MUPPET MONDAY: Bobo

One of my daughter’s favorites (not the painting, the character). Well, it’s one my favorite Muppet paintings, and here it is.

Bobo_72

Bobo is a Muppet who has steadily gained traction to now. To borrow a hockey term, he’s a solid two-way center. This isn’t the guy who’s going to score the game-winner every night, but he’s an integral part of the team, and really, the Muppets are the ultimate in celebrity teams. Not one of them could ever survive on their own. (Well, maybe Pepe. I could see him leading a sitcom starring an otherwise all-human cast.) It’s the summation of their part that makes the Muppets great, and its nice to see a new character break through to join the staples we all know and love.

But that brings me to the point: The Muppets has omitted some previously established well-known puppets. I’m playing devil’s advocate when I ask what happened to Walter, because I hated him from day one. But seriously, he was the star of the Muppets’ revival on the big screen in 2011 and now he’s… uh… in storage?The Muppets

We’ve also been without penguins and Camilla the chicken, Gonzo’s former main squeeze. If there’s background room for Crazy Harry, a personal favorite whose antics as a trigger happy bomber shouldn’t fit in the PC post-9/11 world, then there’s got to be a place for Camilla.

Muppets Tonight alumni Clifford and Johnny Fiama (and his monkey, Sal Minella) have been MIA for years, which is especially telling considering the visible, if not prominent, roles they held during the mid-90s through the earliest part of the 21st century. Meanwhile, fellow Muppets Tonight stars, Andy and Randy, Miss Piggy’s nephews, have at least had some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments in 2015.MuppetsTonightSandraBullock

Beauregard is stick clutching to whatever screen time he can get with a vice-like grip, but we’ve lost Pops and George the Janitor. (It looks like Beau inherited that glamorous gig.) I can’t remember the last time I saw Mildred Huxtetter, but it was probably the original Muppet Show.

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Beauregard and Andy (or Randy) sneak into a shot of otherwise well-known Muppets. At least we got Behemoth in a Santa cap, too.

I’d also like to see more of Gene/Behemoth, just because.the-muppets-abc-series-750x422

 

MUPPET MONDAY: Wonder Pig!

Wonder Pig

What better week to share this Wonder Pig portrait than Comic Con week?

TANGENT: Personally, I’m over Comic Con. It’s too big, has nothing to do with comics, and is a $50 ticket (minimum) to wait in a line while dodging the oversized tin foil sword some anime fanboy/girl made with the remnants of his cafeteria lunch grilled cheese wrappers.

This Piggy portrait is from the original Muppet Show (episode 419, starring the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter). I painted it on an oval canvas –I have no idea how big it is off-hand… maybe 16×9″?) I’ve had since at least 2002. My current life goal is to be rid of all this old inventory of art supplies I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s overwhelming.

And just for the sake of adding my two cents, I think The Muppets is great. Two episodes down, and I’ve had a handful of good laughs in each episodes. There are those who think it’s lost the innocence of Muppets past, becoming dark and gritty like…everything else… and there’s a point there, but get over yourselves. “Dark” as this series may be, it’s a far cry from the adult nature of Avenue Q (which I saw a couple eyars ago; the raunch is way overhyped), and even if the tone of The Muppet Show were kept alive from 1978, the current program would be dead before mid-season. Nobody wants Wayne and Wanda ballroom dancing and telling corny puns in 2015.

MUPPET MONDAY: Pepe the King Prawn

Pepe_72

The breakout star of the 90s Muppets, Pepe the King Prawn. This is one of six pieces of mine to be featured in an upcoming gallery show in Jersey City. More information as it becomes available.

MUPPET MONDAY: Big Mean Carl (16×20)

Dude! A Muppet Monday… ON A MONDAY??? This almost never happens.

I’m trying to make up for lost time here in 2015, and it’s been a prolific couple weeks. My latest Muppet commission is based on the “Stand By Me” parody, featuring Big Mean Carl and some cute li’l bunnies.

