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Art Show: Childhood: A Mixed-Media Show

Gramp-Octopus Trims the Tree

by Joanna Daneman

Banner for Childhood: A Mixed-Media Show art show

Art: Gramp-Octopus Trims the Tree by Artist Joanna Daneman
Gramp-octopus is trimming the Christmas tree, for the GRAND-SQUIDS, of course. Naturally, to delight the children, he is using Angel Fish, Sand Dollars, Sea Horses and on top of course, a Starfish. The painting was a challenge from a group of artists to paint a Christmas tree being trimmed by a "small animal." Somehow, the octopus showed up in my brain. Why? Possibly because I knew I wanted to use undersea animals (I love Spongebob Squarepants and like to sing the chanty) and an octopus seemed logical because he eats starfish and his arms can handle the job! To me, this is meaningful because though I am well in middle age, I somehow managed to retain my sense of humor, always tending to the play on words and the absurd. As a kid, I would have laughed myself sick over the idea of a grandpa-octopus; Edward Lear was my idea of great poetry. So this is a tribute to the silly sense of humor that all of us retain from our earliest days, whether it's giggling at naughty words, making faces or a sly play on words. This work is done in Pitt ink pen, colored pencil and watercolor with silver Sharpie ink on paper. The watercolor was done as a grisaille under the colored pencil along with shaded inks, and then the colors were applied evenly over top to create the spotted look of octopus coloration. I used textured watercolor paper --that is how the pencil makes the mottling over the grisaille. As to the silver Sharpie--one came in a box of regular black Sharpies and well, bling is in order for Christmas trees.


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