Working Area   (2016Dec01)


 

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Thursday, December 01, 2016                                         10:25 AM

I’d recommend Haydn—particularly the piano works. Tell your digital concierge, “Play Haydn keyboard sonatas.”—and you’re good for several hours of peaceful working- or reading- music.

If the raw sunlight gets in your eye-line, tape a piece of colored construction paper on your window—the room stays lit, but you don’t get that one headache-inducing reflection in your field of vision. And it looks cheery—like a child’s art project—but you have to replace it once a year because construction paper fades and becomes very dreary-looking, in the end.

As a smoker, I’ve taken to confining myself to two rooms of the house—here in the front room, where I work, and my bedroom, where I watch TV and read. If the doors are kept faithfully closed, the rest of the house doesn’t reek of smoking—but it must be noted that I often open the front door for front-room ventilation, and I have a window-fan on exhaust in the bedroom, year-round (yes, it does get a little chilly in winter).

I’ve also surrendered to the smokeless ashtray—it’s stupid and noisy and uses too many batteries and is a pain to empty every time it’s full—but if you use one, it will demonstrate that most of the smoke in a smoke-filled room comes from the cigarette smoldering in the ashtray, not from the smoker’s exhalations. And studies have shown that smoldering butts give off the dirtiest second-hand smoke—much more unhealthy than ‘smoked’ smoke, and more of it.

Grapes, celery sticks, and baby carrots make the best working snacks—you can eat all you want and it won’t do the kind of damage that chips, crackers, or candy can do. Also, for smokers, hot tea provides a bit of steam-cleaning for the lungs—and drinking tea all day won’t fry your nervous system like coffee. There is something about tannic acid that makes tea bother my digestion more than coffee—but only if I’m really chugging it down, cup after cup. Moderation in all things, as they say.

Don’t multitask. Do what you’re doing and leave the rest for later—it may seem slower, but in truth, when each task is focused on, it gets done better and quicker—and if you go from one to the next without pause, the overall time-use is less than if you hop from one thing to another all day long—the hopping around makes you feel busy, but you’re actually wasting time interrupting yourself. And focusing on a task reduces the number of errors.

Enjoy your work—it is a choice. Even the most menial tasks can become a game in your mind. Indeed, the more menial jobs lend themselves to mind-games better than complicated ones. Insisting to yourself that you hate what you’re doing is counterproductive—and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Stop when you’re tired. This is certainly something you don’t always have a choice about, but when the choice is available, take it. Nobody ever did great work while running on fumes. I often found that tasks that take an hour in overtime can be done in five minutes when approached fresh the next morning. Answers that play hide-and-seek in the darkness of fatigue will stand out clear as day in the clarity of morning.

Even in the middle of the day, pausing to refresh can do wonders for your productivity—much more so than dutifully slogging on. Short breaks are like remembering to breathe—something else you should try to do. But here is where ‘multitasking’ can actually be useful—if you get stuck on one project, and you have something else to work on that will take your mind off it, that can be as good as a break.

Get a comfortable chair—if your workplace won’t give you one, steal one. I remember one workplace where the office manager was a real stickler about furniture—I would steal a good chair from another room. Every night she had the janitor put the chair back where it came from—and every morning I stole it again. Improvise, adapt, and overcome, as the Corps likes to say.

Don’t get ahead of yourself—whenever I do that, I always skip a step. People used to ask me why I always walked with my eyes on the ground—and I would answer that I didn’t like to step in dog-poo. Ah the good old days, when picking up after our pets was considered beneath us. Still, there are things to  trip on, slide on, and stumble over—watch where you’re going.

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Well—who knew I had so much free advice to give. And you know what they say—free advice is worth every penny you paid for it.

 

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20161201xd-poem_communalblog

Journal Entry (2016Jun19)


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Thursday, June 16, 2016                                          4:43 PM

This rush to the gun stores—I don’t get it—how often are these peoples’ homes being invaded? Just how primitive is life outside of Westchester? Westchester has people who feel the need for self-defense, too—where is this fear coming from?

