Wednesday, September 03, 2014

All Light and No Pigment Art

I love to draw on the computer.  It is a freeing experience.  Mistakes are frequent but easily correctable.

Love that go back arrow and the copy and the paste.

This is an idea for a wall mural.   The large graphic is repeatable and with only a few colors it can be
painted by a crew in a few hours.  The eyes and the glasses are difficult but each one has a feel of
blurred and suggested shapes/

This is an idea for a book cover.  The hooded monk and the suggestion that there is thought and suspense in his face will entice the reader to find the story of this man.  Perhaps he is a medieval teacher who does not feel he has a future in the university but he knows nothing else.  Maybe two of his students lead him towards a better future when they help his write the memoir of an obscure king.

She is a waitress at a truck stop along the interstate.  Her life changes when a bus stops late ant night to do some repairs.  She meets a man who is a writer from New York who is going to Council Bluffs, Iowa for a film festival.  She serves him and the others the regular coffee and he listens as she tells him of her life.
Her name is Naomi and she insists that she does have a life.

This is a sketch of me.  It is sort of a black  board and chalk drawing.   I think that this says a great deal about me.  I think a lot and some of my thoughts are worth writing about.

The number of drawings has gotten to be too many to remember and needs to be applied to a system of  catalog.  Gradually it will be organized but for now I am applying random encounter.
The media center is a good way to see and note the names of pictures.  The play lists need a lot of work.  Duplication and omission run neck in neck right now.

I have found ways of distributing some pictures on Face book and on  files in the note pad.  I have also brought some drawings to the blog.
So far there has been not satisfactory way to create drawing folders.  That may be a project in the future.  
Recently I have been working on a blog magazine but perhaps there is a way to create links from one blog to a drawing catalog.

I call this a shield.  It has a feeling of a wood cut and a fabric design.

A stained glass window
Now I need to learn to position the drawings on the page.

I see this as being done on metal with enamel.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Creating links with other part of my art and writing

This is  a drawing that has been posted on my facebook.  I am learning more about the possiblility of creating links.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Purists (American Heresy)

The Purist are a group of people who have arisen as a reaction to the lessening of the strict ritual of the Catholic Church after the Eucemical Council headed by Pope John XXIII.  They are part Marianist and part Latin Mass groups.  They have maintained the days of fast and absentinece from the time they were in primary school and were being confirmed in white dresses and the dark blue suit.

The women are the ones who are the most rigid.  They remember the habited nuns of the fifties and they feel dispproval in the lay teachers in school.

They continue to cover their heads inside churches and usually have a rosary in their purse and one on the bedstand.   Many of the Purist women are married to men who have problems with drink and have accepted marginal ways in their lives.  None of the men assert themselves in a bigger world.  The professional men, the lawyers, doctors and government officers are tolerated more than valued in the professions.

The purist woman in the story is the wife of a high school teacher.  He spends most of his time doing school work.  He teaches English and Social Studies in a small public school.  She is happy that he is not teaching in the Caatholic High School or the local Catholic Junior College.  She does not want to be married to a man who associates himself with those of the laity who would attempt to replace the good nuns.

An incident in travel brings excessive reaction.

Because he had to take a detour on his drive from Alantic City to Philadelphia he came upon a small chapel built in a park along side the road.  The small sign said it was Our Lady of Travels Chapel. 

When he got home, in Western Pennsylvania, he mentioned the event to his wife.  She only heard him but did not react to the information. 

The following week he went again to the Jersey Shore for a few days and this time he deliberately looked for the small chu;rch.  He had time to visit.  The church was open and he met the caretaker who told him a little of the history of the place.  It had been built as a memorial by a woman who lost a son in World War One.  Her brother had converted to Catholicism and was a Franciscan priest who taught in a school in Pennsylvania.  The caretaker gave then man the name of the priest and the Girls Junior College.  The school was less than twenty miles from where he taught public high school.  The coincidence of place and interest helped the man to determine that he wanted to find out more about the chapel.
The caretake gave him a brief tour and in the church was a artistic construct of St. Christopher bearing the Child.  It looked like a relief made of ivory colored material.  The caretaker told him it was made of ivory and had been made in Italy at the request of the woman.  She is now deceased and her estate is now a branch of a Philadelphia Museum Foundation.  The estate is used for conferences and conventions of manufacturers.  The family had been in perfumes and soaps during the latter part of the nineteenth century.

