Artists in France

June 22nd, 2016

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We went to France for three weeks. We traveled with students, staff and other guests (like ourselves) of the Laguna College of Art and Design. As last year, when we did the same in Italy, it was an art and history tour . . . a perfect fit for us. Going around the whole country, we took lots of photos, made lots of sketches, and came back with heads full of impressions. On our return I wrote these down:

European culture values, or at least valued, art. The evidence is pervasive.

Great art lasts. It’s held up as a record of its time and testimony of the human spirit.

The great artists knew their talent. They were aware that they had great work to do.

Most made many works.

Some made money and fame, others not; it was beside the point.

Different periods produced different surges of creativity and styles.

Personally, my own preference of such is the French Impressionists, including pre- and post-Impressionists (the 1800’s).

Of these, Monet’s work stands out among all others in terms of beauty.

That I should let Monet influence my work, though not to copy.

That a legacy of life work comes from A CLEAR VISION, EXCELLENCE IN EXECUTION, and FOCUSED WORK.

I discovered again, by what I photographed most, that my preference for making paintings is the face and the figure.

That’s enough. There were more, and on other subjects besides painting . . . including religion (guided and misguided), current folklore (that keeps us culturally dull-witted), the limiting factors of my own vision, and etc. But those are all other topics. This is an art blog.

Among the hundreds of photos I took, a few are works of or about artists themselves. For your interest I’ll share them here.

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Henri Rousseau, Myself in Landscape, 1800’s

Morisot

Berthe Morisot, 1841-1895, of Paule Gobillard Peignant

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Jan van Beers, a sculpture of Le Peintre (my title), 1876

Corot

Camile Corot,  Autoportait, 1825

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Edmond Aman-Jean, Portait du sculpteur Jean Dampt, 1894. (Great frame, no?)

Rodin

Auguste Rodin, Monument to (painter) Claude Lorrain, 1892

Matisse

Henri Matisse, a painter after my own heart, working big.

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Claude Monet, 1875

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Finally, one of the museums (we were in two a day) even had a set-up of an artist’s easel from the beginning days of plein air painting. Notice the umbrella is for the art, not the artist. Necessary when the glare is too bright.

All for now. Hope you enjoyed the photos, and the reflections. Next will be more blogs on the France trip including, eventually, work from my sketchbook, and some of Anne’s creative photography.

Upcoming Shows

Once again Anne will be among those featured at the summer-long Laguna Festival of Arts. That’ll be from July 5 through August 31, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Drop by and see her at booth #110.

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180 Small Faces in Philadelphia

May 19th, 2016

I went to Philadelphia. It was my first time back. A little known fact is that I was born there. I never lived there but for the first ten days of my life. My parents lived, for a few years after their marriage, in New Jersey.

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From the 33rd floor of the Loews Hotel, home for the event and my lodgings.

The closest hospital of choice for my mother was across the bridge in Philadelphia. After she gave birth to me, she went back home and I went with her (I wanted to be close). So, for that brief stay, I became a native of the city and ever on was required to spell out that long word on every form wanting to know my beginnings.  Mine and Ben Franklin’s. That’s him at the top of a spire. (Click the photo twice to enlarge, as with all.)

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A child of Belarus, 8×10, acrylic (as are they all).

The event was a gathering of the United Bible Societies, a confederation of some 150 organizations around the world. It’s something they do every six years, this time with 500 men and women coming together for the sake of shared values, business and overall support.
The conference ran for five days, the first two of which I was set up in a rear corner of the proceedings, allowing me to listen in on the inspiration, challenges and intelligence while I painted.

Child-black

A daughter of Zimbabwe, in as few strokes as possible.

I’m finding it quite amazing the things this artistic gift gets me involved in. Of course, they’d never considered having a painter in their midst. But through some mutual contacts, some creative emails flying back and forth to England and Skype calls to Australia, it all came together.

Child-USA

My choice for the child representing the multi-cultural U.S.A., a cowboy.

My goal (and my offer) was to make quick paintings of children for each member organization. That’s 150. Plus there were another 30 dignified guests visiting for the first two days, so there’d need to be paintings for them, too. That’s 180. I figured if I made 20 paintings per day, that would be 100 done in five days. Obviously I’d have to work ahead, and did.

