"Summertime" was going to be the title of this week's entry. As I believe I mentioned, this summer session of the
Rebus was to feature some reminiscing (or, as one Faithful Reader has perhaps more accurately referred to it
in an email, "obsessing") about a summer two decades in the past, which involved, among many other things,
a cassette recording of an impromptu performance of the Gershwin song of that title; seemed like a natural.
(See? Like she said: obsessing.)
We've been having some unseasonably cool and clear days recently, with take-your-breath skies, and that gave
me my idea -- do a very simple picture of clouds on a beautiful day, call it Summertime, and there you have it.
Basic. Elegant. Artistic as all get-out. But on several of those days, I noticed that the clouds looked different,
like...well, like clouds at the beach...and my mind wandered to another idea I'd been mulling. So I grabbed a
gesso panel and made the nebulous image you see at the top of the page.
Later, after some dull sketching of clouds (You want nebulous? Try doing a sketch of a cloud. It barely exists),
I realized it'd be a whole lot more fun to fool with the other idea, so I refined it a tad:
I forced myself back to the cloud picture, but it was just such a drag. I wanted a break. You know, like when you
take off from work, and go on a trip somewhere? Maybe somewhere like this?
There; I finally had the thing locked down enough that I could get back to what I had been doing. But only a day later,
at the grocery store, I caught a whiff of suntan oil -- Hawaiian Tropic, in the spray bottle, I would guess SPF 6 --
and my simple, elegant, and hopelessly landlocked cloud picture fell by the wayside.
Now I needed only one more thing (aside from some detail cleanup, obviously): a TV aerial. Not a modern one,
though; we are, remember, in the midst of a reminiscence motif here. I had some reference photos of older-style
antennas, but as much as anything else, I based what I did on a watercolor sketch my father did back in the
early Seventies. I offer it here only for those few of you who knew him, but for the rest, I'll completely kill the
fun of the moment with a you-had-to-be-there explanation.
. My dad dabbled in cartooning for most of his life, and for years he did a weekly panel in the town newspaper, a
sort of editorial cartoon usually focusing on local events. Like almost all editorial cartoonists, he'd label figures
or objects to indicate who they were or what they represented, and he leaned heavily on the gimmick of
drawing a tag tied to whatever needed labeling. Finally he got to the point where he was labeling stuff whether
you already knew what it was or not, and on Sundays, instead of commenting on how much we enjoyed
this week's cartoon, the family would give him hell about the number of tags he'd drawn on everything. And so
one Saturday afternoon, after painting a little watercolor of the TV aerial he'd made himself to pick up WLOS
out of Asheville, he took a felt-tip pen and finished it out like this:
The Flyer is towing a banner through the sky because, after a trip to Kitty Hawk, he became
obsessed (see? It's genetic. Not my fault.) with the story of the Wright Brothers. Being a good family,
we all gave him hell about that, too.
And that was that. There are a few things left to do, like crisper edges on the -- fronds? Is that what you call them?
-- but I'll have to wait a few days for the paint to dry some more. In the meantime, this is close enough:
07.07.08: The Rebus Returns
11.26.07: Night of the Hunter, Part II
11.19.07: Night of the Hunter, Part I
11.12.07: Hunter's Lake
11.05.07: Deconstructing October
09.17.07: Der Käfer
09.10.07: Straight Up
09.03.07: End of Summer
08.27.07: Knob Creek at Sunset
06.11.07: Forgetfulness and Blasphemy
05.21.07: Guerillas Indie Missed
05.07.07: Cat on Page 2D
04.30.07: Study for God's Linoleum
04.23.07: Pareidolia for Dummies
04.02.07: Regression Redux
03.12.07: She's Ready
02.26.07: Cold as Hell
02.12.07: The Three Faces of Suzanne
02.05.07: Progress, of a Sort
01.22.07: What I Painted
01.15.07: Art Lesson
01.08.07: Mountcastle Drive
12.24.06: Christmas Eve
12.11.06: By Way of Apology
12.04.06: Rodney Hits the Floor
11.27.06: Gondola Car and Busy Ball
11.20.06: Sketch for The Remains
11.13.06: Work in Progress: Lawn Deer
11.06.06: Two Studies for VW