Archive for October 2013

Mother of Dragons   Leave a comment

On Saturday October 12, 2013, I went north from my home in Phoenix to the beautiful town of Sedona, Arizona in order to attend the Sedona Art Festival.  I am not that big an art aficionado–yes, I enjoy looking at art, and yes, I sometimes commission the creation of fantasy art for Tunnels and Trolls products, but ordinarily, I would not drive more than 100 miles to spend money to look at expensive art.  I did it this time because my niece, Angela St. Andre, brought her metal sculptures down from Salt Lake City, Utah, to exhibit and try to sell them here.

St. Andre women lost in a forest of metallic creatures.

St. Andre women lost in a forest of metallic creatures.

Much of the Arizona St. Andre family came out to see her.  My brother, Brian, and his wife Donna went up.  My sisters Julie and Neloa, and their husbands Jim and Jerome came by.  My mother, Evelyn, came with Jim and Julie.  My niece Kerina was there with her fiance Gary.  My other niece, Kris and her children were present.  I brought my son James along with me.  It was quite a gathering of the clan.  These people can all be seen on my Facebook page.  Uncle Ken had 3 nieces there at one time, and I’m happy to say they are all beautiful and talented young ladies.

But this blog is about Angela.  She has been perfecting her art as a metal sculptress for a decade now, and she is very good, and very innovative.  She just got married to  Joe Coleman, but he didn’t make the trip with her.  She had to move all this metal herself.  On the one hand, I’m sorry for her.  On the other hand I admire her tremendously, not only because she’s an aritist, but also because she does what it takes to get her art out in front of the people.

I took a couple of pictures of her with her biggest creations.

Angela with sea serpent. This sculpture is 8 feet long, about 3 feet high, very curvy, and available for only $6000.

Angela with sea serpent. This sculpture is 8 feet long, about 3 feet high, very curvy, and available for only $6000.

Angela is very good with fantasy.  All of her creations, robins, bears, flying pigs, horny toads, armadillos, sea serpents, wizards, and dragons have style.

Angela St. Andre is a dragonfriend. This guy is one of the cutest dragon's you'll ever see., and he can be yours for a mere $2500.

Angela St. Andre is a dragonfriend. This guy is one of the cutest dragon’s you’ll ever see., and he can be yours for a mere $2500.

Saturday was a beautiful day in Sedona, and I was glad to be able to spend part of it hanging out with Angela, Mother of Dragons.

And here's a shot of me with one of her smaller creations, the one I bought and took home with me.

And here’s a shot of me with one of her smaller creations, the one I bought and took home with me.

Actually, I didn’t spend the whole day with Angela or my family. I walked around and saw a lot of other really amazing art up there. I especially liked the painted wooden carvings and figurines from Oaxaca, Mexico. I took some pictures of other great art, too, but was having some trouble with the camera. Somehow it thinks all the pix have to have 1 or more megabytes of memory, and it is only a 15 mb camera.  Gotta find out what’s wrong, and get the pix back down to a couple hundred kb before I go shooting things again.

If you know any sculptors or sculptresses, or if you like metal art and have any, why not go ahead and leave a comment? If you saw anything cool at the Sedona Art Festival, you might also leave a comment.

–end

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The Golden Age of Creativity   2 comments

I spent this morning having breakfast with my artist friend Steven S. Crompton. As part of our conversation, Steve presented me with this:

Grimtooth the Troll is having stern words with Alice Liddel while Demin the Domness flies by.

Grimtooth the Troll is having stern words with Alice Liddel while Demin the Domness flies by.

Among other things Steve is the prolific artist/writer of Demi the Demoness and the creator of Grimtooth the troll, who is a sort of mascot for Flying Buffalo and my Tunnels and Trolls game.  Recently he found some art of his that had never been published, or wasn’t seen much, and decided to bring it out as a book using drivethrurpg.com as his publisher.  He finished the unfinished parts. edited, and published it.  In the past there was not sufficient justification for releasing this material, but now that print-on-demand is here, and anyone can self publish through sites like drivethru, Steve can offer his material to the world at last.  If only ten people see it and buy it, that’s  still 10 more than would have seen it before.

I have to say I was so pleased and honored to be given a copy that I bought him breakfast, so in a way, I bought his comic after all.  Looking inside, I see that this is number 3 of 100 that he had printed, and that I have his autograph.

I usually get a slightly fancier autograph than this.

I usually get a slightly fancier autograph than this.

Once upon a time we would try for an author’s autograph as a way of proving that we met the person, or of adding value to our purchase.  It’s a form of Magick.  The Law of Contagion states that things that were once connected are always connected, so if you have something that is signed by the creator, then you have a personal connection to that creator.

However, I have come to believe that autographs serve a different purpose now.  In this age of personal publishing, when most of us creators are very small fish in a big ocean of creativity, asking for and obtaining an autograph is a way for we consumers to acknowledge and thank the signer for the work they did in creating this work of art.  It’s a way for us to personally recognize and tell the creator that we are glad to have met him/her and we really appreciate the effort they made to create the book/art/object, and that it will be one of our treasures.

Having a Ken St. Andre, or a Steven S . Crompton, or a Roger Zelazny, or a Michael A. Stackpole autograph isn’t going to make this book/object particularly valuable.  The whole idea that putting someone’s name on something increases the value is kind of stupid, really.  We’re all of us human beings, and we all have equal value in the eyes of God and the Law.  But, the autograph is another kind of memorial–it is a record of personal contact between signer and receiver–a moment of good feeling between the two people–one that should make both of them feel better.

So, I have made efforts for years to get things signed when i buy them.  I would keep the autographed stuff to the very end, because those books, pictures, comics, games, and so forth mark some of the high points in my life–a time when I was able to connect with a creator and tell her/him that I think they’re special.

This blog is dedicated to my very good friend, Steven S . Crompton.  I appreciate what he has given me and the world, and I want to testify that he’s a special guy.

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If you’ve ever collected autographs, or have any kind of special feeling about them, why not leave a comment?

–Ken

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