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From Uzbekistan. Sometimes a pre-painted background provided the harmony.

My approach was to work in acrylic and try to get each painting done in 15 minutes. I had a schedule to meet. Then between paintings there was research for the next one. Thanks to Google, I was able to bring up computer images from a given country in a moment in time. I chose the best one, without very much thought at all, and got the brushes moving again.

Panel-1

This and the following show the paintings as they came together. (Not shown are the 30 for the special guests, which were removed mid-conference.) I worked through a list alphabetically and put them up as I finished them. (Excuse the small shadow lines, cast by the push pins and overhead light.)
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I must say the quick research I did for each subject added to my sense of world geography, the distinctives of race and culture, and in some cases, the pathos of the particular country. The poverty in some places was disturbing, and worse, the trauma; or children in places like Congo carrying automatic rifles they could hardly lift. I didn’t paint them.

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There’s something about children that brings a smile. They’re little human beings, learning to be adults, trying to be happy as much as they can.

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As you’d expect, not all the paintings came out as good as others. I could have wished all were better, but, hey, 15 minutes! I couldn’t bog down.

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A rare moment with no one in the room, on the last day, almost all finished.

After the first two days, I was positioned in an ample “display area” where the delegates took their morning and afternoon breaks. Here I worked alone, though I had plenty of stimulation, including the company of people dropping by to watch and talk.

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At the end of the last day, representatives of the organizations came by to receive their gifts . . . for that’s what they were, little mementos for their offices. Of course, many wanted to be photographed with the artist and it was all great fun. (Again, double click to enlarge.)

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From Gabon and Cameroon.

I came across a frame store on the streets of Philly and picked up a couple just to show how a painting can look more complete when framed. The source photo from Gabon (left) was chosen by the delegate from there. I would have never tried a tongue-out expression like that, but now I like it . . . as does he.

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Here they are, minus a few, and less the first 30, as mentioned. (Click to see it better.)

Was I tired by the end? No more than any other day. These projects can be energizing, particularly when working right among the people they represent and who will be receiving them.

Through it all, new friends were made. As one thing always leads to another, who knows where the next venture will be? As usual, there are ideas.

Next, though, Anne and I are off to France for three weeks, taking in all the aesthetics and history of that art-abundant place.  Stay tuned.

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Van Gogh and Show

May 5th, 2016

This post is about the progression of a painting, or rather a number of paintings that finally became one. It’s also about our show coming up this weekend.

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Do you remember this one? I posted it a couple of years ago after our time in Tucson when we had the use of a beautiful house belonging to friends. Anne was doing her art on one side of the room and I was on the other. I made this large abstract at the request a gallery. When the gallery moved I got it back and decided to change it, turning it upright and giving it more splash (left). Then I changed my mind again (see below).

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The pieces on the floor are from practice sessions with models.

The “splash” effect didn’t satisfy so I reconceived it altogether and made it into this giant floral. I used much paint in the process, but in the end still wasn’t convinced.

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Happy painter, with both ears intact. Click twice for a larger view. (Same with all photos.)

I painted over it again, taking inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh. Among the differences between his and mine is the size, and the wonderful texture I got by painting over another painting. Now I’m happy. I’ll keep the painting. That is, until someone comes along who also greatly loves it. It’ll be part of our show this weekend. (Read on.)

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The art wall with steps to the loft.

Here’s a quick tour of how the show is shaping up. The house is the same but different art on display. (Well, the house keeps changing, too.)

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Beneath the loft.

Every piece of furniture has its story, as does the art. Here’s a small floral, a small landscape from an Idaho trip, and an abstracted landscape from impressions I got once descending into Buenos Aires.

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Down the hall.

Here, on the left is the beauty in the red skirt, new from the Crestline trip. She looks toward the stately Blue Cowboy, painted in Wyoming. Then on the right are a number of small still lifes with very low prices just for the weekend.

Dining

The dining room.

I brought a few of my Native Americans back from where they’ve been hanging, complete with their wonderful rustic frames of reclaimed wood. That Masai spear isn’t always there . . . in fact, I’m never quite sure where to put it.

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The downstairs guest room, and the backside of the Bali door.

Anne’s art, besides being distinguished from mine by both style and technique, is always framed under glass. Pieces not purchased this weekend will likely be part of her offering this summer at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts.

