Monday, November 28, 2011

Cards at Play

(UPDATED Dec 6th:)

Here is the painting process:

I started out with a toned gesso on the canvas, and applied the drawing...

To fix the drawing this time, I copied a process I just learned about while attending my MFA course's Fall session, out in Pasadena-- Kenton Nelson showed us his studio, and told us of his process of using clear gesso over the drawing, to fix it to the canvas and to maintain an undisturbed drawing as the paint is applied (drawings can get muddy and disappear during the first wet and brushy paint application. This way, the drawing can be seen if you rub off or sand down misapplied paint, without worrying about loss of detail.

The drawing on the toned gray canvas:

Basic "blocking in"-- applying the lightest lights and darkest darks:

These guys were some colorful fellows, passing time at FOB Delhi in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in July 2009. They were Marines from several units who were either stationed there at Delhi, or recovering from wounds and waiting to ship back out to their units in the field.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Here's a blast from the past, and one that relates to Thanksgiving.

This is an oil painting entitled, "The Chess Game," and depicts several Marines sitting around playing chess and reading, passing the time.

It's based on a sketch and photos I took at an outpost on Route Michigan in Al Anbar Province on Thanksgiving Day, 2006. The Marines depicted were engineers who had spent their day on a route clearing mission (making sure there were no IEDs on the road)-- they certainly had earned some down time.

I enjoyed watching these Marines relax, and we spent a few moments chatting about Thanksgiving. As the "old man" in the room, I asked the young men to go around the room and mention something they were thankful for, and they obliged. Each expressed thanks for home, family and friends-- and to be alive, of course.

It was a bit of home there in an outpost.

I was thankful to God that America still produces young people like these, willing to serve wherever called.  I am still thankful for that today.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Salute to the Veterans

 Happy Veterans Day to all who have served our beloved republic!
We salute you.

And Thanks to all the families who've served at home, and to those who have been a part of our nation's war efforts. Without your service, ours would be impossible.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Combat Art from the Field-- a Marine Corps Birthday from the Past

I got this today in an email from Jack Dyer (Vietnam Marine combat artist and former curator of the Art Collection):

"...drawing shows Marines at the Khe Sanh Combat Base South Vietnam in1968 prepping for a primitive cake cutting ceremony led by COL Wickwire wielding a machete. Steaks were grilled on an inch thick slab of armor plate laid over a shallow charcoal filled trench. To celebrate our 191st U.S. Marine Corps Birthday GEN Brute Krulak lifted his ban of 'beer in the trenches' 'tho I do not know if any current histories carry that story."

Note: this just shows that Marines have to celebrate however and wherever they can!

Happy Birthday, Marines!!

Semper Fi!