There’s a dichotomy to civilization—we create communities that are stable, where you don’t have to have a gunfight to survive, where you can walk down the street with a high degree of certainty that you won’t be attacked. People like me take that at face value—and reason that introducing firearms into the environment only increases the danger. But then we start to imagine that people might sneak around and break in and rob us, rape us, or kill us. We start to think that our lives are at risk. But I find it hard to maintain that paranoia against the lack of anything like that ever happening in my neighborhood. That stuff doesn’t happen where I live—or if it happens, it’s less frequent than a bolt of lightning.

There are places where violence is common. That’s different—I can’t speak to that, because I have no idea what it’s like. But I am among the vast majority of people living in developed countries where violence is rare and quickly attended to. And for people like me, owning a gun is just asking for trouble—it’s unlikely to be needed, and far too likely to cause problems simply by being there.

It’s not a dichotomy so much as a distancing of ourselves—the world is still a place of terrible struggle, with war and poverty stalking the earth. Our protected pockets of civility exist by virtue of military defense preventing encroachment by the barbarous hordes—and civilian police who are (mostly) restrained against oppression of their charges. In other words, we understand that our peace is built on fighting happening elsewhere—and that, therefore, violence is still useful and necessary—just not where we live.

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But having created these areas of ease and civility, shouldn’t we use them as such? We are in no danger of becoming the Eloi to the Morlocks of violence—when we have these mass shootings, we also often see formerly peaceful residents become, in an instant, people who risk their lives, and sometimes give their lives, to defend those around them. What we have not yet seen is anyone who is carrying and has the presence of mind to return fire. So what does that tell you about guns and self-defense?

I’m in no hurry for my chance to find out if I have a hero inside me—but I will face that when and if. What I won’t do is spend a lifetime preparing for my worst imaginings, pumping myself up for a battle that isn’t being fought.

It’s totally logical, you know. In a race, looking back, looking around for your rivals—that’s the worst thing you can do. You want to drive forward completely focused on the goal. Equally, in life you want to focus on the goals ahead—any time you spend being petty towards others is a waste of effort and it can even make you lose your stride. If you face the world openly, gladly, and without malice, you create less friction in your passage—you might even get others to wish you well and support you. That’s how I see it—and even if I have built this rationale on a personality that is naturally disposed that way, that doesn’t negate its efficacy.

I’m uncomfortable around people—but even I know that being generally positive about things is the easy way to get along with others. There are times when I’m forced to disagree or contradict—and I’m all too eager to do that—but I have learned that, even then, the minimum amount of conflict is to be sought. I have to restrain my killer instinct, or I run the risk of making a worse wrong of being ‘right’. Arguing can do that to people—and I am one of the worst offenders in that regard.

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It’s fairly simple to turn that around—to make the point that wrong must be attacked with vigor and stomped into the ground, even when it’s hard on people—but I still maintain that it is the wrong that needs stomping, not the person. When Senators Tim Scott and Lindsay Graham spoke before the Senate today, they both cited the stunning character of last year’s church-shooting victims’ family survivors, when they forgave the man who killed their relatives in open court.

And when you examine our prison problem, you see its roots in our stubborn insistence that prison continue, as in darker, more ignorant times, to be punishment and not rehabilitation. I am not the only one who gets carried away with a sense of vindication—but there are people of such strength of character that they can rise above their passion. I’d rather those people had the so-many-millions of twitter-followers that lesser beings accumulate—but then, they probably have better things to do than tweet.

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Friday, June 17, 2016                                               11:42 AM

So there I am, just doodling along, enjoying my peaceful life—and then this stranger posts a derisive comment on my YouTube post, laughing at how badly I play Mendelssohn on the piano. Now, I know I’m not going to win any prizes for my piano playing—but I don’t need to be laughed at by strangers-what the hell?

They say life is a competition—and I suppose that’s true. But in many ways and in many cases, life is a competition because we make it one. And we prefer to compete with people we know we can beat—come on now—is that really competition, or is that just bullying? I play the piano—I’m not naturally gifted—I play because I enjoy the challenge. Finding someone worse, and laughing at them is not a challenge—it’s easy—and it’s sad. Pitiful, really.

