, at Ruby-Spears, on the action-adventure storyboard crew. John Dorman ran the unit (he storyboarded the “Tarna” sequence in the “Heavy Metal” feature, later went on to helm the “Black Water” series for Hanna-Barbara in the early 90’s.) 
On Dan and my first day at work, John gave us a intro-pep-talk that boiled down to: “Take the script, cut it apart and tape it down to the storyboard paper (including the staging directions); Long Shot, Medium Shot, Close-up; don’t jump cut, don’t cut between set-ups that are too similar because the layout crew will combine, keep the camera low because the main characters are children and dogs. Oh, and you know what a Pan and  a Truck is, right?” 
“Right, Boss”. 
As soon as he left, I turned to Dan and asked, “What’s a Pan, whats a Truck?”
Dan answered, “A pan is back and forth, a truck is in and out”. 
“Right. Got it”.
Dan was somewhat of a mentor to me in my not-quite two months at Ruby-Spears (before John Dorman fired me). He knew more about film and cartooning than I (which was just about ZERO) and was extremely generous in passing on his knowledge and enthusiasm to my hungry mind (since I received no further training from Mr. Dorman).
Dan’s drawing is a reference to my having joined the ALF crew late because I had spent the first part of the season boarding on Ralph Bakshi’s “Mighty Mouse” Season 1.
 Gaby/Gabby/Gabi (nee’ Gary) Payne, character designer, animator. At this point, Gabi was 2 years into her public transition from Male to Female. I’ll be forever grateful to her; she gave me incredible cover as a gay man trying to come out. Excellent artist also.
 John Calmette; background painter. He took Dan Q and Richie Chavez’s baroque b.g. designs and painted them like Edward Hopper-meets-James Wyeth. Beautiful, creamy, atmospheric, moody, lending real class to our efforts.
 Kevin Altieri has directed a number of projects I’ve worked on over the years. This caricature of me as the Stay Puft Man is a references to the previous year we (and much of the ALF crew) spent working on The Real Ghostbusters Season 1.
 Moe (? don’t remember his last name, except that it was Italian.) He was one of two or three artists I had to keep busy cleaning my storyboard roughs. His drawing (and Al Z’s) make reference to them celebrating my birthday late that year. I guess. 
Moe later went on to Disney Feature, I vaguely recall. 
 Paul Wee went on to “The Simpsons”, where he’s been for at least 20 years. I run into him occassionally at the House of Secrets (the industry’s Comic Book Store of Choice, in Burbank, California). As  you can see, he has a Neal Adams feel to his artwork. Between Paul, Moe and another guy who didn’t sign my card, I had really great clean-ups on my boards for 1987.
Richie Chavez, background designer. His drawing references our shared history on “Rainbow Brite”. IMBd says we collaborated  on “Rainbow Brite”, “The Real Ghostbusters”, “ALF”, “ALFTails”, “C.O.P.S.”, “Nick’s Thanksgiving Fest”, “Batman: The Animated Series”, “Gen-13” with Richie designing back grounds. In the past 20 years he’s worked in features for Disney and Dreamworks.
Stephen Dale Swaja (12/31/38 - 01/16/18) was the old man on the unit (most of us were in our 20’s). Wikipedia says, “Steve Swaja is an American dragster designer in the 1960’s. Swaja was responsible for both Tony Nancy wedge cars of 1963, “TV Tommy” Ivo’s Videoliner in 1965, and another of others.” IMBd lists his tv animation credits as “Lazer Tag Academy”, “Centurions”, “Chuck Norris: Karate Commando”, “Maxie’s World”, “ALFTails”, “Starcom: The U.S. Space Force”, “G.I. Joe”, “James Bond Jr”, and “RoboCop: Alpha Commando”.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sunset Junction Jiffy Lube

I sketched this yesterday while waiting for my car to be serviced at the Sunset Junction, Los Angeles, California, USA Jiffy Lube. I was struck by this vista as I pulled my car into the service queue, even snapped a photo with my smart phone. After dropping off the car, I walked around the neighborhood, did some errands, and still had time to kill upon my return. I’m exploring strategies for drawing urban landscapes that’s fun and expressive, not painful (all those god-damned windows and square buildings… br-r-r-r..).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Louis Wolheim