The family name shows up on several of the documents in the records of the church and the priest shares the same last name.  It was his mother's name.  Her husband had wealth and the strong desire to live in Europe.

The woman and her children lived in Philadelphia.  The family never got over the death of the nephew in the war.  The mother of the soldier went to Rome for several years.  When she returned she had the chapel built.
 There is an album of old photographs of her while the chapel is being built.  The cornerstone laying was a documented event.  She is with a group of children and the event happened in the rain.  The photographs are a series of glares and areas of reflected water caused by the necessary construction lights and the head lamps of cars.  These pictures are used in the areas of transitions when the chapel is being discussed  by the puritan group and also when the old priest remembers his early years.
The sense of loss is amplified by other pictures of the chapel taken over ther years as the landscaping developes and envelopes the building.  Perhaps there is a photo taken of a graduation day ceremony and maybe a picture of a dark gloomy hearse for a funeral.
He is standing away from the group and he listens to the talk and his interest centers on the words of his wife.

And now the wife begins to show her new interests and religious needs.  She tells new friends of her long interest in being good and of being perfect.  The story is a variation of her memory of being in the group selected as being medal winners for perfect attendance in grade school and of her pin that declared her the most knowledgeable in the religion class.

Runaway Movie

Story lines (part one)
This is not about Jake and Mike.  This is the idea of a young man making it on his own and finding that his Dad believes in his dream.  The idea of a naive kid deciding to control his own destiny.  He can be funny and serious but he needs to be kind and generous.  The first rule of a hero is to have others around who are on his side.  No one wants a bitter young person who is so filled with suspicion that magic is a forseeable  commodity.
A four to six minute movie.  Jake goes to Las Vegas to make a movie about a young man seeking ways to make money for college.
 He gets his Dad to make a movie of his efforts.  The boy decides that he wants to write the movie and he has to convince his father to trust him in his choices.
The first way to make money is as a performer in a lounge act.  He has a fantasy being either a vocalist with a small combo or a whiskey swigging stand-up comic.
He works on his personae in front of a sink vanity of a cheap motel.  The father shows him some of the good moves he has seen from the old pros.
In the dream it is open mike night in a small lounge in a small town but the crowd is all wheeler dealers who just happen to be there for the evening.  The kid knows that his fate is being determined.  The show is all flash and loud laughs and celebration.  The kid delivers the punch line and a few of the set ups his dad and his dad's friends have given him over the years.  They are all show stoppers.
He tries the act and the movie enters a "dream" lounge and he does his bit.  The guy comes from the shadows and tells him he is good but right now he has problems.  His chef just quit and he needs a replacement.  The boy steps in and does a set of one dinner evening with chopping, slicing, baking and grilling while ordering the crew to do the things needed to feed the crowd.
Someone says it would take a magician to pull it all together.  He turns into a lounge act, slight of hand magician delivering full dinner from beneath the silver topped dishes and popping wine corks.  Someone comes into the kitchen/lounge and tells him that the animal tamer needs an assistant.  He has an hour to learn how to snap a whip and blow a whistle to put the wild beasts through their paces.  In the fantasy he is standing below the looming shadows of roaring lions and tigers.  He tells them they would be a lot healthier if they ate more vegetables.
He promises that he will seriously think about becoming a veternarian and take care of all the animals.  But out of the fantasy, all the animal tamer wants is some help with the push broom in the empty cages.
He does the labor and swears he will always clean up after the dog if someone else cleans the cat's litter box. Elliot needs time to be by himself while he makes decisions.  He chooses to go places to draw and paint.  He meets another artist who is doing the same thing.

Story Line (Part two)  Tech choices.
    Special effects done via computer images and photo enhancements.  Makeup done with consistancy.
Nothing cute or "hip".  Stick to the script.  There is one writer for this and participation will depend upon maintaining boundaries.  Take it or leave it.
Have a scene where the young man falls asleep while working late.  His book of pictures are there to be seen by the camera.  The characters in the pictures begin to address the camera directly.  The book is on the side of the boy.  They want him to succeed.  They talk about the Dad and his own ambitions.

