Tinker Bell with added charcoal dust

I did cry a bit when we couldn’t get into Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan” at the cinema when I got taken to see it as a kid for the first time back in the 70s. That’s why one of my art Buyers really put a smile in my heart.

Donna from Portland, OR wrote and told me once how she’d bought some ACEOs including a couple of Tinker Bell. Donna said “LOVE Tink’s expression” about my still-life drawing (below) of the Walt Disney Classics Collection ornament sculpture.

Charcoal and Oil - Tinker Bell by Douglas Rickard

Charcoal and Oil – Tinker Bell by Douglas Rickard

Charcoal and Oil – Tinker Bell,” which is a mixed media drawing, is available on other gifts and products like tote bags and stickers.

Tinker Bell tote bag

Tinker Bell tote bag

What Donna did with the smallest version, she purchased direct from me, at her NFFC Disneyana Fan Club chapter picnic was amazing though. She let me know that she would be giving one of them to Margaret Kerry, the lady who is the original actor and model, Disney animator Marc Davis used for reference when drawing Tinker Bell herself!

Margaret Kerry with Tinker Bell ACEO

Margaret Kerry with Tinker Bell ACEO

As a little boy all I wanted to do when I grew up was work in that cinema in Plymouth, England! But having one of my Tinker Bell drawings given to someone so much a part of my favorite movie, was never one of the dreams I’d had!

The Tinker Bell Pout

The Tinker Bell Pout

Tinker Bell ACEO Art Card

Tinker Bell ACEO Art Card

Tinker Bell large size stickers

Tinker Bell large size stickers

Falling in love with Disneyland Paris

Still up there as the “happiest” day of my life so far, is a 15-hour (and my first ever in any Disney park) day at Disneyland, Anaheim. Splash Mountain had just opened and my 21 year old, friendship bracelet wearing self, and fellow summer camp counselors did everything there, down to the Davy Crocket canoes.

Until last month, for some reason or other, I hadn’t been back to our Disneyland in Europe for 20 years, despite living in London. Walt’s charming park in the California sunshine had set the bar high for me perhaps and I don’t really remember much from a mid-‘90s short day trip to DLP.

How was it then, that on my 2016 visit, with construction ‘reinvent the magic’ refurbishment walls, (in preparation for the 25th Anniversary in 2017) from park entrance, through Main Street station and all over Frontierland, I fell in love with Disneyland Paris for the first time …in forever?

Douglas Rickard on it's a small world

Douglas Rickard on it’s a small world

Green hoardings on one side of the entrance didn’t hamper an immediate rush of birdsong and heavenly, flowering shrub scents from the other, (I’m pretty sure the birds weren’t animatronics). And for me, this was the story that continued throughout the Disneyland Paris park. It’s beautiful. I’m about “show” element too. I was trained in one of the stores in the early ‘90s about “standards,” and I notice the little details everywhere anyway as you might appreciate in one of my montage-heavy Vlogs below, pinpointing corners of Fantasyland.

My travlog (below) through what is, in my opinion, the superior “salute to the children of the world” in all the Disney parks depicts, just one upshot of the ‘reinvent the magic’ refurbishments at Disneyland Paris. It was the likes of tweets, articles and forum posts on this clearly visible investment into not just the park but cast members too, that made me decide Disney Paris is worth a visit.

it's a small world Disneyland Paris 2016

it’s a small world Disneyland Paris 2016

Cottonwood Creek Ranch at Disneyland Paris

Cottonwood Creek Ranch at Disneyland Paris

I now miss being addressed as “monsieur”. Whether they were serving ice cream or thoughtfully ensuring they took enough photos (on my own camera) of me, with one of the characters. That’s the feeling the 100 percent pleasant Disneyland Paris cast members left me with.

Uncle Scrooge with Douglas Rickard at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

Uncle Scrooge with Douglas Rickard at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

Main Street USA Disneyland Paris 2016

Main Street USA Disneyland Paris 2016

Watching other Vloggers, it hit me that of course many have those very precious kind of memories from childhood visits to Disneyland Paris which I never had. Nostalgia for me was the titles of “The Wonderful World Of Disney” tv show and that original castle in Anaheim on a screen. Yet I now feel such affection for a happy place in Paris that I experienced as having an authentic sense of its very own history while honouring everything I believed about and enjoyed at, Walt’s original castle park.

Blue Heeler art can even turn blue

Daring, without-hesitation charcoal lines which round up the courageous contour of the Australian Cattle Dog in this art, have got to be apt for any assertive alpha owner!