I felt bullied, so I reported his comment as bullying. I’m glad that YouTube has that function—though I’m a little concerned that the guy’s YouTube channel might get wiped. Then again, I didn’t ask for his ridicule—and if his life’s work gets erased just because he picked on me, well, maybe he’ll think twice next time. We live and we learn. Who’s laughing now?

I get so upset at random, unnecessary cruelty that it gets me crazy—I can’t stop obsessing over the question of why someone would just add random ugliness to the universe. I guess it makes him feel better about himself—better than if he gave compliments to the pianists that are better than him. I really don’t know—it mystifies me. And, of course, I’d like to kick him in the face—cowards from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean can insult strangers all too easily, safe in the knowledge that they can’t be found and confronted. I’d love to surprise him on his doorstep—I may not play piano well, but I bet I can kick his ass.

Still, that would be as unnecessary as his rudeness—because twisted trolls like that are punished by their own existence. He may have sent a tiny parcel of hate my way, but he’s soaking in it. Happiness, for him, is a long ways off—and not getting any nearer anytime soon.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016                                           8:56 AM

I’m An Asshole   (2016Jun18)

I can be such an asshole. I’ve tried to train myself to be a nice guy, but it’s a very thin façade. As soon as someone is an asshole to me, I turn right back into one myself and give back as bad as I get. And I wanted so much to believe I am a nice guy. Sure, you think I’m a nice guy—but you’ve never been mean to me. Whenever someone is mean to me, I spend hours, days, obsessing over how I can be even meaner right back. That’s not nice—but it is me. I’m like a colony of fire ants—ordinarily, I’m just a lump in the dirt—but if you kick a hole in it, all these vicious little insects start crawling around looking for something to bite.

Poor impulse control? An overdeveloped sense of vengeance? Plain old spitefulness? Or perhaps all three. I’m frustrated by the enormous gulf between who I want to be and who I really am. Sure, if everyone just leaves me alone—or if everyone says only nice things to me—I can keep it together. But that doesn’t really count—it’s how you respond under pressure that’s the true test of character. The worst part of it is deciding that my tormentor is a miserable excuse for a human being, then realizing I’ve been goaded into being just as bad, or worse. I start by hating them and end up hating myself.

Let’s see if I can’t shift some of the blame—maybe that’ll make me feel better. What is the return on insulting strangers? Why should someone I don’t know decide, ‘hey, let’s ruin this guy’s day by crapping all over his posts’? Shouldn’t I show up on their doorstep, introduce myself, and kick their asses? How else are they ever going to learn? Sometimes I reason that the troll is surely bullying lots of people—and he’s picked the wrong guy this time. I tell myself that they need to be responded to, if only for the other victims who are too hurt to respond, too insecure to reject the facile judgments of some online brat. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

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But then I start to question my motives—am I just latching onto an excuse to vent my own anger? Is this guy some broken, twisted nightmare who will only get worse from all the scorn I send his way? Still, when challenged, I feel obligated to fight back.

There’s a big paradox to this—and it extends beyond this particular scenario. Whenever someone is a miserable person, there’s a pretty good chance they’ve been made miserable by people or circumstances. Their personalities have been deformed by abuse of some kind—do I really want to add some more bad vibes? But then, having been molded into monsters, can I really just ignore the abuse they direct toward myself or others?

It’s like crime. To a certain extent, one could make the argument that all crime is insanity—a person who does anti-social stuff has been made to think it’s acceptable to commit crimes—by want, by abuse, by desperation. By the standards of a law-abiding citizen like myself, they’ve lost control of themselves—and that’s insanity. By the same token, all prisons should function primarily as mental hospitals—the inmates are only there because their minds have failed to register the need to meet society’s minimum standards of behavior.

