Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Uncle Septimus

Let me tell you a little bit more about those sketches I posted earlier.

Four or five years ago, smack dab in the middle of moving to Memphis, TN, from Richmond, VA, I was contacted by Cricket Magazine to illustrate a children's story about Uncle Septimus. This was a story written by Herbert Shippey in tall-tale fashion about an old man in the South with an improbably long beard. I've never thought of these as the best paintings I ever did, but I enjoyed the story, and liked drawing the beard, and was happy to have my work show up in a magazine that I read as a kid.



Anyway, The story is getting reprinted in a textbook, and they've asked for a new painting of Ol' Uncle Septimus. It's been interesting revisiting an older project. My painting has definitely improved in the intervening years, which is strange, because I've been working almost exclusively in ink. Here are two of them, with a third to come tmorrow.

5 comments:

Miras said...

My Dear Joel,

You really surprised me with these pictures; I know you're using pen (or brush) and ink with maestry, but colour works are even more jaw-dropping. Great colours, just the ones I like the most...
I'm really pleased to come here tonight.

Fer said...

I was more a Highlights man myself (I have a Goofus / Gallant version of this comment as needed), but I did some time with Cricket - very worthy outlet for your talents.

Uncle S looked pretty cool, too. Are you concerned however about perpetuating the stereotypes about men with facial hair? Can only wash up in rivers, at risk to be consumed by tornadoes or other atmospheric disturbances et al. I guess kids are going to learn this from the streets anyhow, but still...

Joel Priddy said...

Thanks for the kind words. I've been feeling kinda awkward about showing these paintings. You know how it is when you look at your old stuff. All you see is how you would do it differently today.

As far as the stereotypes about men with facial hair:
1) Hey, face it, those stereotypes had to come from somewhere; and
2) I'm allowed to perpetuate the stereotypes, because one of my parents is a man with a beard. That makes me half man-with-a-beard. It's part of my heritage.

It's a hirsute-thing, you wouldn't understand.

Barbie Chiu said...
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