Humor

Bela Lugosi and the Art of Moving Toys

"Playmates" by Michele Bledsoe

“Playmates” by Michele Bledsoe

When I was little,

my grandparents had me completely convinced

that my toys were alive.

Sitting in my bedroom..

they would send me off to the kitchen

for a glass of water

or a peach.

When I returned,

I noticed that several of my toys

had somehow changed positions.

Sitting on the edge of my bed,

my Hungarian grandfather would point

to my bookshelf..

Sounding exactly like Bela Lugosi..

he would say, in a strangely dark and ominous tone

“Look, Michele.. the toys. They move.”

 

True Grit in the Art Studio

richard-laugh1

This is an actual conversation

that took place

while my husband and I were painting.

Michele: “I will not modulate my highlights. No, I will not. I will not blend it into the color behind it. I will not swirl my brush in it. I will use a hard, white mark and leave it alone…

Richard: “That’s bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.”

Michele: “Fill your hand you son of a bitch!”

Diary of a Hungry Dog

Many years ago, Gunther kept an online diary.

Because he was a dog, I did all the typing for him.

All these entries are completely true.

slide1

FOOD OR NOT FOOD

Current Mood: Hungry

sometimes i eat things that aren’t food. i ate a cassette tape, a bilbo baggins action figure and a stuffed alligator head. then i go for a ride in the car to visit the vet.

 

 

FLOOR TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

everything that falls on the floor is mine to eat. i can hear a crumb drop from the other end of the house. sometimes i find small pieces of paper, pen caps and furballs instead. i eat them too because they are on the floor.

 

 

 

slide12DIGGING HOLES

Current Mood: Hungry

i like to dig big deep holes in the backyard. then i stick my head in the hole and bark.

 

 

 

slide4EATING CACTUS

Current Mood: Hungry

when i was a puppy, i ate a row of aloe cactus. they tasted pointy. the vet said that the cactus didn’t hurt my mouth at all and that my fur was very soft and shiny.

 

 

slide11OUTSIDE TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i like to bark at pigeons. i eat birdseed and gravel in the backyard.

 

 

 

dog1CHRISTMAS TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i have a cat friend. last christmas she pushed a chocolate santa off the table and onto the floor for me. it had crunchy tinfoil on the outside.

 

 

gunthermanGARBAGE TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i like peanut butter. i like to eat things out of the garbage. i have one head, three legs and a tail.

 

 

 

slide5UNDERGROUND TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i can smell mushrooms growing deep under the ground. i dig them up and eat them and then i get in trouble.

 

 

 

birthday dogGOAT TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i chewed on my goat hoof all day long. it had peanut butter in it but i licked it away. i take hoofie outside with me. i hold it in my mouth when i pee. hoofie smells good and stinky.

 

 

001RECYCLED TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i ate dog food and some carrots. when i threw up the carrots were back so i ate them again.

 

 

 

 

 

me and guntherALLIGATOR TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i ate a taxidermy alligator head i found on the bookshelf. it was crunchy and tasted like a mummy. mama thought it was a chicken carcass or maybe one of the cats. she screamed and took it away.

 

 

JAN42008 001SHINY TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i ate a sheet of aluminum foil covered with chicken grease and crunchy burnt things. the vet said i would be okay, but to call them if i threw up or made sparks.

 

 

MONKEYTOY 010BREADY TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i found a piece of bread on poppa’s plate. i had to jump up to reach it. i ate it real fast. poppa got another bready piece to make his sandwich.

 

 

slide9REFRIGERATOR TREATS

Current Mood: Hungry

i push people into the refrigerator so they will give me food. i know that’s where the carrots live.

 

 

 

beggingBEGGING FOR FOOD

Current Mood: Hungry

this is my begging face. if i do this long enough someone gives me food.

 

 

 

My beloved Gunther makes a cameo appearance in The Secret Kingdom..

I miss him very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three-Legged Dogs and the Unexpected Blindness of Love

Gunther makes a cameo appearance in The Secret Kingdom. This performance became part of our routine whenever it was time to feed the dog.

It’s fascinating how people never seemed to notice that Gunther was missing a leg.

Since Dalmatians are not very common, and Gunther was tremendously friendly, we were often approached by a variety of strangers wanting to get a closer look.

Once, while sitting outside at a coffee shop, a man approached and asked if it was okay to pet Gunther.

“Yes.” I replied, “He’s very friendly.”

This gentleman crouched down to where Gunther was sitting and smiled. He stayed there for several minutes, talking and petting my happy dog.

When he stood up to leave… Gunther took a couple of hopping steps toward him.

The man was worried, “Oh sweetie, what happened? Did you hurt your foot?”

“He’s missing a whole leg.” I explained.

The man did a double-take.

Maybe he was distracted by all the spots.

Or maybe he suddenly understood how love is truly blind.

I never noticed Gunther’s missing leg, either.

To this day, four-legged dogs look really weird to me..

too many legs.

Giant Lincoln and The Art of Conquering Fear

VA21

Just got back from The Secret Kingdom book signing event in the beautiful state of Virginia.

Being that we were so close to Washington, D.C., we hopped on a train and spent the day sight-seeing, visiting the museums and walking around our nation’s capital surrounded by cherry trees in bloom.

I must admit I was a little anxious, because I knew at some point I would encounter the dreaded Lincoln Memorial.

Yes, dreaded.

It is a little known fact that I have a bizarre and somewhat embarrassing fear of unnaturally large things.

In an attempt to lighten the mood, my husband Richard told me that the giant Lincoln comes alive at night and eats tourists. Although that mental image actually made me shudder, I figured we’d be okay as long as we got out of there before nightfall.

Standing at the base of the stairs leading up to giant Lincoln.. my heart was pounding, my legs felt weak and I broke out in a cold sweat.

In this picture, I seem to be leaning slightly to the right.

Actually, I was cowering in fear at the terrible sight of enormous Lincoln.

It is always good to conquer your fears and do something that scares you..

But I swear I saw his finger twitch.

Painting Portraits and the Art of Averting Your Eyes

DSCF9240

In my painting, “Return to Innocence” I made the terrible mistake of making the central figure stare directly at me. This is just a section of a much larger painting, and the figure is close to life-sized. Those piercing eyes and blank stare are a little unsettling. I don’t know why, but it gives me the creeps.

Painting a portrait is an incredibly intimate experience. Staring intently at someone’s face for hours on end. Days. Weeks.. sometime months.. is intense. But it seems I’ve learned my lesson. Whenever I paint a portrait – I make the eyes look away from me.

jeff falk2

In my portrait of Jeff Falk, he seems to be looking at a point over my left shoulder.

steve gompf

My portrait of Steve Gompf is also looking somewhere else. Possibly at some invisible dog at my side.

sherry1

In her portrait, I gave my sister a dreamy, faraway look.

DSCF9237

Currently, I am working on a portrait of author and poet, Manuel Paul Arenas. This painting will become the cover of his soon-to-be-released book “Black Hymeneal” – A Collection of Black Light Verse and Gothic Vignettes..

Good to know that he won’t be staring at me while I read it.