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The master bedroom.

Besides Anne’s framed work, she has many unframed pieces, just as handsome, in bins. For that matter, the same goes for me. Bargains can be found.

Hope you can join us. The show is both Saturday and Sunday, all afternoon and evening. Sunday’s Mother’s Day, yes, so take Mom to lunch and bring her over. Or come Saturday. Here’s the invitation, with the details.

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Hope to see you. Either way, keep loving art . . . and life.

 

 

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Prodigal Son

April 14th, 2016

On recent posts I’ve given a few excerpts from my new book, Our Lives Together, The Early Years. I’ve wondered if I’d share this one. Most know of my Christian persuasion; most probably don’t know how that came about. The book delivers the story, abbreviated, on one page. I’ve copied it here.
(Also, see below for a talk on the same topic, or click here.)

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One of the few photos extant from that time, me, either still questing or brand-new born and still stunned by it all. (I still am.)

During this period I realized I’d reached my goals. I was 27. I was an art director, I had a house, a great boat, a great car and, of course, a great wife. But for all this, I was empty. Setting new goals seemed futile. Once I took Anne for a walk to ask her who I was, as I had lost track.

Complicating it, I was often sick. I came to realize the illness was of a psychosomatic nature but still I couldn’t get a handle on it. There were fears. I didn’t think of myself as a fearful person, but something was eating away at my stomach and it would manifest in a most unruly way. I became more introspective, nurtured a clever cynicism, and was not at all hopeful about the future. I was wary of bringing children into such a world.

For about a year I slipped deeper and deeper into this darkness.

Without knowing anything about this, my dad gave me a book. I thanked him but had no intention of reading it, seeing it was Christian in nature.

Later, when he asked about it, I told him I’d lost it, to which he said, “Here, have another one.”

He’d bought a case of these books and was giving them to all his friends.

Right about then Anne and I were heading out for our second month-long trip to Mexico. This one, I’d determined, would be more of a reading and contemplation trip. I packed a number of books–about the future and some, more metaphysical (Eastern, New Age). I brought along my dad’s book as I knew he’d be asking me again. I determined to read it first.

I was reading it in Culiacan, our first major stop. We were visiting Carlos, who had first befriended me during the car mishap years earlier (page 40).We were staying in a tiny motel room and I was reading on the bed. Anne walked in and asked how it was, knowing I wouldn’t like it at all.

“It’s pretty good,” I said, “The guy agrees with me. The world is falling apart.”

The book, The Late, Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsay and Carole Carlson, long out of print now, was basically about biblical prophesy. Though I’d long since left it, I’d had a church background, so the references and stories were not unfamiliar to me. I just hadn’t considered that they could be relevant.

I don’t remember how many predictions cited in Old Testament history that pointed to Christ, but far too many to be coincidental. By evidence, the coming of Jesus to earth fulfilled them all.

Then, both in the Old Testament and the New, including statements by Jesus himself, there were predictions of how he would die, that he would resurrect, and that ultimately he would return, big time.

Also, while no one knows when it will be, the world will suffer an upheaval like it never has. The authors pointed to where the world was beginning to show signs of it all now. It made a certain sense.

Besides all that, there was another matter, more personal. The claim was that, in fact, Jesus was the son of God sent to earth–not only to teach us, but to pay the penalty we should be paying to a perfect and perfection-demanding God. I was told I needed to respond to this personally.

This was uncomfortable reading for me and I’d hurry on. Nor did I see how a personal decision had anything to do with anything . . . and certainly not “everything,” as the book claimed.

So, it wasn’t just history I was reading, as interesting as that was, or prophesy, as intriguing as that was, but there was suddenly a spotlight on my own life. That is, while Jesus carried out the death sentence that was on me, it would not have any positive effect if I didn’t accept it.

There was a logic to it, but it was beyond logic too. And there was great resistance. I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t deny it.

Finally, I put the book down and turned my head to the wall and started praying. I caught myself and almost stopped. Then I caught myself catching myself and continued on.

I turned myself in.

Nothing happened.

It was the next day, in Mazatlan, while Anne took a nap, I took a walk on the beach. I got to considering what I’d done, the new (old) information I’d just been exposed to and the decision I’d made. That’s when it hit.

Suddenly it all made sense. I saw everything with new eyes. A smile came over me so wide it almost broke my face. The tears started flowing.

