Thursday, August 5, 2010

And Many Happy Returns

Magnet # 310:  Larry Elmore's Fairy

Material:  Vinyl

Purchased By:  N/A - given to me, free

Here's to legendary fantasy artist Larry Elmore, who celebrates his birthday today. He's currently up in Indianapolis for Gen Con, one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world. He attends it nearly every year, has even been its Guest of Honor, and I hope his sales are great today in honor of his special event.

Larry is easily a much more traditional Leo than I. When he is in a room, he tends to dominate it and it's not because he's a famous artist, or making an effort to, or simply overtaking conversations - he's just very interesting and lots of fun to be around. People just pay attention when he talks. He is a great storyteller and talks about his boyhood days in Kentucky, his family, and trips all over the world as much, if not more, than he does about his time as an artist. Larry also just seems to know all sorts of stuff and I tend to learn quite a bit just listening to him. And he's also very creative - if you have any doubts, just look at his incredible paintings, like the one posted here. I'd likewise say he's very enthusiastic and honest. As for Leo's more negative qualities - well, I wouldn't call Larry bossy, intolerant, or interfering, but the tendency of Leos to like living dangerously? Well, he definitely has that. Larry loves fast cars and motorcycles. I had never even heard of the truck he has, a second generation Ford Lightning, until I saw his. Apparently, it's part pickup truck, part sports car with a 380 horse power engine. It's even been featured in films such as The Fast and the Furious and Dude, Where's My Car?, so it must have street cred, right? Riding around winding Kentucky roads with Larry behind the wheel when I was there for his art classes, I was pretty amazed to see just how fast it could accelerate - when he gunned it, I almost felt like I was in a roller coaster. And he has a vintage muscle car and a motorcycle as well. I guess the vehicles are representative of the showy side of Leos, but at least Larry's lightning is blue, and not red as most that appear onscreen are. But, all in all, Larry is pretty characteristic of a Leo.

Even though Larry is turning 62 today and he has some pretty bad habits, I think he'll still manage to stick around for a pretty long time. While he can drive like a maniac and tends to not buckle up, chugs coffee and alcohol, smokes the occasional cigarette, and has had three heart attacks and a stroke, he comes from an awfully good gene pool. A few years back, I was surprised to learn his dad is still alive, but then I was downright stunned when I heard his grandfather was, too. In fact, his dad had tuberculosis years back and was actually moved into the notorious Waverly Hills Sanatorium, now reputed to be one of Kentucky's most haunted spots.  Patients there received many incorrect, even dangerous, treatments and the place had a pretty high death rate - everyone in the Elmore family thought he was a goner.  And yet, he beat the disease and lived to tell the tale - pretty impressive.  Anyway, I sometimes wonder if Larry will outlive us all.  It's hard to believe that he's been painting fantasy art for almost three decades, but he started all the way back in 1981.  I'm looking forward to another decade of fantastic art from him and wish him all the best today!

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