Vintage Vitale

Imaginary Friends: Alex.

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Here is a very very personal blog post I would like to share with you, dear readers—my imaginary friend I had as a kid. I think I was ten years old or under. I had a couple of imaginary pals,but Alex here was the main one.
I know what implanted him in my brain—at my dentist’s office in the 1970’s, there was always this great book, Alexander by Harold Littledale. Essentially it is about a kid who is telling his dad about all the bad stuff his imaginary friend did that day, but the kid really had done the stuff and was outing it, with Alexander, the red horse with green stripes, as the scapegoat. It had really cool illustrations by Tom Vroman in it and I just loved it. I had to have my own Alexander.
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So that nobody would think I was copying(seriously)  I shortened my horse’s name to Alex. While he could do many of the things Alexander did, he still had more realistic horse ways about him and was more the proportions and size of a pony. He was red with white spots, and sometimes had a red mane/tail combo and sometimes a white one.
I had my grandmother make me a stick horse of Alex (which I will show in another post) and that furthered our adventures. I rode that thing all over the neighborhood. It’s funny; I see kids playing with them a lot these days, and I see stick horses in stores, but back then having one was social suicide. I didn’t care; I was already the weird kid.  Plenty of kids I grew up with treated me like crap for it.  I really didn’t see how it could get any worse.

I can’t seem to find it, but long ago I made a little book of Alex and drew pictures in it illustrating him in all sorts of vignettes, and I am hoping to recreate that with my new Alex Sketchbook.

The Big Purple Sketchbook: Bartholomew 2016!

Apologies for no Thunder Lizard Thursday; I have been very ill with vertigo issues all day, and I can barely move my head to even pick up my drawing materials. I drew this last night:

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Bartholomew is a character I created and drew all over EVERYTHING when I was in grade school. I think at first he was supposed to be an alien. But I can’t see him manning a spaceship. He seems like more of  a little monster that might inhabit an exotic garden. So I have him a  freshening-up for 2016 and I like it! I traded his original turquoise fur for purple; since Mo, my logo character has that shade of blue, I tried Bart out with purple out of my crayon box. I think it suits him even better.
This is one of the first drawings in my Big Purple Sketchbook, which I bought at Barnes & Noble with a gift card from Cuz’n Ashley. It’s such a fun color, I feel like using only crayons and other kiddie art supplies in it exclusively, and it’s FUN!

 

Vintage Vitale: Pet Rocks!

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My mom left me this note at her place today with these two little rocks I painted for her when i was a kid. I LOVED painting pet rocks. These are the only kinds I did which were just a full-on face; my later ones were painted as if they were little guinea-pig-shaped creatures with nifty designs on their backs.

Toofs!

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Heeey, look what I found in an old box of stuff. The tiny plastic chest containing three of my four wisdom teeth.
What happened to the fourth? Well, it broke up into many little pieces in its refusal to be extracted from my sixteen-year-old gums. I am still finding pieces of it today; periodically, the back of my gums become very sore. Then, I will feel something prickly back there. And if I reach in with tweezers and give a tug, I will pull out a little shard of bone and/or tooth. The first time it happened my dentist was very distressed and started pulling out the shards; then I realized I could do it myself and it’s no big deal anymore. I affectionately call the situation “My shark teeth coming in again.” 😀

 

Carousel of Creeps: Phantomime Early Sketch!

Phantomime Early Sketch, Carousel of Creeps, Copyright 2000 Liz Vitale

Phantomime Early Sketch, Carousel of Creeps, Copyright 2000 Liz Vitale

I always thought that, since Phantomime is reminiscent of The Phantom of the Opera, it would be cool if his mask occasionally disappeared somehow and a horrific face was revealed underneath.