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Aaron Page Art

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Creativity, in most of its forms, scares the living Hell out of many people; by definition it is original or different, and that makes many people uncomfortable. I can understand that, but my wife and I encouraged our two kids to be creative in what they do. My wife and kids are all good at various kinds of art, which makes me proud. My wife, Patty, is an amazingly skilled cook and a wonderful photographer.

My daughter, Colleen, is also a talented photographer, and she’s a whiz at calligraphy and design; she has a color and texture/pattern sense that I envy. She won national awards during her school days playing music; I recall panicking when her music teacher informed us that she needed a pro-level Buffet Crampon clarinet in the third grade, because they don’t come cheap, but I sold a couple of guitars and got her one.

Today, I want to showcase some of my son’s work. Aaron is 27 years old and is self taught as an artist. He’s also a heck of a bass and guitar player and he’s a good writer. Today, we look at some of the digital art he’s done.

For some reason known only to himself, he insists on using PC-based software to do his work. As a Mac user, I don’t quite understand where he’s coming from on that score, but to each his own.

I know he used to use a Wacom tablet but doesn’t anymore; he now uses a Penpower Picasso and that the software he uses are Photoshop and Illustrator. He’s now tackling zBrush on the PC to learn 3D modeling. Aaron’s not talkative, so that’s about all I know.

I showed, or tried to show, some of Aaron’s work to a fellow who’s an artist rep in NYC, but from his response, I know that he threw a stock answer at me and never looked at the JPEGs I sent him. So it goes. But I hope that Aaron gets an opportunity to use his talent. He wants to get into character or concept art for a career. His website is at http://www.aaronpage-art.com and his email address is aaronpage.art#gmail.com (I’m trying to defeat spambots with the way I wrote that email address; for the real one, substitute a @ for the #).

If you have any way he can help you, please give him a shout.

Here’s some of his work. Enjoy!!!

That Elusive Popeye . . .

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I hate to brag, but I must get this off my chest: While I should have been paying attention to what was going on around me, I finally succeeded in drawing a picture of Popeye that actually looks (somewhat) like him. Crazed with success, I then added Olive Oyl and Wimpy. I was able to draw a creditable Dick Tracy in the first grade, and have a dated colored-pencil rendering from then to prove it, but Popeye has always been beyond my ability. Until now.

Those with a critical eye can probably detect the painstaking wobbliness of my linework and the hesitant feel of the effort, but I still am proud. The fact that I forgot to draw his arms doesn’t detract from the achievement, I hope.

Joe Kubert Has Passed . . .

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I never met Joe Kubert in either of my stints in the comic-book world, but I spoke with him on the phone a few times. Mr. Kubert, a pioneering artist who worked mainly for DC Comics, had started a school for cartooning and graphic arts in Dover, New Jersey. There were two young friends and employees of mine in whom I saw great potential.

I spoke with Mr. Kubert about them both. These conversations were about ten years apart, but Mr. Kubert had the same two questions about the young men I was touting: “Are they good? Will they listen?”

Both young men attended his school to their decided benefit. He and his staff taught them what they needed to know to augment their talent with real-world chops. After a couple of years at the Kubert School, both these young men were not only pro-level cartoonists, but could handle any graphic assignment someone might throw at them. They not only knew the theory but how to get it done without a lot of floundering around. Both young men have done well in their careers, thanks to Joe Kubert. There are many others who can say the same thing.

When I first saw Joe Kubert’s work, in some of the DC war comics, I didn’t like it. It was gritty and a tad ugly to my eye.

Then I saw his work on the revamping of the Hawkman feature in the early 1960s. His work on Hawkman soared; it was lyrical and clearly showed the joy and freedom of flight.

Thus I began to realize that Joe Kubert was simply a better artist than I had encountered before. He was capable of creating more than pretty drawings; he was gifted enough to produce emotional drawings based upon realism. War was ugly, so he drew it ugly; flying was about grace in the air, and he drew it that way.

His composition skills were equal to his draftsmanship; he did tons of covers for DC where his covers were the best thing about the book and where the poor artist who did the interior pages just wasn’t Kubert’s equal.

He was a pioneer, yes, but he also was driven to teach what he had learned to new generations of artists. He gave back and provided leadership to many young people who will carry his legacy into the future.

Thanks, Mr. Kubert.

Auto Repair Excitement, Part Five

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Most of you are probably familiar with the 250-year-old legend of the Flying Dutchman, the ghost ship doomed to forever sail the seas, never making port; never sought after but still unexpectedly seen.

That’s what my Bug is evidently doomed to be at this VW dealers. Just when he thinks he’s seen the last of it, Kevin, the service manager, will look out of his glass-enclosed office and see the specter of a grey New Beetle with a black rag top, and he’ll know that whatever his staff does to fix it, it will be back with the same problem.

Yep; the car shut off on Patty as she drove it home from work tonight. This time, it didn’t seem to lose power totally when it shut off, so that’s, I suppose, some sort of improvement.

So it’s back to the dealer tomorrow to see what they can divine. Stay tuned!

Feeling Lucky, Steampunk?

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About a mile or so north of us, on Nicholson Street, lives an artist, Clarke Bedford. During the day, he’s the Conservator of Paintings and Mixed-Media Objects at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

But he’s really a steampunk genius.

I happen to love steampunk, and I like what this fellow has done to his cars. Patty, on the other hand, finds it so disturbing that she won’t even drive down that street if she can avoid it.

So here we go. Here’s car number one (my favorite):

Here’s the front of car number two, which is a van:

And here’s car number three, which began life as a Volvo:

I’ve never seen these cars moving down the road, but I’d love to!

All Hung Up!

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My son, Aaron, and I are both members of the Hyattsville Community Arts Alliance, and are proud to announce that six of our works are now on display (and sale!) at local restaurants; four at Franklin’s and two at the Calvert House.

Aaron does his digital paintings from scratch on the PC and I recreate and revise ancient comic book covers on the Mac. These images are then printed on canvas and placed on wooden stretchers by my daughter, Colleen.

So it’s a family project and we are having a lot of fun doing it!

The giant copper vats shown in the photo collage are where they brew their own beers and ales at Franklin’s. If you remember the actress Karen Allen from Raiders of the Lost Ark, she’s sometimes seen at the Calvert House, which has been her favorite restaurant from childhood.

The company I started with my brother, Jeff, is called Page Bros Prints and you can see our website at www.PageBrosPrints.com. We have some historic prints for sale at the Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Maryland. That was where John Wilkes Booth stopped for some previously stashed stuff after he shot Abraham Lincoln.

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