After a Fashion

The monster is not a monstrosity. In fact, Your Style Avatar is putting it on his wall.

The finely crafted Frankenstein painting by 
Thad Morgan awarded to me at the Zombie Ball.
The finely crafted Frankenstein painting by Thad Morgan awarded to me at the Zombie Ball. (Image courtesy of Thad Morgan)
(l-r) Edith (Mrs. Darrell) Royal, Bobbie Nelson, and 
Susan Antone (sisters of Willie and Clifford, respectively) Help Clifford Help Kids. Literally.
(l-r) Edith (Mrs. Darrell) Royal, Bobbie Nelson, and Susan Antone (sisters of Willie and Clifford, respectively) Help Clifford Help Kids. Literally.


I can hardly remember last month's Zombie Ball through the haze of medication, and at the time, I didn't know exactly what would be occurring until it all happened. I was surprised and taken aback when I was awarded the Frankenstein's monster painting, and didn't know anything about it, who did it, etc. So, this week, I heard from the artist who painted the piece. Artist Thad Morgan (Morgans Fine Art Studio on Facebook) created the work as a smaller version of a very large monster. It was the style of his paintings that was so fascinating. The creator of what he calls Modern Fauvism, Morgan says that the style is "initally based on the specific ideal of the expressive use of bold, vibrant colours that celebrate spontaneity and vitality. I use the mobility, fluidity, and range of the weight that colours carry within their structures collectively creating melodic harmony. But the true validity is the effect the work has on the emotions of the audience." Frankly, talking about a painting without seeing it is like describing a dream. Was I shocked by the subject matter? No. It was campy and suited the occasion well. Did I have any idea of what I'd do with it? Not yet, but I've been trying to figure out how to make it work in my bedroom which I've decorated like a garage sale Versailles. None of it mattered until, in the light of day, the brushstrokes, texturing, and layering of the painting made it come alive. Vividly. Perhaps I should reconsider the Versailles theme and dedicate my bedroom to horror. But wait ... isn't it already?

Clifford's 10th

To me, the perfect touch was the envelopes on the table containing cards designed and signed by students thanking us for contributions to their educations. It was a moving and personal touch that went far beyond the usual video and speech presentations at most benefits. But this 10th anniversary of Help Clifford Help Kids (I've been to them all) also celebrated 30 years of American YouthWorks, which means a lot to me. It's certainly the kind of program that might have benefited me when I was struggling with staying in high school. Of course Clifford and Susan Antone's connection with it made it a requirement on my annual social calendar. And it holds an especially dear spot, since my soldier boy nephew Tyler graduated from there. So even though I was feeling poorly and only stayed briefly, the energy and goodwill of the evening made me want to stay all night. The tribute to the late Robin Shivers was particularly poignant. In fact, it was impressive to see how much support this education program receives from the music community, with masters of ceremonies Jody Denberg and Andy Langer (along with KVUE's Chief Meteorologist Mark Murray), as well as many music professionals like Bobbie Nelson, Roggie Baer, and Waterloo Records' John Kunz. Bob Schneider ended the evening with a set that had his fans enraptured. Help Clifford Help Kids does exactly what it sets out to do, with tangible results shown through the work of the students at American YouthWorks. And as a benefit, Help Clifford Help Kids is the perfect combination of a worthy cause and terrific Austin-style entertainment.

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More After a Fashion
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Stephen MacMillan Moser, July 5, 2013

After a Fashion: The Main Event
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Frankenstein's monster, Clifford Antone, Susan Antone, Help Clifford Help Kids, Thad Morgan, American YouthWorks

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