Jayden gets the lion’s share of write-ups but I do have other grandchildren that can lay equal claim to my heart. Last week I received a packet in the mail from my older son and his family in Maryland, a packet full of letters and pictures that were all equally wonderful…but there was one image that really fascinates me.
It was created by a grandson I call “Hank the Tank”. It would be natural to assume that I favor him because he bears the strongest resemblance to me as a child, but he also has a slightly tilted outlook on life that I love. He brings to mind another square peg in a round hole from decades ago.
Some of the imagery is recognizable but there is an element of the surreal that is very intriging. I see whales, submarines, Zeppelins and rockets …and I have to wonder about the story behind it all.
No – you’re not seeing things – the masthead illustration HAS gotten sharper and brighter, thanks to the efforts of my good friend Kent Gardner. Kent is a crackerjack designer from Vermont and he kindly took the time to clean up Emma and John for me. Gardner is also that rarest of commodities in the creative world: a designer who actually knows what he is talking about.
For various reasons I’ve had to temporarily disable my contact information tab. If you need to get in direct touch with me you can go through the ‘Comment” option.
The book-thing is still in the works, though it has been a more placid progress than I had imagined. I may have said this already but at the outset I hadn’t planned on illustrations but there were one or two chapters that really needed images to clarify the action. Before long it was a matter of one thing leading to another – now the whole book is getting illustrated.
This will accompany 1966: Fighting Crime on Scout Lake Road – which you can still find on this blog if you search back a bit.
Thank you all for hanging in with me during this dry spell. It’s been difficult to find the motivation to do anything creative after taking not one but two tumbles down the stairs. I will be eternally grateful that bumps and bruises seem to be the worst of it all but to be honest I am not nearly as brave as I was when I was younger so it’s taking me a little longer than expected to get back up to speed.
Despite my age and girth I still have a soldier’s mindset – I can plod on through just about anything:
- When I developed a tremor in my hand that made painting problematic I switched to cut-paper sculpture.
- When I lost my teaching gig in Nashville I started teaching creative workshops out of my studio.
- When I
fractured destroyed my right ankle I taught from a wheelchair.
…but for some reason this fire at the Notre Dame has shaken me and I can’t figure out why is proving so hard for me to deal with.
- Maybe it’s the unsettled state of our world today.
- Maybe it’s my age.
- Maybe its because I love Gothic architecture.
The only Gothic cathedral I’ve seen in person was the Duomo and it’s probably just as well that I saw only the one because my heart couldn’t hold up – I think I went into full-body Stendahl’s syndrome. I studied Gothic Architecture from Mark Hamilton at BYU and I usually dwelt a little longer (than usual) on the subject in my own art history as befits living art you can walk around in.
Stephen Royale created this cardstock model for my class and I think should be shown again given the circumstances.
By this point you can probably tell that I like to use nicknames. Special name connote special relationships and I love my daughter more than life.
Last Christmas I wrote about Unrequited, a Batgirl-themed cut-paper piece I did almost ten years ago. While I’ve always been fond of the concept the main figure quickly cooled off for me so I decided to extensively rework the project, keeping the Bat-Mite figure and the odd utility belt pouch but disposing of everything else.
I finished the new main figure today and as I look at it three things come to mind:
- While the differences are not screamingly obvious I am very glad I re-did the Batgirl figure.
- I’d forgotten how challenging cut-paper work can be.
- It’s been a great warm-up for my upcoming book cover-to-be.
It’s been a while since my last large CPS but I’ve thankfully retained, even refined all the pertinent skills. The next step is to create a new environment then reassemble all the components into a single composition
Eight months ago I moved my studio from a shoebox sized sitting room off the kitchen to the much roomier bonus room on the second floor. There were several reasons for the move, not the least being the good vibes I get in sitting in a room resembling my attic loft back in Sterling. The move also forces me to negotiate a set of stairs at least four times a day, providing the exercise that is too easy for me to avoid given the chronic pain I deal with.
Sometimes the stairs provide more than exercise. When I went to visit the second-floor bathroom this afternoon I found that there was no tissue to be found anywhere, which prompted me to head downstairs for the hall bathroom. I had no sooner started down the steps when I slipped/tripped/mis-stepped which caused me to fall down the rest of the flight. As I was bouncing between the banister and the opposite wall I kept waiting for that avalanche of pain that accompanies a fracture but evidently judo and jump school taught me how to fall correctly and so far the only damage I’ve found is some pretty ugly bruises.
I’ve been murmuring continual quiet prayers to myself – this could have gone SO badly for me but so far the only damage is to Jaybug’ s eardrums when I set a record for consecutive “son of a bitch” utterances. The incident also taught me one very important lesson:
“Always keep the upstairs bathroom stocked with toilet paper!”