Original Cartoons, Art School projects, Cigar Box Guitars plus other entertaining Odds & Ends. All content & imagery copyright 2010-2017

Monday, June 24, 2013

Uphill Battle

The Wise One has made a number of appearances over the years. Review his wisdom here, there, here again and finally here. There are a few more visits with his baldness, but I don't remember where they are. Feel free to poke around and find him again.

Monday, June 17, 2013

CBG #2 aka: "Big Volume"

There is concept called “Unnecessary Creation” where the idea is to make something on your own time, on your own terms, and with no other standard or expectation--except for your own. No rules, no deadlines, no critiques, and no real purpose except to enjoy the process. For me, this is….bliss. I can just feel the endorphins swirling around my brain as I work. What a pleasant break from the demands of my degree program. 
My most recent unnecessary creation is Cigar Box Guitar #2 (CBG-2)  which began with an eBay purchase of a pre-made Red Oak neck with Walnut laminates. I like the pointy headstock, because it looks slightly menacing. I sanded, stained, and glued a Poplar fretboard into place, and applied three coats of Tung Oil for the finish. Tung oil is awesome stuff and a recent discovery for me. It is now my preferred choice of wood finish. The box that serves as the guitar's body started out it's life as a “Diversion Book”. These are realistic looking books with hollow interiors designed for hiding valuables in plain sight. Diversion books have a long and interesting history and were the forerunners of today's book safes. I found my diversion book while poking around a re-sale shop last December after just completing CBG-1 for a school project. As most of my regular readers know my first CBG was a guitar that also qualified as an "Art Book". Or was it an Art Book that qualified as a guitar? Anyway, CBG-2 is a guitar that looks like a large and rather impressive book. There is no intentional pursuit of a book theme here, it just kind of happened that way. What I found at the re-sale shop was a good sized, well made, wooden box…that just happened to look like a book. How could I pass this up, right? Like my first guitar, CGB-2 also has an internal pick-up for amplification purposes. So it only seemed logical to name my book-that-looks-like-a-guitar, “Big Volume”.


Here are some photos of the build. No hidden panels or internal gadgetry as in CBG-1 but I did come up with an idea that I haven't seen anywhere else yet, after looking at hundreds of CBG images. My humble innovation was to continue the fret line around and over the top edge of the neck that faces the player. This is intended to allow the guitarist to see better when the instrument is laid across the lap and played with a slide. Small brass nails and screws were used to as fret markers in all the usual places. Brass studs were added to the book's cover to make it look a little more "top shelf", but also a little more rock & roll.
Although these are called cigar box guitars, so far I have yet to use an actual cigar box. I suppose I’ll get around to that eventually, but every project currently on the drawing board involves using some other box-like object for a resonating chamber. For example, CBG #3 will feature a vintage cedar humidor for the guitar's body. The humidor's interior is lined with copper sheeting that is loose in some places. With that particular combination of wood and metal, there could potentially be all kinds of interesting sounds produced when it gets played. I can hardly wait! I won't know how it will sound until I build it, and that's the fun part. I don’t have a clever name for this guitar yet, (Up In Smoke? Puff the Magic Dragon?) but that will come in time. I’m open to any suggestions.

­­In my life I've had many interests, a number of passions, but no real hobbies….until now. This kind of thing is just too much fun, and will hopefully keep me off the streets.


Monday, June 10, 2013

The Postman Always Blings Twice

This week we are featuring yet another sculpture-- however this one is not a school related project.

"The Mail-Man" was created a few years ago when I was doing a lot of work with decoupage. I've always rather liked postage stamps and consider them to be these tiny, cool, works of art. I chose to work with cancelled stamps because; I had a lot of them, and I thought it was an original idea at the time.  I never counted the number of stamps that were used in creating The Mail-Man but it must be between 250 to 300. All the stamps are different with no duplicates at all. Each stamp was hand selected and applied. This has been the standard for all of my decoupage work no matter how large a piece might be. Every piece must also have a theme. Anyone can do random stuff, but my pieces require, time, effort, and planning. The theme for The Mail-Man is: all things masculine.

I started out by decoupaging wooden boxes but it quickly grew from there. Soon I was decoupaging life-like human and animal skulls, styrofoam wig heads, and various mannequin parts that I bought used or damaged from a supplier. I was always on the look out for unusual objects. Friends would try to challenge me by bringing strange stuff for me to "put my stamp(s) on" them. I quickly learned that the more curves an object has, the more difficult it is to work with.

My first use of a large scale mannequin part was a female torso where I used stamps with a feminine aspect to them. She was titled "Go Figure", and sold at a gallery opening for $400 within the first fifteen minutes after the show began! 

The Mail-Man is currently for sale on eBay  where you can read all the specifics about him and see additional photos. Perhaps you'll feel inclined to place a bid. The Mail-Man has been a colorful and interesting guest in my house for a number of years, but I think its time for him to go grace and brighten the home of some other worthy individual.

I am an artist and a capitalist. There will be more crass attempts at commercialism as time goes on especially after the BuckToonz store is open for business. You have been fairly warned.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What Is It Then?

Its good to be back after having a few weeks off. I'm tanned, rested, and ready to bring you more of your beloved BuckToonz.  As an experiment for the summer, we're moving our weekly post day to Mondays. I think being able to view a freshly minted cartoon each Monday will be a nice way to start off the work week. If Mondays don't work for you, then just let me know. But it probably won't change anything.

My art courses are continuing to influence the concept and subject matter of my cartoons, and today's post is a good example. This post was inspired by something derived from one of my art history classes.

I once came across a definition that classified cartoons as, "Neo-Surrealist Art". That sounds kind of cool doesn't it? I may start using that term and begin introducing myself as a "Neo-Surrealist".  It sounds quite a bit grander than just "cartoonist", don't you think?

Moving on....

Today's neo-surrealist illustration is my homage (and perhaps my apology) to René Magritte, one of the greatest Surrealist painters of all time. An early painting by Magritte was titled "The Treachery of Images" and it features a (smoking) pipe. Just a pipe by itself in the middle of a canvas. The caption below it read, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe", which is French for "This is not a pipe." Right, it was not a pipe; but it was a painting of a pipe. Good old René was challenging our perceptions about art...or merely screwing around with us. Maybe both. You decide.

Want more? For yet another power tool punchline go here.

Email: buckdawson62@gmail.com Please put "BuckToonz" in the subject line.