I’d like, for a moment, to step out of character, and speak to you as the humble (or not so humble) narrator of The Panda Chronicles. First, I’d like to thank all of you who have joined in the fun this year. I say this from the bottom of my heart, that Bob T. Panda and his friends have become stronger and funnier because you all are watching. Whether it’s high art or low art, art needs to be seen and appreciated to really exist. It’s kind of like Tinkerbelle. If you don’t believe in her, she’ll fade and die. Poof. Blapp.
I’d also like to say, that as a full time artist for more than several decades, that the pandas bring me FUN in a way that painting has not, in some time. Don’t get me wrong. I love painting, and it continues to bring joy, satisfaction and gratification (not to mention $$$) into my life. Make no mistake about it, just because you love something, that doesn’t mean it isn’t work, particularly when you spend 40 or more hours a week engaging in it, not to mention all the “non-art” stuff you have to do in order to make a living at it. Not that I’m complaining. What other work can a person do at home with their cat on the drawing table? Be that as it may, drawing pandas is FUN with a capital F. Thinking up things for my pandas to do and say is even more fun and often makes me laugh out loud. And yes, Virginia, there is a Mehitabel. While she is named for a literary cat (from The Lives and Times of Archie and Mehitabel) she is an actual flesh and fur 15 year-old cat, who can still jump onto my drawing table from the floor.
So here’s where the fun comes in. As a special present for Christmas/ Hanukah/ Kwanza/ Solstice or what ever the heck you want to celebrate this time of year, I propose a fun, interactive project. Uh oh, you say. Whenever my yoga teacher says she has something ‘fun’ for us, it usually means 74 sun-salutes with an extended hold in downward facing dog or some such nonsense. No, this will actually be much more fun. Introducing the Babette de` Panda paper panda! And her first outfit! Remember paper dolls? You cut them out and then you cut out all their little outfits (oops! Don’t cut off the tabs!) And then you change their clothes and have a party. I’ll make a new outfit every now and again so that you can change Babette’s wardrobe. (She simply hates wearing the same outfit two days in a row!!) Today’s pandas are presented in a higher resolution size than normal, so that you can print them out. I suggest gluing Babette to a piece of cardboard so she can stand up. You could print a whole army of Babettes and have a cocktail party!
Here’s the “interactive” part: after everyone prints, cuts out, and dresses Babette in her outfit, I want you to photograph her and post the picture on Bob the Panda’s fan page on Face book. Feel free to post your photograph on your own page or send it to your other FB friends. You can even print out a little crowd of “Babettes” and have your own little choir de` Babette. I ask only a few things in return (oh, there’s always a catch, isn’t there?):
- You “like” the Bob the Panda page.
- You link back to The Panda Chronicles or “introduce” panda friendly people to Bob T. Panda
- You may not put Babette on anything that is for sale.
Other than that, the only requirement is that you have fun with this. I will come up with some sort of actual prize for the most creative photo of Babette submitted by December 31st. A committee of Babette, her special friend, Victory and myself will determine the winner.
Technical note: It helps to print these on light cardstock, and glue an extra layer on “Babette” before cutting out. You can the make a triangle out of light weight cardboard which has a fold at the bottom so that she can stand up. I’m hoping the automatic resizing that happens when I put a picture on the blog doesn’t screw up the scale. If it does, you may have to mess with print sizes a little bit. Also, don’t separate the hat from the rest of the outfit.
Be the (funloving) Bear
Bob T. Panda