This painting is the one that destroyed my last brush. I’m okay with this, because I don’t use good brushes for Muppet paintings, and I have SO. MANY. supplies from a lifetime of interest in art. I’m recycling old canvases, beating my brushes to death, and trying to figure out how to use oil pastels effectively. (That last bit has yet to happen. But dammit, I’ve got the pastels, so they will be used for something.)

16x20
16×20

I’m a big fan of Muppet monsters, especially these kinds with exaggerated features – bulbous pink nose, rubber tubing neon green lips, bright yellow eyes, etc. Oh, such fun.

MUPPET MUESDAY: Oscar and Friends

Oscar, Bruno & SlimeySerendipitous that the greenest of of all the Muppets (well, outside of Kermit) comes back atcha in a new 16×20″ acrylic painting on St. Patty’s Day.

DID YOU KNOW: Oscar the Grouch is actually orange, but his fur turned green due to an accumulation of grime and dirt. (I didn’t make that up!)

For years, I’d seen this hideous canvas in my parents garage. It was navy blue with a rough and tumble green square occupying a quandrant of space. Clearly, this wasn’t a finished piece, and to be honest, I don’t think I painted it at all. I had a number of other shitty paintings in there, but those at least had my panache. This one was just a barf.

I turned that old trash into new trash by painting the Sesame Street’s triumvirate of trash: Oscar the Grouch, Bruno the Trashman and Slimey the Worm.

The actual Muppet costume of Bruno has been retired when it was disintegrating in storage, so that’s a guy we probably won’t ever see on Sesame Street again. Oscar is still a mainstay, and Slimey – a remote-controlled worm – over the years, has developed a voice of his own. I love this clip of them:

This piece was painted last Wednesday night, while waiting for a PowerPoint deck to open on my desktop at work. The Mac beach ball of doom kept spinning, so I kept painting. Next thing I know it’s 10PM and I’ve got another Muppet canvas completed. And I also redeemed myself for the awful Oscar painting I finished in the summer of 2013, a few scant months before my daughter was born. (That was never posted on this site.)

The original is available here. The entire cast of Muppets I’ve painted is here. And finally, I’ve also got Pinterest galleries for the Muppets and Sesame Street.

MUPPET MONDAY: Scooter!

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12×12

Muppet Monday on actual Monday? Call the fire department. This one’s outta control.

Scooter is the lovable nerd who is always looking to please Kermit, a tag-along who somehow lacks the annoying quality most human shadows seem to possess.

In The Muppet Show, he inauspiciously debuts as the nephew of JP Grosse, the man who owns the theatre in which the Muppets perform. Scooter is a gofer for the theatre, tailing Kermit at every turn, and he’s been in pretty much every Muppet production since. They even Rule #63ed** him when Skeeter was created for Muppet Babies. Additionally, there’s this bit of utterly random information from the Muppet Wiki:

Scooter is a vaguely humanoid character of unknown heritage (as cited in Of Muppets and Men,[2] when pressed about his family, he explained that his mother was a parrot but he didn’t know about his father).

Scooter’s original performer was Richard Hunt, but after Hunt’s death in 1992, the Muppet was seldom used until David Rudman lent him a hand (get it?!?!?!) in 2008.

**Rule #63 is cosplay/nerdspeak for an occurrence of a character’s sex having changed for the sake of the cosplayer. So like, if a chick dressed up as a female version of Blanka from Street Fighter, that would be an instance of Rule #63. Or, y’know, if Scooter became a girl. Skeeter. Rule #63.

MUPPET FRMONDAY: Roosevelt Franklin

I had every intention of painting young Roosevelt Franklin in 2015, as one of my estimated 50, but shucks, sometimes it all comes together. I painted this in a matter of a couple hours yesterday morning.

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12×12″

Unofficially, Rosie here is the 53rd Muppet painted in my ongoing series.

You can pick this critter up here.

Here’s a FUN FACT: Roosevelt Franklin’s “rowdy leadership in class set an example for kids poised to enter school for the first time. Advisor Jane O’Connor shared the disquiet voice by some about the character being perceived as a negative cultural stereotype. Although African-American writer Matt Robinson originated and voiced the Muppet character, the concern grew too great; Roosevelt was phased off the show.” Louise A Gikow, A Celebration: 40 Years of Life on the Street