Imbalance of Power

Imbalance of Power

“4M” (Mixed-Media/Mixed Method) on Strathmore Hot-Press Watercolor board painted in early 1986. Lots of bubbly acrylic wash involved in the rocky texture background. “Imbalance of Power” marked several firsts and transitions for me – and my family.

The first “first”? This wasn’t a wrap-around cover and the single-side format would continue (with one exception) until my time with the series ended. FASA was starting to make a decent amount of money and I had kept my prices down to keep from “killing the goose that laid the golden egg”. The understanding was (to quote John F. Kennedy) “A rising tide raises all boats”: when they did better they’d pay me better. There was some murmuring at a raise in rates but as a compromise they changed the format – which meant less time on each painting which in turn increased my dollar-per-hour figure on each painting.

Another first: I drew the rough/comprehensive sketch for this painting while I was attending BOSKONE. It was a little clumsy working on a tiny little hotel room table but it saved me time and gave me something constructive to do while everyone else was drunk.

Third “first”: It was the first major piece of art I did while living in “the blue house”. The first (not quite) 3 years of free-lancing were spent in a tiny little studio that had been converted from the tiny little garage for tract housing that had been built in the 1940s for workers at the Geneva Steel works in Orem, Utah. Early in 1986 we had the opportunity to move a huge distance (1/2 mile) to another larger house – the blue house – with a large studio built atop a garage instead of inside it. We moved in stages and started living in the new house before we got everything out of the old one so I had to do all the airbrushing and painting with the board ( and my fourth-point-of-contact was sitting atop the cardboard boxes and plywood sheets we were using for furniture until we got the contents of the studio moved over.

It was also a sad time. After three years of freelancing we felt secure enough to have another child. Lori became pregnant almost immediately and was doing well, but had a miscarriage while I was just starting this painting. As I said it was a sad time – but it was made more so by some of the brain-dead comments people would make – but I will leave that for another day.

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