One of the benefits of having the MoonDog as your papa is having access to the biggest toys ever, to include my latest cardboard creation. Jayden has recently developed interest in “Aaah-panes” – or “airplanes” as the rest of us call them. He goes through a toy airplane about once a week, literally loving/playing the wings right off them, so I decided to make a kid-sized “aah-pane” he could climb into and imagine flying.
It’s been kind of interesting – he loves it, but he can only play with it for about three or four minutes at a time. That’s because he insists on picking it up and flying it around the room like he would do with this regular small airplane toys. At not-quite-three his imagination hasn’t developed to the point where he can envision being in the airplane. The plane trip home from Virginia at Christmas 2014 has been his only exposure to actual aircraft and if it was anything like my first train ride he figures that it was a matter of sitting in a noisy cramped room for an hour. He kept trying to get his mom to sit in plane while he walked around it.
It was a lot of fun to make – and to me this sort of thing is the true essence of art, using my talents to bring a smile to another person’s face. Knowing that Jayden will eventually “play the wings off” this one as well meant I could forego my usual OCD finish job, which kept the process immediate and casual.
Another cardboard construction–this was made for a Saturday morning “drive-in movie” activity for church. Most of our time was spent keeping older kids from sweet-talking Meggie into trading rides with them.
This is also a good example of the viewer interaction I try to incorporate into my work. At times I will render only part of a background or just “indicate” it via simple line work. I do that so the viewer will be able to complete the image in their mind.
I found that my enthusiasm waned for things like Star Trek, Star Wars and Traveller as more background information was added. It was more fun for me to fill in the blanks myself.
My children refuse to call me an artist. They tell me that I am a “maker” instead – which I can understand because the trappings of the art world have never meant as much to me as the down-and-dirty “making” part–hence things like large cardboard vehicles.
This was made just a little bit earlier than the Batmobile I showed the other day. History nerds that we are you will note that this is a specific tank–the M3 Grant with a gun in the turret and a larger one on the right side of the hull.
When it was built in the fall of 1991 there was room for me and both boys inside. By the following spring they had grown so much that it had become a single-seater.
I loved being a dad and I love being a “papa” as well. Three of my four grandkids live a day’s drive away so whenever I get a chance I try to do something special for them. This was a cardboard Batmobile I made for my grandson Oliver to “ride” in.