I knew Anne would hardly be able to believe it. Or anybody else. I could hardly believe it. I was a new man, profoundly and permanently. I knew that.

Anne began to see it too, as we drove along, talking. She saw my change and in time she believed and was made new, too.

It was a life altering change in us . . . and for us.

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A year later–another new birth, our first child, Allison, born at home. (Click to enlarge.)

As it happens, last weekend I spoke on the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, which was perfect as it’s my story. With apologies for the informality of it all, and some recording glitches, I offer the link here.

PS In the talk I refer to three paintings. They’re on an old blog, here: 2003-7

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Save the Dates:

Home and Studio Show, May 7-8

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Once again we’ll be showing and sharing lots of new work, and enjoying the company of guests and friends at our Studio Show and Sale. It will be the afternoons and evenings of May 7 and 8. That’s Mother’s Day weekend. Feel free to bring her, and any other friends. (Here’s a tour from a previous blog.)

33752 Big Sur, Dana Point, California.

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New Book:

Our Lives Together, Available Now

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Though the above story is the only of that particular experience, all are revealing, insightful, and entertaining. Everyone should have a book of their formative years. Here’s ours. Full of photos, all classic and candid. 140 pages.

For a taste of other topics, and for ordering info click here.

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Crestline Creations

March 29th, 2016

As we’ve been doing at least annually for a number of years, we just took an art-making retreat. This time it was in Crestline, in the mountains just above San Bernardino. Instead of a day’s drive away (or two), it was just two hours, giving us all the more time to work.

Hillside

Built on steep slopes, many structures are three-storied.

Who knows how many of the homes and cabins around the lake are full-time residences, and how many are vacation retreats? We just know we benefited from the category of the latter.

Wegner-Cabin

As with all these photos, click for larger view.

It was through the generosity of friends Bruce and Sandy Wegner that we had the use of this little gem, tucked among the trees. That’s our van in the drive, which, with all rear seats removed, serves like a Conestoga wagon for our art-making equipment and materials, plus all provisions.Anne-Opening-Day

Anne, starting things off with a little journaling.

I didn’t think to take an “as is” picture of the living space before we started rearranging it. When we came, it was a cozy environment with abundant seating for many guests. We wanted a studio, so we stowed much away in a spare bedroom. There’s Anne’s press set up on a sturdy table along with one of our computers. Behind is the drop cloth covering the cabin’s carpet in what would shortly become the painting half of the studio.

Anne-Inking

Apply ink to a plate . . . layer upon layer of creative application.

In the cabin we found a guest book, added to by grateful guests over the years. To that we added our own, copied here in segment:

We came, we saw, we (were) conquered . . . by the serene beauty, the essential quiet (but for dogs, who don’t care), the Rim of the World Drive, ongoing heartbeats, and 47 other wonders.

Linocut-Still-life

Another evocative design drawn and cut in linoleum by Anne’s hand, with postcard of the lake.

The weather was perfect, unless one wanted snow (which I did . . . but so be that). I dubbed the place “our Yellow Submarine,” of pine-paneled walls, hidden below the road. We met no one, had all our meals in . . . black coffee in the mornings, red wine in the evenings, great soups, salads, salmon and burgers. Started the days with God, finished with movies (mainly Matt Damon).

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The last day, with an array, but not all of Anne’s completed works . . . with piles of incomplete in the room behind.

Daily our own still-wet works went up on walls, shared with relics and posters already there. The hours, besides our introverted industry, were patterned with periscope walks, conversation, online sermons, music, an engrossing 14 hours of “The Iliad” (checked out from the Crestline library), our own brought books, the books in the cabin, plus more walks and more talks.

I should have added the after-dinner games of Rummikub, with winner getting a back rub ;-)

Hyatt-at-Easel

I worked in oil and acrylic, with toe dipped in water color. Here’s the only large piece I made.

I told Anne I don’t know anybody else who does this. All who remarked in the guest book marveled at the pleasure of “doing nothing.” That’s good for some, and for all sometimes. But when your work is both your life and your love, and there’s time to do it without interruption, for us it’s fresh-baked pie with ice cream, home-made.

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The paintings laid out and displayed on the last day, during clean up.