The Dad sees that the boy has gotten his dreams and skills from him.  The boy knows this and it is apparent to all others but the father does not always see that his son thinks he is just great.

Original music, no pirating.  Piano with a Alex North feel.  Moody abstract sound that does not interfere with the dialogue and does not hint at the changes of mood.  The music is riding with the movie and is not the driver.
Find some examples of Alex North and see that it is sound that is mood driven but uses conventional instruments.
 Sound bits timed after shooting.  Music may include jazz combo sounds, ie. drum, bass, piano and guitar.  No electronic sound from bit sources.  Sound produced to fill the spaces in the film.

(Part three)
Part Three is the pivotal part.  All of the adventure is created in the town limits of San Anselmo and a few jaunts to the hills and the seashore for location shots.  The seams of the movie will be raw.  There is no intent upon fooling the audience into believing in 100percent authenticity.  The bright lights of the Vegas night life are really nothing more than lights being rflected from odd shapes and across wet surfaces.  The feel of the limo night life is done in quick shots with a few car windows and careful reflected light.  The luxury of the lobbies are suggested by the close up of good primative sculpture and lofty distant views.   The interiors can be photoshopped with the burnes effect.  The glamor of shopping and fashion comes from the the slinging of expensive hand bags and the shapes of very expensive shoes.  Rubies and diamonds need to be suggested by the flash of color and the sparkle of the sunlight on water effects.

 Locations scouted in the San Anselmo town limits.  No pay until the project has been accepted by a festival and no farming out of bits and pieces of the work.
   Cement structures that look like Vegas garages.  Palms and metal work that has been dramatically enhanced.  Wet alley streets,  Desert sunrise and sunsets. Kitchen area.  Hallways.  Parquet flooring, marble flooring, luxury looking rugs and wood furnishing.
   Using recording devices to create the sounds of the
 LasVegas environment.  Create a list of common sounds and create variations of each group.  The sound of a slot paying off.  Develop several versions and combinations.

Doing the dreary writing parts will be the fun parts for he will be able to go off into moments of high imagination that he will  suddenly see as being too much or not continuing as expected.   The fall from a high moment may segue into moments of childhood comfort.  The young man going from the desk to the home gym apparatus and in the moments of strenuous exercise finding that the physical and the mental help each other.

His dreams are both too big and not big enough.  He sees a movie he loved a few years before and wonders where his head was at.  The movie he sees is a movie he made in a film class.  His friends mock him for his dialogue and now he can do the same mocking himself.
He says that the talk in the movie sound like someone reading a dictionary and not understanding the plot.

He makes statements of what he wants  No white limousines, that is so prom night.  Not if a bunch of women in dark leather get out and have a few vicious dogs on chains.  No large vicious dogs, only small ones that snarl a lot, (shark jawed pocketbook pets).

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Traditional greetings in a new form

Greeting cards and travel post cards are a long tradition.  The penny post card of the distant past remain with a difference in cost and a difference in ready mailing places.  The casual mail box on the corner and the ready mail carrier are no longer a part of the journey.

The long tradition of holiday cards and secret admirer valentines are fond memories of many and the attempt to continue shows the  needs to convey thoughtfulness.  The thank you note is part of the seasons of weddings, funerals, graduation  and birthdays.  

A simple well chosen sentiment heals many a wound and gives balm to the pains of missed apologies.

A card drawn on the computer can be added to the comment on facebook, the first few lines of an e-mail or as the heading of a seasonal  announcement.

No need to be a Rembrandt when we have the refrigerator front arts.  The drawing of the ten year old and the doodle of the crank old man have a place in the high tech world.

Here are a few of my drawings that celebrate  and remind that the little thoughts are yet available and need not be limited to emotioncron and serries of XXX  and OOOO.   Lets play with this and see how it works. 

I have drawn a few notes and cards that will suggest directions for the new path to continuiing a valuable cultural tradition.

The Holidays
The symbol of a wreath that is used for various time of the year and would  seem appropriate for various greeting and messages.

