Buzz Graphic

This was to be another political circus year. Didn’t turn out that way.

Remember that cute aphorism, “Life is what happens when you’ve made other plans” That sure is a cute maxim. I hate cute sayings. Another I detest is, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade “. To paraphrase Scrooge, people who offer such pearls of wisdom should be boiled in their own Christmas pudding. If they have no pudding, pudding should be purchased for them.

Anatomical correctness

I demand of myself the absolute highest standards of anatomical accuracy

I don’t remember Alex. Might have been a real person. Stream of conscientiousness is a possibility. Astral projection? Not ruling anything out. Its the age of imagination isn’t it?

The chimera I create have no recourse but to suffer their fate

But what more does a sketch of a dog do here than inflict pain on the anal anatomist? All graphics, all images are just tokens which pull on the strings of memory. It’s only a trigger. The eye presents the image to the brain. The brain sorts thru experience. Ah, yes, here is an image of that mongrel dog that snarled at me once, it says. Suddenly this rough rendering is replaced by the remembrance of a real dog, just as scary, just as menacing. Think of how dreams rework the literal image to convey emotion…fear for instance. This dog would have a pretty nasty bite. Overbite even.

The quick sketch

when the idea hits a quick sketch is often more apt than a slick one

The point in a cartoon or a cartoonish illustration is to be light but convey the central idea. That’s the reason for long conversations with the client, discovering what would make them happy. Sort of like the therapist patient relationship. Often…they don’t know what they want…but when you dig, and you must, you can surprise them…in a good way. Its a challenge but fun and part of learning for an artist.

illustrations for a book on collaboration

One sunny afternoon, typical of the perfect weather in Vilcabamba, I was up on the edge of the Valley of Longevity looking toward the town and Mandango, sketching. A woman also there liked the drawings and offered me a job. She was putting together a book for undergrads. She ended up using the roughs. You do enough roughs and you don’t need roughs. Like pressing the first take for a musician in the day.

This is the final version of the cover illustration

Free Association

the right of thoughts to randomly associate and gather together.

Neither a writer nor illustrator I orbit creativity like the bug around a night light in summer. I remember those nights in Nebraska. There were bugs at night and they loved the lights we set outdoors. Like in the north they put out bird seed not to grow birds but rather to feed them. The bugs crave warmth given by the sun, they fly close but the warmth never comes. Sometimes they get too close to the UV around a bug zapper and encounter fine wires with 20,000 volts between them. I ask you, is there any justice?

Illustration for Something

I don’t remember, hell I might have just free associated it, I do that you know, I’m old

I’ll see a photo in the NYT and draw it in pen or graphite. I’ve done that for nearly all my life. Its pretty ingrained. That leads to piles of paper renderings of all manner of stuff. There is text too. Stories that were never completed because they morphed like the kiwi plant that’s taken over the green house. I will be out there addressing those Triffids with the bolt cutters as soon as the temp gets above sixty, I swear!

Writing for the Buzz

A local publisher offers opportunity for ancient content creator.

The buzz is a local paper, a broadsheet, with local and eclectic content. Its publisher is a local man who works to encourage community. BCV this was important. Clearly it is even more important now. The story of the worlds insect population collapse was under reported and yet very important. It tended to hide in the shadows where people store news that seems so remote its of no interest. The epidemics in far off China were hidden in these shadows as well….until they were not. I don’t expect the story of the canary in the environmental coal mine will get reported even when this crisis has abated. One thing at a time and then only when something kicks people squarely in the ass. An old wisdom comes to mind, “to the blind all things are sudden”. Distraction seems to be all.

Stuck inside but dealing with it

The author a few years ago in Cuenca Ecuador

I am an old guy on social security. I live in a shack in the woods of Maine. Being sort of a rural rustic (never a city person) I don’t miss crowds. In fact This past month of total isolation hasn’t seemed that far from normal. The several times a week travel to WalMart or the grocery were more for getting out than a real need to shop. Now someone else does my shopping. To add another twist (its never one thing at a time) I am in the middle of a weight loss program. I am both victim and admin on the diet. It’s working too. I am down fifty of the hundred pound target. September 2020 is the date for accomplishing that goal. The isolation might be helping it, not sure. Learning to make bread might seem contrary to the above but like many its something I’ve differed til now.

Never had a blog before

I believe this is my first blog. I have made many attempts over the years to publish my writing and drawing online but none of the attempts took root. With the high and seemingly universal praise for WordPress this might be the time I succeed.

The allied flyer indicated by the arrow almost totally obscures my father in the fall of 1944

How many people who’s parents were fighting in WW2 have photos of them being captured by the enemy. The photo above is of my dad minutes after the crew’s capture at Kiel in northern Germany in the fall of 1944. Their B17 had ditched in the Kiel canal near a German base. A quisling Dutch newspaper photographer happened to be there and documented the scene. After confiscating all their cigarettes the Germans started the fresh POWs on their journey to Luft Stalag 17 (yes, of Hogan’s Heros fame). When they walked out of that prison six months later roles were switched and their former guards were happy to become prisoners of the American Army. The only other option was capture by the Russians…not a healthy thing even for Russian soldiers and flyers.