22 June 2010

Art Stories - 1

After I finish a piece of art, I file a copy in a book kept in my bookcase. And behind each finished piece is a story. I thought I’d share the stories with you, so here’s the first: 00001 - J G Brogden 1951

James Grey Brogden was a roommate of mine at Oklahoma A & M College. He and I shared an apartment with two of my high school buddies from Rochester, NY - Smitty and Kendig. Jim was an Oklahoman, having lived with his adopted parents in Turner Falls, just up the road from Ardmore. He was majoring in Economics and Geology, drove a car of what make and vintage I don’t recall, and owned a pistol which he usually carried in his car. One evening, he was sitting on the sofa in the living room studying his Economics book when I picked up a pad and pencil and sketched his likeness. He invited me to visit his parents one weekend, which I did. That particular weekend, an oil company had rented the area for a barbecue, so we helped neaten it up. My first encounter with a rattlesnake happened there; It was a young one - they’re said to be more lethal than an adult - but we dispatched it quickly and disposed of the evidence. We also met a scorpion, which looked to me like the crayfish we used up north for fish bait, but it was too agile for us and disappeared under a flagstone. The day before the barbecue, a pit was dug, fire started and sometime later, a steer and a goat were added to the pit, which was then covered over. Barbecue day found the place alive with people, waiting anxiously for the pit to be uncovered and the chef to serve up the meat. The beef was delicious, but the goat was too gristly for my taste. I lost track of Jim after the spring semester, but found recently that he had lived in Texas until his death in 1991.

19 June 2010

But It's A Wet Heat!

During our trip to Rochester last April, we were able to shut off the air conditioner once we reached Payson. For the up-coming trip to Florida for our granddaughter’s wedding, we will need air conditioning all the way there and back. I’ve been looking at temperatures for San Antonio, Birmingham and Palm Bay, since we’ll be visiting in those areas. It’s not so much the temperatures that bother me - after all, we’re in the 100’s in Scottsdale - it’s the humidity. For example, 9:30 a.m. and the temperature is 89, but it feels like 85. In San Antonio, it’s 86 and feels like 93; Birmingham is 87 and feels like 94; Palm Bay is 88 and feels like 94. So we expect to be uncomfortably warm and muggy. I certainly hope my anti-perspirant can hold up.

09 June 2010

06 June 2010

The Artist At Work

Here are some photos of a new piece I'm working on. The carving is done in reverse. I made a proof by hand using a rolling pin from the kitchen and some water soluble ink. The proof will be used to determine where more work needs to be done to sharper the image. The dark areas in the tulips and leaves will be carved away to leave a nice white area for some watercolors to be added. The end product will probably be note cards. When the proofs are dry, I'll publish one.