A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman


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Preliminary sketch for self portrait, 2008

Preliminary sketch for self portrait, 2008

When I was younger, pencil was my preferred medium. I liked to sketch. And I wasn’t all that interested in painting. In fact, let me be honest – I abhorred the idea of being a “painter”.

One day during my early years in high school, I decided to stop at the local art shop and make a few inquiries about how to get my work sold there in the future. I left extremely discouraged because the owner basically told me that pencil sketches weren’t really a saleable medium. That most people wanted colour on their walls.

This was quite the predicament. I had painted a few things before, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to sketch. In pencil.

So what’s a 15-year-old girl to do when all of her carefully thought out career plans seemingly evaporate before her eyes? Continue reading

“The Masks”: 50 Years Later


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Next on Twilight Zone, we move into New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, and we do it with a vengeance. Robert Keith and Milton Selzer appear in a bizarre story of men, masquerades and masks. This is a small shocker to wind up a week, and if it doesn’t send you to a psychiatrist, it’ll send you at least to a mirror. On Twilight Zone next, “The Masks.

Masks Opening Title

Mr. Jason Foster, a tired ancient who on this particular Mardi Gras evening will leave the Earth. But before departing, he has some things to do, some services to perform, some debts to pay – and some justice to mete out. This is New Orleans, Mardi Gras time. It is also the Twilight Zone.

“The Masks”

Season 5, Episode 25

 Original air date: March 20, 1964

A wealthy old man is about to die. But he won’t die alone. He’ll be surrounded by his family. Sadly, they aren’t there to comfort the dying man in his final hours. No. His daughter Emily, son-in-law Wilfred, grandson Wilfred Junior, and granddaughter Paula, are here for one reason and one reason only: Greed. Continue reading

To Bare, or Not to Bare


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Sex sells.

This is a sad fact of life. But while this may be true, when it comes to art, what sells isn’t always what’s best for business.

I’d like to elaborate a bit on a particular point I made in my last post, “The Art of the Pin-up“: That nudity in pin-ups is not only unnecessary, but that it also takes away from the sexiness of the girl.

It’s one thing to understand a concept. I can tell you that clothed pin-up girls are sexier than nude ones. Then I can list all my reasons explaining my point of view. I’ll say that everyone loves a good mystery. That it’s more enjoyable to wonder what’s under her skirt than to just have the goods paraded in front of you.

But sometimes you really need to SEE something to truly get it. You need to witness the concept executed in a practical way. So instead of just telling you that nude pin-ups aren’t as sexy, I’m going to SHOW you. Continue reading

The Art of the Pin-up


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Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Elvgren Opening pinup

Gil Elvgren

The female form is one of the most beautiful objects in all of God’s vast creation. Beauty is, of course, subjective. Even Rod Serling reminded us that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. But in the art of the classic pin-up girl, an idealistic beauty is pretty standard: Big, bright, lash-y eyes. A sly smile, gently pouted lip, or dazzling pearly whites. An hourglass figure, softly curving in and out at the waist. Silky, gleaming hair in red, brunette, blonde or raven, short and sassy or long and seductive.

Elvgren Hair Colour

Gil Elvgren, “Gentlemen Prefer…?”, 1963

Pin-ups are gorgeous. Idealized, stylized and perfect. But I don’t have any problem with this portrayal of women. The fact is, I adore pin-up art (I’ve even done a little pin-up creating myself) almost as much as I enjoy a fine art masterpiece by Caravaggio or Da Vinci. Continue reading

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You… Rod Stewart?


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Your songs, that is. I love your songs. That wonderful, raspy, gravelly voice just strikes the right chord in me.

I’m not a music fan. At all. I prefer sweet silence to the “noise” that most call music. And I have to be in just the right mood to listen to the music that I DO enjoy.

Rod Stewart1

Having said that, there definitely are songs and singers that tickle my fancy. And none quite so much as Rod Stewart, who happens to be celebrating his 69th birthday today! Happy Birthday, my second favourite “Rod“. You still wear it well. A little out of time, but I don’t mind. ;) Continue reading

T’was the Night Before Christmas… in the Twilight Zone


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◊ — ◊—– ◊♦♦♦◊ —–◊ — ◊

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the Zone,

All the characters were busy, not one was alone.

Cherry brandy had been left by the chimneys with care

In the hopes that Henry Corwin soon would be there. Continue reading

One Question Per Penny, Please


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When I was a little girl, I wanted a Mystic Seer. I mean, really, really, really wanted one. I was a Twilight Zone fan from very early on, and at that time, “Nick of Time” was my favourite episode. Due largely in part, I’m sure, to that quirky, penny-stealing, devil-headed fortune-telling machine that ran roughshod over poor William Shatner in his first of two TZ appearances.

Twenty-plus years later and I am finally getting my Mystic Seer. Well, as soon as Entertainment Earth decides to release it. You don’t want to know how long ago I pre-ordered this thing.

Mystic Seer

Continue reading

“The Howling Man”: The Short Story


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The Howling Man BookGood luck finding a copy of Charles Beaumont’s original short story “The Howling Man”. It’s out of print, and has been for years. You might get lucky and stumble across a dog-eared copy at an old bookstore, yard sale or flea market, or pay an outrageous “collector’s” price online, but other than that? Tough beans for you. Even most libraries don’t carry a copy anymore.

And I don’t like that. Not one bit. Not only was young Beaumont a supremely gifted writer, but “The Howling Man” itself is such an incredible piece of writing. It’s a terrible shame that today’s readers are being deprived of this masterpiece.

The Twilight Zone adaptation — be sure to read the previous sister post, “The Howling Man”: The Script” – which aired on this date in 1960, stays very true to Beaumont’s original story. The only real difference is the ending. So allow me to recap that alternate ending for you now. Continue reading

“The Howling Man”: The Script


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The Twilight Zone episode “The Howling Man” first aired on November 4, 1960 — the fifth episode of the series’ second season. The story was written by Charles Beaumont, who was responsible for penning more than twenty TZ scripts, including “Long Distance Call”, “Long Live Walter Jameson“, “Miniature“, and the haunting “Perchance to Dream“.

If you found the Devil locked in a cage, would you let him out? Could you be convinced that it was him? Would you be swayed by his gentle demeanour? And fooled by his choice words? “The Howling Man” explores those very questions. It asks, “Do you believe?”

Wrought with wonderfully blatant Christian overtones, “The Howling Man” is my favourite episode of the Twilight Zone. To celebrate its 53rd anniversary today, I have a treat for all the serious TZ fans: the full “Howling Man” script. Continue reading

Vampire Hunting 101 with Professor Van Helsing


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Here we are, mere hours away from Halloween night, and the ghosts and ghouls are sure to be out in full force. More importantly though, there will be undead creatures slinking around the darkest shadows, watching and waiting, hoping to grab a bite… of YOU.



It would be immoral and irresponsible of me to let you go out unprepared to defend yourselves against such evil, my darlings. So today, I’m enrolling you all in Professor Van Helsing’s “Vampire Hunting 101” class. In this crash course you’ll learn everything you need to know about vampires: How to protect yourself, and how to kill them. Continue reading


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