Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sea Things

Like many artists I draw what Archie Bunker might call "normal tings": Humans, buildings, oxen pulling plows, and a house cat playing with a ball of yarn.

However, I remind myself that I am not afraid to conjure up strange things. Fastened above, from my archives, is a pencil sketch that I commissioned myself to render back in December of 1984. It is titled, simply enough, "Sea Thing (on the beach)". The original is approximately 8" by 8".

Looking at the drawing now, the workmanship is not particularly good, but it is an example of what I can pull out of my hat... well, the subject matter, not the actual subject. Cripes, if I were to pull that out of my hat...

My excuse is that when I was in my formative years I was living in West Germany. As anyone would tell you who was in that lovely country back in those days (1960s/1970s) there was a lot of kids, around my own age, who were physically deformed, some horribly. All thanks to a little drug called Thalidomide. Pretty upsetting stuff.

It was very common to see children with flippers for arms, or malformed legs.

I remember my family driving across the German countryside and my mother blurting out with some emotion, "oh, look at that little boy, he's horribly deformed". Due the speed that my dad was driving, I was not able to see anything -- probably a good thing. The description my mother gave me was more interesting than anything else. Kids are inquisitive.

And some of them go on to draw and paint. I've drawn more offbeat things than just this, but it is a sampling.

Next: "My Mind"