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Saint Louis, MO

Art & Whimsy Blog

Eschatological Whimsy

My wife and I live in an older  “inner ring” suburb just a few blocks outside the St. Louis city limits. Many years ago this must have seemed the right place for cemeteries, because we’re surrounded by a half dozen of them. Just north of our... read more

Sculpture Wars

Bad Art In past posts I’ve gone the extra mile defending art that many find inaccessible, strange and confusing. Check out some of my earlier thoughts on abstract art and jazz music. They may not convince, but they will support that I’m not artistically... read more

Simpletoons

Basic Shapes Some time ago I told you about my deluxe Jon Gnagy Art Kit that I got when I was five years old. Jon Gnagy, the original television art instructor, built everything on the four basic shapes: Cube, Sphere, Cylinder, and Cone. Every drawing uses these shape... read more

Heart Art

The Art of the Heart Last year I posted a piece about the childhood experience of exchanging Valentine’s in school. That post focused mainly on store bought cards. The other side of that experience was the times when we were allowed to make our own cards. Art... read more

The Art of Anxiety

A Terrible Turn As a children’s book illustrator, I’ve been called upon to create a fair number of images that depict high anxiety, in a whimsical way. The cover shown above was for a fun devotional activity book. Since a number of the devotionals centered... read more

Space Cadet

Night Movies I like films about space travel. Real space travel. I should explain, with great apologies to most people I know, I don’t mean sci-fi. I liked the original Star Wars.. It was new and technologically dazzling (at the time), but I was more into its... read more

Toys Were Us

I want a Cootie Bug . . . If you grew up Christmas observant, your annual ritual may have included the visit to Santa to share your memorized list of toys. If not, maybe you’ll still find something herein to appreciate. The Missouri History Museum in St. Louis... read more

Music in the Key of Whimsy

Strings, Pipes, and Loud Clashing Cymbals!  So what’s with all these cartoony musicians I keep plastering all over social media? Thanks for asking. There is a bit of a backstory for why I do so many musical images, especially since I’m known more for... read more

True Colors

 Meet John Gnagy. From five years old onward, a fair number of my Christmas or birthday gifts were art related. My talent was identified early, and encouraged with a variety of creative aids. On that fifth Christmas I received a deluxe John Gnagy art kit. John Gnagy... read more

Reformed Whimsy

Happy 499th! October 31 is the 499th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. To be fair, to say Happy Anniversary is one-sided, as that turning point in history isn’t welcomed or celebrated by all. Yet through the past almost 500 years, more... read more

The Deal of the Arts

For What It’s Worth This self-portrait was painted by Rembrandt in 1660. It’s called the Altman Rembrandt, because it was bequeathed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) by Benjamin Altman. I assume to bequeath is to give for free, but I’m sure... read more

Love of Labor

The Picnic Happy Labor Day to you. Whether you labor in a field, a factory, an office, or a home, this is a day to honor you. My father was a factory worker. He worked on the assembly line. He was a United Auto Worker, and fiercely proud of it. In retirement he rode... read more

Play

A Brief Note This is my first post in a while. Just as I recommited to posting once a week, I suffered a detached retina, underwent surgery, and went into a fairly slow recovery which is still happening. I’m getting better each day, but the fixed eye is still... read more

Signs

Getting Our Kicks After a couple hours of driving south out of Chicago we were ready for a break, and I suggested we go into Pontiac, IL. I remembered a quaint town square surrounding the courthouse, and that the town promised a pleasant, nostalgic atmosphere. What I... read more