Again on this trip I also worked on, and actually completed, the year-long commission of 100 barns for University Best Western in Ames, Iowa. They were fun and fast, and allowed for experimentation in a genre I don’t usually explore. But why not? I ask myself. Again, click to enlarge, twice.

Anne-Meditations

Morning tea and thought under woolen warmth.

Anne will say I’ve got too many pictures of her in this post but here’s another chance to show that it’s not all work. Days always begin with with reflection and study, sometimes one or the other of us sharing insecurities and doubts . . . as art, and life, is not all confidence and self-knowing. Prayers often follow, for wisdom (what is art if it isn’t wisdom?) and just the needed presence.

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The end of the day.

The distant lake barely shows across the deck and between the trees, with here, a glassed reflection back into the cabin with work table and art.

In all, it was a productive time, and satisfying. As I signed off in the guest book:
I was here with my girlfriend . . . of 50 years.  Loving all.

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Next:

Sandstone Gallery Show

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For the month of April my work will be featured at the Sandstone Gallery. The opening is during Laguna’s Art Walk, Thursday evening, April 7th, 6:00-9:00.

384 A North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.  One block north of the Laguna Art Museum, near the corner of Coast Highway and Jasmine.

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Speaking

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For any interested, I’ll be speaking at Heritage Christian Fellowship, April 10, at the 8:30 and 10:30 services. My assigned topic: “The Prodigal Son” (a story of which I have plenty of first hand experience).
All welcome: 190 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente.

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Home and Studio Show, May 7-8

House-Entry-115

Save the date. We’ll be showing and sharing lots of new work, and enjoying the company of all friends at our Spring Studio Show and Sale. It will be the afternoons and evenings of May 7 and 8. That’s Mother’s Day weekend. Perfect for her, and you!

33752 Big Sur, Dana Point, California.

15 Comments

Technical Drawing, First Job

March 2nd, 2016

This is an art blog, but of late I’ve been sharing some things from the “the early years,” sometimes including art, as you’ll see below. This early career is so far back in the past, even our kids hardly know. It’s all part of the fun new book, Our Lives Together, The Early Years. The following is an excerpt.

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Samples of my student work. Today such work would probably be done by computer. But this was a long time before that. As with all these, click for larger view.

I studied technical illustration at Los Angeles Trade Tech. It was a two-year program, six hours a day in the same class, with academics in the morning if you wanted the Associate of Arts degree . . . which I did.

It all started on a momentary whim, the last day of summer after high school, when all my friends were leaving for college. Our high school drafting class had visited this school, so I drove into L.A. and signed up–just like that. (I remember my MG broke down on the way and I showed up with grease all over my hands.)

I did the full two-year program. My attendance got spotty toward the end, but my work was judged superior so I finished well.

As I was to find out in time, the education was more interesting than any job I ever got in the field. I think I was too young to get the good jobs; but it did give a foundation that prepared me for other occupations, related, or not so much.

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Me (in sweater) with designer (far right) and builder of the prototype of the Daytona Coupe. Only six were made. It was designed to beat Ferrari on the track (which it did). All are collectors items now, one even selling for a whopping $7.25 million. (Click to enlarge.)

After graduation I answered an ad and got a job as a draftsman, which was close enough to what I could do. Racing legend Carol Shelby had been modifying Ford parts to soup up engines for the Cobra. Detroit wanted blueprints. I drew them.

When I got all those done, I moved over from engineering to work for automotive designer Pete Brock. Pete made large, sweeping freehand drawings for a new model Cobra, the Daytona Coupe.  I did the tight, mechanical renditions to build the prototype.

Those are my drawings on the two pages, of which there were many more. Moving my drawing table out to the shop, I worked with another to create the “buck,” a form out of plywood, traced and cut out from my drawings, for the aluminium overlay.

I remember doing that the day Kennedy was shot. What I didn’t remember was anybody taking pictures. Imagine my surprise when I did an Internet search for the Daytona Coupe and found pictures of myself. (Click on the photo . . . yes, that’s me, age 20.)

Just for fun, here’s a YouTube of the car on the track.

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One More (for the road)

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I found this “Classic Jag” among the paraphernalia my parents had. It’s a 7th grade art project, experimenting with glazed tile. Interesting how things circle around: Anne’s father had a car business. He sold Jaguars, now the make I drive. Go figure.