But most people are as bad as I am—we think, ‘well, they did something bad—they should be punished—we’ll worry about their state of mind later’. That’s sloppy thinking—and even sloppier ethics. And where does it get us? Overcrowded prisons whose only rehabilitation programs are sodomy and gang initiation. Yeah, that’ll work.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016                                             10:56 AM

Father’s Day   (2016Jun19)

What a great day. The sun is shining. I got presents from my wife and kids. I had a pretty good morning session at the piano (sorry, no recording). I’ve been playing from a songbook “Happiness is… Italian Songs”, a gift from my good friend Randy. Today I discovered it included ‘Cosi Cosa’, which you Marx Bros. fans might remember from the shipboard-feast scene in “A Night At The Opera”. A few of these songs also have grace notes and whatnot that make me feel like I’m channeling Chico at the piano—I’m really a sucker for Italian popular songs.

It may be simply a welcome contrast to a lifetime of Irish songs, my heritage on my father’s side—both he and his own father were prone to sing in a fine Irish tenor—‘Danny Boy’, ‘Irish Eyes Are Smiling’, etc. My dad would sometimes get an entire bar or restaurant full of people to sing along, after a nice meal and a few drinks. As a boy it embarrassed me, but as I got older I realized there was a certain magic to it. And his dad actually sang for loose change in bars sometimes, during the Depression when there was no other work to be found. My grandmother would describe how my infant father slept under one of the tables as his father entertained.

It is impossible to be a father without feeling the obligation to be the strong man, the defender, the provider—and those instincts struggle mightily under the onus of disability. My wife and kids have cared for me through many years of illness—and I’m very grateful—but it’s hard to maintain any self-respect as a complete dependent. I don’t recommend it. But what a great family I have!

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A note on the artwork: The eight drawings used in this post are scans of old drawings from back in my still-healthy-enough-to-draw-a-straight-line days. I had lost too much fine motor control to do fine art, but I could still do cartoons, flyers, and illustrations. Some of these are from the bittersweet final years of still hanging on to my job–so I’m nostalgic about them for two reasons.

Improv with Drawings No. 1 (2015Dec18)


Friday, December 18, 2015                                               9:37 PM

I’ve had an exciting notion that I hope will lead to new possibilities in future—when I was younger I would sometimes draw a crowd looking over my shoulder while I drew in my sketch-pad (back then I was well-practiced, drawing everywhere I went—so the drawings were more impressive than what I can manage today). Still, as I tried to think of a video to front for my audio track of piano music—it occurred to me that even watching me draw a so-so picture was light-years ahead of yet another one-shot of my ugly mug at the old eighty-eight—so I figured ‘Use the kitchen—there’s plenty of light there—and just draw whatever—it’ll be better than still photos or my usual wind-in-the-trees video from the front yard’.

We shall see. Let me just create the video—one second….

Okay, it’s processing now—it looks like it’ll be more interesting than my usual video—but this was just a trial run—I’ll have to come up with better subject matter in future—and I’ll have to try and put just a little more artistry into my drawing, if possible—I’m practically drawing cartoons in this first video. I’m helped by the fact that the drawings took me ten minutes—so I used the video at double speed to match the five minutes of music I needed to cover—and that makes my drawing look more deft that it actually is—I’m not complaining.

Now my head is whirling with all the possible videos I can do using the drawing as the visual part and my piano (or, as in this first one, my electronic piano) for the audio—and it makes me yearn even more for the days when I could fill a piece of oak tag with a very detailed ink drawing. Maybe this will give me the impetus to get back to drawing more seriously—who knows. I’m excited.

Hat Trick   (2015Mar01)


Sunday, March 01, 2015                                  3:50 PM

I almost had it on the twenty-seventh, last week—blogging and/or posting an original poem, an original drawing, and an original piano music video—but I had trouble trying to scan my drawing with the three-way printer/scan/faxer, which led to me destroying the internet connection to the router, which led to me crawling back into bed and watching TV for hours. By the time I’d created an illustrated-poem graphic, I just didn’t have the juice to sit down at the piano. So, just a poem and a drawing—though I shouldn’t complain—they were both well-received.

Today, I made sure I sat down for a quick keyboard recital, before I started working on all the technical stuff. Typing up a poem; sketching out a picture; tickling the ivories a bit—not that big a deal. But then try scanning, photo-shopping, text formatting, file-transferring, audio-editing, video-editing, and uploading it all—there’s where the hard work comes in.

