“Villains in Animation” at Van Eaton

This past weekend, 11/8/2014, the “Iron Giant” show opened. This coming weekend, 11/15/2014, is another trip into the Universe of Animation. This time I will be joining a large group of terrific artists at the Van Eaton Gallery in Sherman Oaks, CA to take part in the “Villains of Animation” Group Art Show.

As this is a new venue for me, I wanted to really make a good first impression. I was alloted space enough for one 12 x 16 painting. So, I started thinking about all the animated villains with whom I was familiar. I landed on Elmer Fudd. A classic, right? My thought was to portray him as he might be in the “real world”. I figured that meant he would be a gap-toothed, dirty, back woods fella straight out of “Deliverance”. Also, he would have to be packing some serious heat. In the cartoons, Elmer is always going “full auto” on Bugs Bunny, which is amazing since he only has a double barreled shotgun. So, I would give him an automatic rifle with a large magazine and tons of extra ammo. There would also be tons of spent shells on the ground. Seeing as this is supposed to be the “real world”, I thought the landscape should reflect Elmer’s “Scorched Earth” tactics. This is what I dreamt up…

"Wabbit Season" 12 x 16. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Wabbit Season” 12 x 16. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

So, I am looking at it, and I’m looking at it, and I’m looking at it… Something is not sitting right with me. I like the concept, but the execution is somewhat lacking. I look at the calendar. I have time. I decide to do something I have never done before a show; paint another painting.

I had another idea from a different show that I thought might work here. For that show, I was going to do a unique take on “Scooby-Doo” villains, in particular “The Creeper”. We never saw any of the SD villains in their lairs, prepping to go out and do their scary things. My idea was to paint the painting as seen from the Creeper’s point of view. You would be looking at a cluttered makeup table. The Creeper Mask is on a head form in the corner. The mirror is surrounded by newspaper clippings about the Creeper, and maybe a foreclosure note from another bank (Motive!) Reflected in the mirror would be the face of the Creeper’s secret true identity, Mr. Carswell.

As nice as that was , I felt it to be a little too complex. I had to streamline the joke. Once again, I decided on doing something else not seen before in “Scooby-Doo” episodes. I would paint up a Mugshot of the Creeper as he was being processed at Police HQ. That was much clearer and straight to the point. Here you go…

"Mugshot of Mr. Carswell, a.k.a. the Creeper" 11 x 14. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

“Mugshot of Mr. Carswell, a.k.a. the Creeper” 11 x 14. Acrylic on Masonite. © Mark Tavares

Already, I was liking so much more the execution of this piece. Where things were getting muddy in the “Elmer” piece, this remained clear throughout. To maintain the “realism” I used Phil Silver’s face as a basis for Mr. Carswell. The recently deceased Richard Kiel served as inspiration for the Creeper mask.

That’s pretty much it. The paintings in the show have gone up for sale today. The show opens Saturday, 11/15/2014. Please come by and check it out if you are in the area!


Thanks for looking!



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