The floral tribute that with the appropriate wording could be used as a greeting, a note, a condolence or an  invitation.
This is an idea that crosses over time from holiday to childhood and into the adult area of obsession and such topics as diet and lust. 

Harvest and seasonal celebrations all have symbols.  The range is wide and varied.  The seasons are celebrated with moon symbols.
The phases of the moon are noted world wide as being significent.
Fertility and planting and then the abundance of harvest and the plenty are moon directed.  The months are arrange to contain the phases of the lunar light.  The sky and the view upward connects such things as the rising of stars at the horizon and the effect of the light of the revolving bodies war visual notes of the regularity of the world.
Moons and stars show up in the motif of various arts.  The ceramic sun and moon show their presence in archaic remains.

Religions and customs will have some form of celestial symbolism.
In numerology the numbers four, five, six, etc are often represented as star figures.


We need only look at the national flags to see that that the sun and moon are part of the political world.  
Maps use as symbols of major cities and centers of government with the sun and  star icons.

Another view of Easter and Christmas

Not your cute Easter Bunny.  This is Jack and he is into leather and the rat race of achievement.  When he rises it is not Sunday morning.   

 And  Christmas in an adobe housetrailer is often celebrated with winter sports.  Weather permitting or not.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Guy Walks Into a Bedroom

In some families the literary life is everyday.  Dad is a fan of reading and his kids love to hear him read aloud no matter what he reads.  He is a performer.  They love it on the days he wears his trench coat and the heavy felt fedora.  That means the story time is going to be a chapter of a detective novel no matter what the book is about.  He has the look and the attitude of the old time hard boiled detective.  He may be hard boiled but he is a good egg.  


Why is it that Tuesdays are the night when the television has a blank face and Mom makes a huge pot of soup that steams up the windows in the kitchen and she writes five letters of the alphabet on each of the small windows of the door.  There are six and in the six pane she draws a heart.  She does this quickly when she hears Dad walk up the path from the bus stop at the corner.

"I just bet it is a signal that tonight is one of those nights when there is a ball game between the rainy clouds and the warm soup and the soup wins."
He hangs his raincoat on the hook near the back door and puts his umbrella in the tin bucket right inside the door.

In some families the literary life is everyday.  Dad is a fan of reading and his kids love to hear him read aloud no matter what he reads.  He is a performer.  They love it on the days he wears his trench coat and the heavy felt fedora.  That means the story time is going to be a chapter of a detective novel no matter what the book is about.

We wait in the breakfast nook where we have been doing our homework.  He pulls up a chair from its place near the hallway door and sits on it with the back up against the table. 
This is the way that cowboys sit on chairs.  It is also the way that sailors and pirates sit on chairs when they get home from a long sea voyage.

Mom gives him a towel so he can dry the back of his neck and hands.
Rain stays outside on a night like this.

Tonight I think we will be hearing the last chapter of the mystery story.

First lines are the way to get your story started.

None of those stormy night first lines.

When Dad reads the story he does not include the once upon a time part.

Sometimes he tells us what the story is not about.

We have a regular list of nots
then there is the surprise lists of nots
that could become absolutely
yeses were the kids favorites.  One yes was never as good as
 a bunch
or maybe
if we are really sleepy.

The "sometimes"  are special
we like very much anything special.

If he is late we know that he will wear his
very special costume
which is a hat and sunglasses.

He has hair that is seldom ruffed
When his hair is ruffed and if he talks
with a growly voice
 and if he calls us "You guys"
we know this is a beyond ordinary
this is from a very old list of nots.

This is the story that needs music.
Will you yell if I threaten to sing?

This is a song from long ago.
Imagine that there is a man playing the piano.

In the story he was drinking beer.
It was root beer and he said  the cookie
was an absolute necessity.
This absolute necessity was optional on Thursdays

But if the cookie was not there the music would
sound far away and at the end of a dark tunnel.

And the story would have a dream time ending.
The song would come in the dream and you
have to sing in the dream.
No singing, no piano player and no cookie.

So close your eyes and wait for a few minutes
for the lights in you head to turn into a soft glow
like a candle light that flicker back and forth
sending the wavy shadows on the wall and ceiling.