Blue Heeler Drawing

Blue Heeler Drawing

Australian Cattle Dog Drawing

Australian Cattle Dog Drawing

If you’ve ever seen any of my mixed media drawings which appear to be half developing into color, then this could be the pure charcoal drawing equivalent. The blue heeler’s fur, tongue and twinkling eyes spring out in more detail from the pure line starting point of this perky dog’s shape.

Blue Heeler Art

Blue Heeler Art

Blue Heeler Art by Douglas Rickard

Blue Heeler Art by Douglas Rickard

This aspect could make for an even more interesting drawing when the canvas is filled with the color of your choice, when purchasing my blue heeler art on something like a hoodie from my Redbubble shop. And of course you don’t have to choose… blue!

Blue Heeler Hoodie

MLK and how he lived

In the video below I talk about how, as an artist, I dealt with what is known as the cross-race effect when it came to my accurately representing the facial features of Dr. King in this art deco style drawing of a 1964 photo.

Martin Luther King Jr - Stick with Love by Douglas Rickard

Martin Luther King Jr – Stick with Love by Douglas Rickard

Charles Krauthammer wrote of the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in “The Washington Post” that the Chinese architect who sculpted it, is famous for producing statues of Chairman Mao and commented, “His flat, rigid, socialist realist King does not do justice to the supremely nuanced, creative, humane soul of its subject.” I knew it would not be enough to draw a likeness in order to honor the civil rights leader. With a drawing especially, something more can appear within hand-applied strokes of charcoal and a selective smudge of a thumbprint. I wanted to portray Dr. King’s personality, how he lived and carried himself.

Martin Luther King Jr portrait by Douglas Rickard

Martin Luther King Jr portrait by Douglas Rickard

I hope I have represented the spirit-man if you like, of Martin Luther King Jr. even in a simple drawing such as this. Delicate touches perhaps indicate his gentility and the bold charcoal outline could acknowledge his immovable tenacity.

Stick With Love

Stick With Love

In a final flourish I intertwined phrases and words used in one of Dr. King’s 1967 speeches. Words perhaps, guests to your home, when they see this art, will take a moment or two to notice and string together. I enjoy creating art that takes a while to resonate sometimes. If you too, want to see people figure out this revolutionary sentence, and choose to remember MLK and his peaceful uprising with the help of my drawing, then how about simply grabbing a t-shirt or one of the products from my Redbubble store.

MLK

MLK

Worthy of a vintage Hollywood style caricature

Famous hair of a flaming villain

Famous hair of a flaming villain

This schmoozing, wise cracking, minion-surrounded, powerful and allegedly based on a Hollywood studio chairman, villain has a very apropos portrait in my “Where Pictures Shine” series.

Where Pictures Shine - Hades by Douglas Rickard

Where Pictures Shine – Hades by Douglas Rickard

From the 30s to the 1960s, movie executives and stars dined in a restaurant in the center of Hollywood called the “Brown Derby”. They would be seated beneath walls of framed caricatures of themselves, drawn by Polish immigrant Eddie Vitch. Like my series, these portraits were made up of a minimal amount of strong lines.
When I began drawing charcoal still-lifes of WDCC sculptures in 2004 I would usually end up smudging areas to create a soft three dimensional shape, and then applying oil pastel colors in the same way. You can see this in my “Charcoal and Oil” series.

I always veered however towards a stronger, heavy-handed application if you will, in my drawing. In art college I tended to use heavy lines during life study, even marking them several times over and over again if necessary to achieve the correct proportions. This may explain my frequent stumbling in art class back at school because we were only ever given the delicate media of water color paint to use.

Why do villains always laugh at their own jokes

Why do villains always laugh at their own jokes

Schmoozing face worthy of a vintage Hollywood caricature

Schmoozing face worthy of a vintage Hollywood caricature

So, do you think Hades, which is my drawing of the Ruben Procopio Walt Disney Classics Collection porcelain, would make a suitable portrait for your wall or maybe even the office of you agent or manager perhaps?

Alice in Wonderland or is it New York City

Wherever it is, it really is always tea-time in this silly corner of Central Park, set out on a few bronze mushrooms.

Who would sit on a mushroom in Central Park

Who would sit on a mushroom in Central Park

Drawing the Central Park Alice statue

Drawing the Central Park Alice statue

The Mad Hatter and the Dormouse

The Mad Hatter and the Dormouse

Alice and her cats in Wonderland

Alice and her cats in Wonderland

If you look and imagine long enough, where this 1959 José de Creeft Alice in Wonderland statue is, this is as you just might see things though.

The Cheshire Cat grin

The Cheshire Cat grin

So can you imagine this New York cityscape in your home? Would guests spot what’s hidden in the trees straight away, or might you enjoy watching their faces for a while as the lose themselves in this art, forgetting to talk as they perhaps make out this hidden Cheshire Cat face?