Anyway, to content—to call today’s offering a mixed-bag is an understatement. Firstly—I was lying in bed last night and looked over at the t-shirt that I’d used to block the power-LED on the TV (otherwise the bright blue light is right in my eyes as I try to go to sleep). It looked just like the head of a cow or a moose—some sort of beast’s head. So I grabbed my trusty sketch-pad and drew what I saw. As you can see from the side-by-side comparison of a photo of the t-shirt and my drawing, the t-shirt still looks more like an animal’s head than my drawing does. (Hey, I never said I was Rembrandt).

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Secondly, I was hand-rolling my cigarettes this morning when the phrase ‘there’s nothing to it but to do it’ came into my head and started re-arranging itself. Pretty soon I had a whole stanza in my head and I had to rush through my tobacco-rolling to get to the keyboard—by which time my head had come up with a second stanza but was in danger of dumping the whole thing out of short-term memory. When I think of a poem, I literally have to run to the keyboard to type it in before it fades away—that’s how leaky my short-term memory is. Most of my essays, half-written in my head before I get to the computer, and my better improvs, singing in my head while I rush to set up the camera by the piano, are all the same story.

Interesting ideas come and go out of memory like flitting shadows—the trick is to get to a working medium in time for the good ones, while not exhausting myself by trying to capture every stray idea that blows through town. As you may have noticed, I’m not one of those planner-type artists—I don’t write voluminous novels, room-filling frescoes, or complete musical compositions. I just try to chase after the scraps of ideas that stumble into my broken brain, and catch them with my shaky fingers. The large-scale mind-palace that allows long-term project-planning (and once made me a sick programmer) is now just a memory. And, like all my memories, a vague one.

Back to content—so the poem happened to end with “I think I hit a fairy with my car.” Dramatic? Yes, but unsatisfying. So I wrote some more verse in front of the first-draft, some more verse after, and ended up with a politically themed poem, which was not my intention. Still, when writing, especially poetry, sometimes you tell it, sometimes it tells you. It’s hard enough to write a poem without trying to make it walk a straight line, too.

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And, thirdly, I have a brief musical interlude for today—a cover of the old classic, “That’s My Desire”, in which I do my best Vic Damone impression, and a squirrelly, little improv, for your delectation, dear reader/listener/viewer. I hope at least one of these hot messes provides someone with a moment’s pleasure today.

 

 

Finally, I’m adding my recent drawings to look at, which I finally got scans of, thanks to sneaker-net (my son repaired the internet connection, but the printer still isn’t ‘sharing’ like it’s supposed to). Here they are (click on the images to see them full-sized):

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Drawings on Request


Saturday, November 09, 2013             7:15 PM

_*+*_X P E R _*+*_ D U N N _*+*_*+*_X P E R _*+*_ D U N N _*+*__*+*_X P E R _*+*_ D U N N _*+*_*+*_X P E R _*+*_

Start of commercial announcement:

Artistic Drawings on Request – 15 Bucks Each

 

(No Payment until Fully Satisfied – Free Gift with Purchase)

The world-renowned artiste, Xper. Dunn,

is open to all comers

 

Your drawing may be something specifically commissioned—

-OR

You may say, “Surprise me.” –in which case a suitable drawing will be committed at the draughtsman’s discretion.

 

Either way, it’s still only $15—

Don’t miss this limited time offer !

email now: xperdunn@optonline.net

 

{And tell your friends.}

:End of commercial announcement

_*+*_X P E R _*+*_ D U N N _*+*_*+*_X P E R _*+*_ D U N N _*+*__*+*_X P E R _*+*_ D U N N _*+*_*+*_X P E R _*+*_

The above is a potential posting to generate revenue.

I liked ‘five bucks each’ because that was my first sidewalk art festival price, back when I was fourteen, in Bedford Hills, 1970. But it presents a conundrum –packing and shipping are gonna run me darn near $5—and that’s only domestic—my international friends may be loss-leaders—no, not may, they’ll definitely go over $5. So I should make it $10—that way I’d end up with about five bucks net apiece.