One note is near and the next one is far away
The first you hear and it is like the number one
The one you will wait for will be very low and soft
The first of the notes from
far away will be two.
The next three, the next four, the next five.
Each note will be lower and softer.
Each time you hear the note wait for the next.


As he reads the room darkens and there is no longer a flashing neon sign outside the window of the office in the walkup brick building near the bus station and a block away from the shadowy train platform.  He puts aside the eight by fourteen twenty paged adventure of talking eggs and sits for a moment to imagine the first timeless minutes of two lovely dreams.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Tell Me What You Saw

The guards stood by the door and waited  for a few nods from the cleric and the teacher.  The woman and her two friends stood inside the door until the cleric dismissed the guards.

Please, make your selves comfortable on the this bench. We  may be here for a time but we want to give everyone a turn at telling what they have to say.  
She took the first chance to talk.
  She silenced the other two with a nod and an elbow.
"You will find his story more than just a barroom tale.  He saw the prince and the pirates on the boat."
Nicholas put his hand up with palm face out.  The teacher was telling the students to pause and he would tell them when to take a turn.
She gave him a look of grave impatience.  The whole idea to her was that the story needed to be told and she knew others would have a version that might not be accurate.
Again he gave his signal to her an the others.  They muttered to each other and Nicholas breathed sharply out of his nose.  
"Now don't go snorting at me.  I have friends and they know who I am."

"You are well known to all here so we need to settle into a little order of who is to talk first.  I will talk first.
She began again.  "Now look.."

She found herself looking at his raised hand
She  put her hands between her skirted knees.
The two men shrug their shoulders.  It is their way of saying they are used to this for that is how she is. 

 Everyone around knows this with the exception of her.  
Nicholas sits back and points to them.
This is the performance they will give and he accepts that this is their way.

Nicholas knows them all.  He knows the names and the story that goes with them.
There are several ports along this way and each one has an ale house or two for the comfort of the traveler and the sailor.  The places would be a drab and joyless place for drink if not for the the locals who add a bit of color and local history.  The ales men welcome these talkers for there is an increase in consumption during an evening when the story of recent adventures is combined with the purse of a bored but not penniless traveler.
"We should talk with these as a group.  Only one will do the talking but the others will be at the elbow when the round is due."  They huddle and agree and are often called upon to vouch for the veracity of the story.  That affirmation is a vigorous nod and a series of knowing grunts that could only mean  "that is true, that is true."

The widow divides her time.  Part of her day is standing in the market and doing more talking than buying.  She listens and pretends she is judging the quality of the hanging rabbits and ducks.
 She is quick to note that she is far too young to have had a married daughter.  But since he is family there is no talk about the two of them living in the same house and traveling on the same small boat.  If there were to be talk she will also be able to point out that he has a good friend named Thomas who is very respectable and of a good family.  He is not a one who would allow any behaviour that would be worth talking about.  

The sheriff's widow is named Agnes.  It means lamb.  Her son-in-law is named Jacob and although there was no need for it he has taken over the duties of the now deceased sheriff.
Others will not mention in her hearing that there was never a duty for the sheriff. 

 There had not been a sheriff.  It was a bit of a pretense on all their parts.  Her husband had told the tale at the table of many an alehouse of being on the boat along the edge of the Western sea and of the boat being attacked by some surly pirates and how he had routed them by declaring he was the high sheriff of an English lord.   Now no one wanted to be enemies of an English anything for you know how savage they are.

Agnes always smiled when she told that old memory.  He was truly a man who would do such a thing and be brave and bold and not only when he had had a snout full. 

The several port towns accepted the boats of the fishermen and the trading boats without question.  The boats of travelers and unmarked strangers were accepted with the proper conferences at a distance near but not at the port.  The local men would happen to be in the boat when the others arrived.  It was not always a battle or a disagreement.

  It was a manner of allowing the other to have a chance to tell the story of a voyage and an opportunity to become a regular visitor to the port.

Such arrangements had been made before by visitors to the sentry places on the roads.  The name of a sailor and the description of his craft and his banner would have presented at a gate on the road.

Happy surprises were chosen over sudden encounters.
                                                   (from a novel in progress)    
by Ron Ratchford