Monday, October 01, 2007

Canoes & Lightning, 1961

This is fairly schizoid drawing. It disturbs me. The sun is shining pretty clearly above the random but quite powerful thunderclouds. Lightning strikes the water very close to smiling, seemingly unconcerned fishermen. The fish are drawn as both victims & predators. Numerous small islands feature both palm & evergreen trees: is this Maine or the tropics? Are these people vacationing in their cabins on the shores of a northern lake? Or are they shipwrecked on an atoll in the South Pacific, struggling grimly to survive? Are those fighters planes destroying or UFO’s? Or robotic bug-zappers frying malarial mosquitos with electrical discharges. Speaking of electrical discharges, the word “taser” has been popping up a lot lately. Have you seen the YouTube clip of Andrew Meyer being tasered at a John Kerry Q&A? It’s pretty frightening & disheartening & not an easy thing to watch. It disturbs me.

Biplane & Kraken, 1960

Is it a biplane or a plane with a domed cockpit, like a Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen or a P-38 Lightning? I think the former, if only because the drawing below clearly shows a biplane. But what is rising out of or falling into the ocean below the airplane? I used to draw a lot of Viking dragon ships, at least I did a couple years later. The movie Vikings (w/Kirk Douglas) came out in 1958, so maybe I’d seen it. But I think I’d’ve at least tried to draw the shields & mast. You never know; at this age sometimes I’d have to try drawing something several times - or more precisely I would have several mis-starts - the scale of something would be so totally off that I’d just flip the page of my drawing pad. This could be a sinking viking ship that wasn’t worth finishing. I used to prefer to think of it as a Kraken, but now that I’ve written out the viking ship theory, I think I like it better, I like it being a failed & incomplete viking ship. That’s the way it often is with stories; true or not, once you’ve made them up they kind of stick with you. In any case, even though it’s now a viking ship, I’m still going to call it a Kraken in the title. It’s my picture, my memory, my story & my blog, so I can pretty much do what I want with them.

Biplane Over Rowboat, 1960

This looks like a biplane flying above a guy in a rowboat. The guy in the boat doesn’t have a pole so maybe he’s not fishing. He’s facing backwards so maybe he’s having engine trouble. But there’s no engine. Maybe it broke free of its mount & sank to the muddy bottom of the lake. Maybe the guys in the biplane have been searching for the guy in the rowboat & have found him. So why isn’t the guy in the boat looking up, smiling, relieved? Maybe he’s noticed that the biplane doesn’t seem to have any engine either, so he’s lowered his head back down to stare at the surface of the lake despondently. The absence of any engines in this drawing raises some questions. How does everything move forward? How do things stay aloft? How do we all stay afloat?