 Everybody, I want to introduce you to my latest heart throb. His name is Louis Wolheim. I met him on Turner Classic Movies about a month ago on Silent Sunday Nights, when the network was screening the silent version of “All Quiet on the Western Front”. I was watching, more from inertia than interested when all the sudden HE appeared, hiding beneath the rear bumper of a German WW 1 military truck in the heavy rain at night, waiting for his chance to steal a pig carcass. In the movie, he’s Cat, the German troop leader and mentor/mother hen to the green cannon-fodder recruits trying to survive the Great War’s unrestrained slaughter.
 “WHO THE FUCK IS THAT?”, I wondered, now transfixed by the movie. Here we have an an almost too-perfectly cast  type of the big galoot, the thug, the Mafia enforcer, except that he can act both broad and subtly, is charismatic, soulful and telegenic, quick-silver moving between comedic and deadly serious, often in the same scene. “Where have you been all my life?”, and looked him up on my smart phone with one eye while the movie continued (with him not the focus of attention).
 From the website, immortalephemera.com, I quote author Cliff Alperti; Louis Robert Wolheim was “A Cornell graduate who stayed on in Ithaca, New York to tutor students in math, it was pure chance that brought Wolheim to stage and screen when a pair of brothers (John and Lionel Barrymore) visited Ithaca on location … and decided to base their own film company in the picturesque town located in Central New York.”
 “Most sources state that Louis Robert Wolheim was born in New York on March 28, 1880. All except the census records, that is, which show that through 1905 Wolheim would give his birthplace as Russia and that he and his family would emigrate to New York in 1888.
Wolheim's parents, Elias and Lena, had married around 1870 and according to the 1900 census Lena was mother to ten children total, just three living at the dawn of the twentieth century. Of the three only two, Louis and younger brother Morris, were living with them at that time. Louis Wolheim would be very proud of his Jewish heritage and according to drama critic Ashton Stevens had disdain for Jews in theatre who changed their names to better appeal to the marquee.
 “The bright Wolheim attended the City College of New York before heading off to Cornell where he'd earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1906. The stories are a bit hazy because Wolheim himself was quite the yarn spinner, but his famed mashed up face is typically credited to a injury received while playing football at Cornell.”
 He'd tutor Cornell students in math over drinks in the Dutch Kitchen bar of the Ithaca Hotel, among them, supposedly, Adolphe Menjou, who did attend the school for three years. Menjou claimed that "My instructor in mathematics at University Prep was the late Louis Wolheim. He had a mind like a calculating machine and a face that looked as though it had been run over by a truck" (26). Menjou added that he suspected Wolheim made more profitable use of his mathematical mind gambling with cards and dice.
 “As for the face, he was sensitive about it.
There were newspaper reports announcing a plastic surgery intending to fit him with a profile resembling John Barrymore. Tracy Hammond Lews article "Louis Wolheim's Nose Caused Much Trouble," quoted by Yvonne Shaffer in Performing O'Neill, claimed that at one time very early in Wolheim's acting career he did get his nose fixed at his mother's insistence. Supposedly he went out to celebrate his handsome new appearance that night, got into a brawl and promptly had the nose re-broken.
 As for the looming surgery in 1927, which was to be performed by the same doctor who had fixed heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey's nose, Shaffer writes that United Artists stepped in with an injunction to halt any procedure because they wanted the same face that they signed to a contract.
 Wolheim died of cancer in 1931, at age 50, just before he would have started filming “The Front Page”, later made starring Adolphe Menjou.
I was bereft when I learned of Wolfeim’s untimely demise. What a shame, what a waste. He died at the dawn of the sound era, most of his career was acting on Broadway (he originated the lead rolls in “The Hairy Ape” and “What Price Glory”) and most of his earlier, silent movies are lost.
 The pencil drawings are done from freeze frames of the Turner Classic Movie DVD.
 I found that disc frustrating. The commentary, by Robert Osborn, focuses entirely on the callow young lead, Lew Ayers and doesn’t even mention Wolheim. WTF?!?
And the version TCM chose to release was the American Talkie version, not the silent version I’d seen a week previously. It’s weird seeing an all-American cast portraying an all-German story.







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