Alice in Wonderland statue, Central Park, New York by Douglas Rickard

Alice in Wonderland statue, Central Park, New York by Douglas Rickard

But how about I begin at the beginning (even though we’re already in the middle of this blog post)? Staring out of car windows as a little boy, I used to imagine characters travelling along outside with us, such as Edgar on his motorcycle from “The Aristocats”. So what more perfect a place could there possibly be to start “seeing things” than this whimsical dead end of a path in that maze called New York City.

As an unframed giclée direct from me, you can request a hand embellished version, layered with actual oil pastel touches, bespoke with even more hidden suprises like some special intials or a date.

Douglas Rickard talks about his Central Park New York art

Douglas Rickard talks about his Central Park New York art

You can also decorate your home, if you ever do get home, with my drawing on throw pillows or affordable larger wall art through this rabbit hole called my Redbubble store.

Alice in Wonderland gifts and shopping

Alice in Wonderland gifts and shopping

The Dormouse

The Dormouse

Light art exhibits another world at Lumiere London 2016

It was cold. New Year sales finished. Christmas over. A weekend for hibernating. And yet, out we came after dark, following guide map apps down alleys and up streets, around our London. Cars and buses had been told to stay away. We were going after the next color burst in the sky (a jellyfish over Oxford Circus); the next hidden surprise in a phone box (there were fishes swimming in one) or up in a Regent Street arch (yes, the elephant appearing on one side also had a… back side).

binaryWaves by LABau at Lumiere London

binaryWaves by LABau at Lumiere London

Lumineoles by Porte par le vent at Lumiere London 2016

Lumineoles by Porte par le vent at Lumiere London 2016

Take a walk below these flying fish on Piccadilly with me in this video and then through a dazzling flower garden in Leicester Square:

This Lumiere light festival was resonating with me from when the sun began to set that winter’s Saturday in Parliament Square. I’m all about seeing more than there is, in the everyday around us. For me, this was like a glimpse of Heaven moving to earth, the routine beginning to quiver as something more is revealed.

IFO Identified Flying Object at Lumiere London 2016

IFO Identified Flying Object at Lumiere London 2016

Leicester Square Garden of Light at Lumiere London

Leicester Square Garden of Light at Lumiere London

In the video below watch myself and a vlogger friend discuss these ten statues at Westminster Abbey: a Polish Franciscan who volunteered to be executed in place of a stranger in Auschwitz; a woman beaten to death through an indigenous ritual because of her faith; a Ugandan Archbishop assassinated in 1977; St. Elizabeth of Russia killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918; Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in 1968 and the Archbishop of San Salvador in 1980; a pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer executed by the Nazis in 1945; a female evangelist from Pakistan called Esther John murdered in 1960; a Papuan man called Lucian Tapiedi killed during the Japanese invasion in 1942 and a Chinese pastor and evangelist killed in the 1972 cultural revolution.

The New Living Translation of Colossians 3:1 does say “…set your sights on the realities of heaven…”. I have been moved recently, listening to someone who had been taken on a visit to Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-2), called Kat Kerr. The atmosphere of wonder as people moved through the streets of London during the Lumiere weekend, kept reminding me of her recollections. With one accord we went to discover the next art installation experience, created through light. Earth is a shadow of Heaven and she says how there, the creativity is beyond our imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9).

What began with the martyred saints ended with a glowing garment. A gown in pink or gold, or was it green… This struck a chord with my reflections throughout this whole weekend. Kat Kerr said how she had even seen people chase others down the streets of gold (Revelation 21:21), to ask what they did with their life on earth because they’d spotted the gemstones on their robes of righteousness (Revelation 7:9). These sometimes create images; patterns of gems, that the Father has taken from Himself and placed there as a reward.

It may sound like these martyrs are remembered in stone on this planet, for what sounds like simply a tragic end. However, my own pastor, Ramson Mumba shared how “…the purpose of life is not to live long, even though longevity has its place, but rather that the purpose is to finish your course…” (Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7-8); and that death (for them) would not be defeat, but instead their greatest promotion (Romans 8:35-39; Hebrews 12:1-2).

Westminster Abbey The Light of the Spirit at Lumiere London 2016

Westminster Abbey The Light of the Spirit at Lumiere London 2016

Finally, why not take a look at this video, in which the dress actually looks like the silver liquid life which Kat Kerr describes as the construction of people’s gowns of salvation, (Isaiah 61:10), in Heaven. This festival really did feel like somewhere else moving into, above, onto and out of the streets of London.