Hardy Har Cards is a mom and pop operation, the brainchild of Joe and Paula McHugh. Joe is a professional storyteller in the honored tradition of Mark Twain and Will Rogers while Paula is a painter, glass artist, graphic and web designer. They had the good fortune to meet and fall in love back in 1986 and decided that spending the rest of their lives together was a capital idea. Since then, they have worked on numerous creative projects together including radio plays, school curricula, public radio documentaries, podcasting, a series of illustrated children’s books, and The Time Travelers, a unique stage performance chronicling the history and folklore of America by weaving together stories and fiddle, banjo, and dulcimer duets with projected images of original paintings.
Joe and Paula are also accomplished folk musicians who have performed at schools, colleges, festivals, and museums throughout the United States and parts of Europe. Joe has authored seven books including Kilowatt, a political/sci-fi thriller about the energy industry and the nature of time, Slaying the Gorgon, the Rise of the Storytelling Industrial Complex that explores how stories are told in the modern age given the dynamic and transforming influence of new technologies, and The Phantom Fiddler and Other Notable Tales, a collection of original short stories inspired by the supernatural mythology and folklore of the violin. His memoir, Coins in the Ashes, a Family Story of Grief, Gratitude, and Grace tells the story of his twelve-year quest to find the family of an African-American woman who cared for him when he was very young and who helped his family survive a series of tragic events including the death of his father from polio.
Paula McHugh is an accomplished artist. Her work has been featured at art shows and by galleries and art museums across the country. She has illustrated a children’s book entitled The Flying Santa, many graphic design projects, and web design. Since 2008 she has been working on a series of oil and egg tempera paintings based on the evocative titles of traditional American fiddle music. Paula’s goal in this series is to remember this essential American music and the people and traditions through her genre paintings. To see this series of paintings visit her website www.paulamchugh.com
The Dancing Bears – Oil on Canvas 24″ x 18″
Artist – Paula McHugh
Oil on Canvas 16″ x 20″
Artist Paula McHugh