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Our Lives Together, Available Now

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These stories and many more are in the book. Full of black and white photos, many classic and candid, 140 pages. Great entertainment and inspiration.

For a taste of other topics, and for ordering info click here.
or
Available now on Amazon here.

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Fifty Years On: The Results

February 25th, 2016

With apologies for any who are finding this all “too much personal stuff,” but hey, what life isn’t personal? And one only celebrates 50 years of marriage once. Thanks, everybody, for all the affirming comments on the last blog, THE STORY of the wedding itself and the one-week engagement leading up to it.

Here’s a photo of the family, taken as we celebrated with friends in our home.

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It was good of Nicole to take these photos of the family, the friends, the house. Do check the link for the rest. (Click photo to enlarge.)

I said last time that we had three fine photographers among our daughters. One of those includes our daughter-in-law Nicole who took the above, and a whole lot more. For the rest, taken on the day of the celebration, see her blog here: (if you’ll scroll to the end, the second last shows Nicole herself, in yellow, along with her husband, Hyatt the fourth, and her son, Hyatt the fifth).

Allow me to introduce the stellar individuals in the photo.

At left: son Hyatt, Ph.D. Stanford, electrical engineering, jiu jitsu brown belt, father of four, from Palo Alto, California.

Second from left, Cambria, comptroller, mother of three boys, married to Shon Schmidt, another electrical engineering Ph.D. candidate, from Seattle.

Third from left, our fifth child, Tamara, designer extraordinaire and great help at the party, mother of three daughters, married to Dustin, partner in family business, from Kansas City.

Next, Anne, the queen of all, and me, her husband.

Second from right, Acacia, of many interests, including photographer, marathon runner, and recently actress and model, mother of four, married to Mark Bergin, pastor, from Chicago.

Far right, Allison, also photographer, writer, artist, mother of two, married to Vernon, typographic designer (though now unable to work due to serious road accident two years ago), from San Clemente, California.

Not shown are our 16 grandchildren, most not present at this event.

If I sound like I’m bragging, so be that. It’s a pretty nice brood, all loving each other, birthed from small beginnings (our surprise marriage), and God.

Of whose blessings we’re daily aware . . . and wish onto you as well.

Until next time . . .

 

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Suddenly Marriage (50 years ago today)

February 17th, 2016

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My dad asked Anne, years later, “Why did you marry him? He was just a bum!” Thanks, Dad.
Here’s the bum, summering in Mazatlan, Mexico, during ripening years.

Where we left off last time, I was living at a hang-out called “109.” Without a driver’s license I was limited. I finally got a job in “graphics,” but was very low level and going nowhere. At the suggestion of a coworker, I filled out an application for a temporary workforce at Lockheed Aircraft in Georgia, and then forgot all about it.

During this time Anne and I were spending as much time together as possible. Still, the word “marriage” was never used.

Then, suddenly, on a week’s notice, everything changed . . .

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The only photo taken at the wedding.

Here are a couple of spreads from the book, with the story given there reproduced below. (Click photos to enlarge.)

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Though it was hardly a society wedding, by Anne’s family connections it was featured in The Palos Verdes Social Review (shown small).

From the book . . .

The phone kept ringing at the house but I wasn’t answering, figuring it was for someone else anyway. Then I got a telegram. It was from the company I’d applied to; they’d been trying to reach me for some time.

What? Somebody wanted me? To be a technical illustrator? For lots of money? In Georgia? In two weeks!!!?

It all sounded great . . . the work, the title, the money, and maybe most, the possibility of getting my driver’s license back.

But what about Anne?

By this time we were serious, had long been best friends, and though this might be a “short-term” job, it was time to do something permanent about us.

I remember well, a few days later, our walking down to the delicatessen together for my Saturday night meal, talking about what all this would mean for us.  At one point I just said, “Do you want to get married?” To that she answered with the three little words that meant everything: “I guess so.”

We made plans. My new job would start in a ten days. We’d move and get married in Georgia.

The next day we showed up at my parents’ for the noon meal, after they’d returned from church, and I announced our plans. It was a mega surprise to everyone.

Happily (and not surprisingly) everybody liked Anne. Mom and Dad, when they heard the plan, approved . . . except one part. The wedding should be here, not Georgia.

