It’s Friday again and Welcome to May! I can only hope this herald of spring marks the end of the cold mornings and rainy days we’ve been enduring here in the darkest jungles of Appalachia. I want it to be warm again! Heck, I want to spend an afternoon whining about “it’s too hot!” and “why are we spending another year without an air conditioner?” (hint: I don’t really want an AC; I like the heat too much)
I have big plans for my weekend. As I’ve mentioned about a kajillion times, daughter Sarah Lydia and I are going to Vandalia-Con at the end of this month. Tomorrow, she and I are going to the piece goods shop to buy the materials needed to make our Steampunk costumes (and hopefully to pimp my ride). After that, it’ll be a flurry of sewing, painting, and debating a thousand details until we’re both satisfied. It’s going to be a delight; I am finally well enough to do a big project like this, and I can’t wait!
But that’s tomorrow. For today, it’s Fun Friday and I have just the thing to give the end of the work week a little zing: pretty pretty pictures! Normally I’m a musician (when I’m not being a writer), so I don’t often pay that much attention to visual arts; it doesn’t help that my eyesight is so crap I’m practically the female version of Mr. Magoo (ask your parents). But I was surfing the Internet the other day and stumbled across a couple things that I thought might tickle your fancy.
For you Steampunk fans out there, I offer you the works of Mr. Brian Kesinger (he’s the one I stumbled across). Kesinger is an animator at Disney Studios, starting there at age 16 (making him the youngest artist ever to work for the company). He worked on Treasure Planet, naturally, but also on Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan, Tangled, Chicken Little, Home on the Range, Bolt and Meet the Robinsons. This is all well and good, but I’m not really a big booster of Disney (not political; I’m just uninterested in most of their movies). So I’m more interested in his non-Disney works. He has several gallery-focused blogs online (the bottom of his Wikipedia page — linked above — has links), a few brief video discussions of his work on YouTube courtesy of DeviantArt (here, here, and here) and one conglomerate gallery here.
Among the Steampunk community he is probably best known for his Otto and Victoria series, as seen above. Victoria is a lovely Steampunk girl, a proper Victorian lady, seen at work and at play with her pet cephalopod, Otto. Each drawing is more creative than the last, and they have been collected into two full color books and one coloring book (!!!), which can be purchased at Amazon.com (here, here and here).
Yes, Otto and Victoria are charming, make no mistake. But honestly, I prefer his “Tea Girls” series, pictured on the conglomerate gallery. They are less ballyhooed, and haven’t been collected in book form, which I think is a pity. Look at this:
Isn’t that gorgeous? I like how they look like the art is springing forth from a tea stain on the page. It’s just clever as can be. The Tea Girls tend to be more Steampunkish than Otto and Victorian (who are more Lovecrafty, IMHO; the octopus says Lovecraft to me), and, while they definitely fit in the Disney style, they’re more adult and less cartoony than Otto and Victoria. But Steampunk girls isn’t all he has available. Let me just leave you with this thought and image: STEAMPUNK MEGATRON!!!!!
Seriously, go check him out. Good stuff, and merch to boot!
Next up, something for the Dieselpunk. As I said before, I have but a passing interest in visual arts, so it’s not like I spend a lot of time on DeviantArt. But maybe I should, because there are guys like Alexey Lipatov doing some really impressive work over there. I can’t find out anything about him except what DeviantArt has on his profile: he’s a male artist from the Ukraine. He has all kinds of pictures over there, but one folder, marked “Dieselpunk,” definitely caught my eye.
As you can see, he has a more comic book style than Brian Kesinger, but still, I like. He does work in both color and monochrome, and there are a lot of half-dressed women in his pictures, plus even more retro-futuristic tech. None of this is a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. I would share more, except his collection isn’t as big as the Steampunk one, and the individual pictures are ENORMOUS. I don’t want to crash my computer (again), so if you want to see, you need to go take a peek for yourself.
Finally, for my beloved Pulp: I have no new artists to show you pretty pictures, alas. But I don’t come to you empty handed. I have found The Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists. I don’t know if this is a comprehensive collection of classic pulp art — both covers and interior art — but it’s definitely an impressive one. This webpage was built by somebody named David Saunders; again, my otherwise-impressive Google-Fu skills failed to tell me anything about the guy. But he has done a masterful job of collecting tons of art from the covers and pages of the classic pulp magazine.
The page is well organized. The artist are listed in alphabetical order. Once you click on an artist’s name, a new tab tells you a brief bio of the artist in question and a brief timeline of his work. On the left are all the samples of his work that the collection has; they work as a slideshow, which I like because my computer doesn’t like bunches of new tabs, and it HATES pop-ups, even when I summon them on purpose.
Pretty! And the art makes me want to read the magazine! Which, now I think about it, is kind of the point of these paintings and sketches in the first place.
Anyway, I think that’s about it for me today. I hope you’ve enjoyed, and I hope you’ll let me know what you think! Share, tweet, comment, of course; if you want to email me, either for questions/comments, or because you want to share a Fun Friday idea, my addy is ajwriter-at-ajclarkson-dot-net. I’ll be back on Monday with the latest installment of April Tyree’s adventures. Between now and when next we meet, be good, and if you can’t be good, don’t get caught!