“But we’re leaving on Friday,” I protested, to which Mom responded, “You can get married Thursday.”

“But there’s too much to do. We’re moving.”

Again, Mom was not deterred. “I’ll plan it all,” she said, “All you have to do is come.”

“You’ll iron a shirt for me?”

“I’ll have it there.”

This was sounding like a pretty good offer so I said, “Okay . . . a nice small wedding at the house.”

But, no, Mom would never agree to that. It would have to be at the church.

Ouch. Though it was the church I grew up in, I had parted from its company some years earlier. But for my family, the church was the hub of their lives, where their friends were, and all things that meant the most. So finally I agreed and Mom started making plans. (She was always good at that.)

Next we went to see Anne’s parents. I must say they were very cordial, but the general enthusiasm we’d just experienced was understandably lacking.

Keep in mind that Anne had been privileged with a private school education, had come out as a debutante and, by her congenial personality and character, had generally held a place of particular promise in the eyes of her parents.

Who was I?

(At this part of the story, when I’d tell it in my children’s hearing, I would say, “Never do this to me.”)

Our meeting was short. They had an appointment. I do remember one question Anne’s mother asked me, “How much money do you have?”

I was proud to be able to answer this one well. I told her I had eight-hundred dollars! It was the first time I could say that.   

I don’t think she was quite as impressed as I was.

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Just one more photo. While my mother ironed a shirt for me, Anne’s mother bought her a dress (without her). We’ve wondered what happened to that dress; we never saw it again.

I remember nothing about the wedding, nor does Anne. It was the first time my parents and Anne’s met. Though living just a mile apart, they occupied different worlds. Still, it was a happy union.

Shown here are about half the photos ever taken. It all happened so fast, nobody thought about getting a photographer. (That’s funny, with our having three fine wedding photographers among our daughters.)

Fortunately Anne had never desired a big wedding, so all this was fine with her.  A year or so later my mother mentioned a friend of hers who had provided Anne with her veil, to which Anne questioned, “Did I have a veil?”

Anne’s family hosted the reception at their home. I do remember the gracious comments by various friends of Anne’s family. So many of them would come up to me and say what a wonderful girl I’d married, with so many qualities they’d seen in her growing up, and how fortunate I was. Of course, I agreed.

I was to learn later that to her they were saying, “Well, good luck.”

The next morning we left for Georgia.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Fifty years worth.

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Our Lives Together, Available Now

Together-front-cover-115

Full of black and white photos, many classic and candid, and with stories to match (also classic), 140 pages. Great entertainment and inspiration. Just $20.

For a taste of other topics, and for ordering info click here.
or
Available now on Amazon here.

44 Comments

The Calendar and the Salad Days

February 10th, 2016

It’s still around here somewhere. Seems I come across it every few years, or twenty. But can I find it today? No! Too bad, because it’s in color. All I have is this black and white shot made somewhere along the line.

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For this and all the rest, click for larger view.

I made the calendar during my salad days. I did it for Anne. It was 1965, she was in school up at UC Santa Barbara and I was in Redondo Beach, between things . . .  though between “what” and “what” I didn’t know. Thus, salad days.*

I was living at a place called simply known by its address, “109.” I’d been to school, learned a trade, worked a job, but now was back to wondering how things would go. Due to lifestyle on the road, my driver’s license had been revoked, limiting my getting around and finding work.  My roommate at 109 called it my “year on the couch.” He said he had an uncle that did that, then got up and became a lawyer.

But I didn’t have any interest in law.

Rather, love.

My heart was with Anne, far away. It would be all through May and half of June before I’d see her again. So I sat down at the kitchen table, made this calendar, and put it in the mail. She loved it, of course. A year later we were married. So it must have worked.

That marriage was 50 years ago next Wednesday . . . which is why I bring it up now.

But there’s more. When we married, that little calendar was one of the few things she brought along. So I got it back. Not that I wanted it back, but there was a time when it came in handy.

It was some three years later and I had been recommended to interview for the job as Art Director at Surfer Magazine. At the time I was fairly new to graphic design, a field I’d discovered and was teaching myself on the side. Any samples of work I had to show were sparse at best. Casting about, I came across the calendar and threw it in the bag. In the end, that was one of the pieces that most caught the publisher John Severson’s attention.

There was a cleverness, he said, a youthfulness, and it had HUMOR!

So, that little labor of love at the kitchen table during my year on the couch at the hang-out called “109” got me two things: a wife, and a job! The job lasted nine years, the marriage, as I said, 50 . . . so far.

All this, and a lot more, is in the new book Our Lives Together, the Early Years.

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Here’s the spread with the calendar, along with Anne and a college friend, a year before we were married.

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That’s my “tapestry” on the porch of 109, painted on the back of an old rug. The place was sort of a hang out for friends, never locked, and a center for many things, including some very intense ping pong. That’s me with eye on the ball.

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At the top is a candid shot of me if there ever was one. It’s symbolic of the period, formative, but still unknown. On the facing page is me (right) and our friend Hugh Claudy, now passed, and his place (below, left) where I also spent a lot of time. It was there I did my first paintings, nailing canvases to his closet door for an easel. But all that’s another story.

With much more in the book.

__________

*Salad Days, from Wikapedia: a Shakespearean idiomatic expression to refer to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person.

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Our Lives Together, Available Now

Together-front-cover-115

Full of black and white photos, many classic and candid, and with stories to match (also classic), 140 pages. Great entertainment and inspiration. Just $20.

For a taste of other topics, and for ordering info click here.
or
Available now on Amazon here.

6 Comments

New Book, features Early Art

February 5th, 2016

This is our anniversary month, and it’s a big one. For the occasion I’ve put a book together to share with friends, and anybody else.

Together-front-cover

It’s another of our now classic 8 1/4 inch square books.

The book is published in commemoration of our 50th year married (2/17/66). But it features the earliest years only . . . from when we met through our fifth year. It’s of that period we’ve recently rediscovered a trove of black and white photos, classic and telling of broad adventure. That’s us on the cover, painted recently from a photo in our second year married, in Michoacan, Mexico.

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Click on all these photos for larger view (and almost legible text).

Here’s a starter for photos that I, myself, didn’t know existed. Anne doesn’t talk much about her early days, here as a school queen (“Chadwick,” Palos Verdes) and in the Mariners club (Newport Beach). At this point Anne and I had not yet met.

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(Left) Asian Child, Hyatt Moore, 1962, oil, 16×12 inches.
(Right) Graceful Nymph, Anne Moore, 1962, terra cotta, 11 inches.

Only a small part of the book features art, but since this is an art-related blog, here are a couple of those pages.

I was not considering myself an artist in those early days, not a true artist anyway. The Asian child was virtually my first oil painting, just post high school, in black and white, me knowing nothing about color. Anne, meantime, was winning awards for art in high school.

Though we lived in the same town, we went to different high schools and didn’t know each other. People ask if art was what brought us together. Not necessarily. More like just fun, and conversation, and blind love.

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Head with Figures, Anne Moore, clay, 1962, and ceramic, c. 1967 and later.

Long before Anne became a printmaker, for which she’s most known these days, she did many other things. In their periods she did tole painting, macrame, weaving . . . including pine needles baskets, sewing, and anything her hand finds to do.

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Another sample spread, the photo at right from a negative test strip, all we have left.

Here’s Anne, in our early years of marriage, photographing something, and refurbishing cabinets in our first Dana Point house. Once, before we were married, I asked Anne what she was hoping for for Christmas. Answer: “A soldering iron!”  She had other crafts in mind. (Again, click to enlarge.)

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Here’s one more photo of that terra cotta statue. It’s a piece that’s graced our home for many years, now accompanied by a menagerie of such by other artists, picked up on travels. I can’t help seeing in this one a likeness between art and artist. Yes?

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Our Lives Together, Available Now

Together-front-cover-115

Full of black and white photos, many classic and candid, and with stories to match (also classic), 140 pages. Great entertainment and inspiration. Just $20.

For a taste of other topics, and for ordering info (for delivery soon) click here.
or
Available now on Amazon here.

.

Further Blogs

Do you know I have two blogs? One’s Blank Canvas (this one) and the other Blank Slate. Each has its own mailing list. More from Our Lives Together will be on the Blank Slate blog. If you’re not subscribed and would like to be, go here. (Or unsubscribe just as easily, same place.)

Here’s the most recent Blank Slate post, as sample. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Either way, keep finding joy in your own life.

9 Comments