So, now my whole idea is screwed—if I have to charge over five bucks, the question becomes, ‘What are my drawings worth to the average consumer?’ the answer to which is, ‘Nothing, if not sentiment or curiosity’—which begs the question, ‘How would ten bucks, paid by a FB friend, be any different from pan-handling?’ Having reached that cul-de-sac, I’m forced to ask myself if I really believe my drawings are worth money?

I never really have. They’ve always seemed both more and less than any price—something I did for people, as a favor or a gift. But I want to build some kind of mental scaffolding that will make the drawings seem worth the effort, outside of my own ambitions (which I long ago fulfilled—as anyone who has found happiness in life can say) thus I’m left with the problem of how much would be a seeming pittance for my hoped-for customers and still pay its own freight, as it were.

Ten dollars is the best figure from that point of view—but there’s a funny thing you learn in advertising—if you only charge a fraction of what the thing usually sells for, no one will buy it because they’ll assume it’s no good! This actually happened to me once, when I created a marketing-demographic-by-zip-code program for back-end analysis (go ahead, make your jokes). At the time, inferior programs from specialty companies went for $15,000 to $30,000 a pop. We offered ours at $500 and no one bought it. We persuaded a client to do parallel mailings, to match us against the two top alternative products—and the results showed that our product worked better. And even with that proof included in our sales pitch to clients, they still stayed away in droves. We raised the price to $5,000 and people started buying it—sweardagod.

So, now the question becomes, ‘If I’m asking ten bucks for a decent work of art, aren’t I kind of guaranteeing that only the pitying will buy it?’ I mean, where’s my sense of self-worth? I almost have to ask more than ten bucks, or I’d be insulting myself, in public, for no good reason. So what, twenty, twenty-five?

Yeah, but then it’s no longer a pittance. If I still had a steady hand, I’d offer to do portraits—but I found likenesses difficult enough when I was in full health—trying to do them now would most likely result in a caricature—and few people appreciate having to pay to be insulted.

Which reminds me—I need to somehow say that I don’t do requests in the specific sense, only in subject matter—again, I’d need better physical self-control to realize someone else’s visions on paper. But I can do landscapes, or a picture from tales or myths, general stuff—the more general the better. And heck, why commission a picture when it’s something you can already see in your mind, anyhow?

So, that settles that, ten bucks it is. I’m not going to be pushed around by control freaks who want me to draw their pictures instead of mine. Wow, I’m starting to remember why I stopped drawing—it’s not the work so much as the worry. Better make it $15.

Okay, my fellow bloggers and bloggettes, any comments, criticisms, suggestions, warnings—all are gratefully welcomed—please help me design a nice little poster for me to post. Some sample drawings are included below for your perusal.

Monkeys On The Bed:

Snowmen Finger Puppets:

Bird In Sky:

The Magic Kite-Tail:

Pumpkin Carving:

Tree-Dragon:

Nightmare:

Flower:

Rhino-Forte:

The Day The Planets Came Home:

 

 

Artwork for Annual Pig Roast (2013Jul27)


Long ago, in a decade far, far away, my friend Randy owned a big spread up in the Vermont hills–a beautiful idyll with meadows and wood-trails and ponds and streams. Randy made his own pond (and stocked it) but still, he had a pond. On one visit, I designed and built a footbridge over his stream–my one and only engineering project.

rough sketch 1 for Directions Map

I was already losing focus, losing fine motor control in my drawings, and suffering from chronic fatigue, etc. So I would make short visits up there to build bridges and draw flyers, but then I went home and only heard about the huge galas that followed my visits. Randy described one gathering where my footbridge was the access to all the big tents and lean-tos. The bridge was such a big hit that someone eventually drove a car over it. To their surprise, the bridge was unfazed by an automobiles weight. Soon they were all driving back and forth over the bridge–until some wiseguy decided to ‘push the envelope’ and drive a big pick-up across. My bridge was fazed, and no one would ever again build a usable bridge over that stream.

rough sketch 2 for Directions Map

The Annual Pig Roasts were huge affairs. The police citations from previous fests were nailed up on a wall of honor–no party ever got cited less than three times. It was a three-day event–people would caravan in with huge RVs, tent cities, and a host of less-easily described people and living quarters. But the only way to get all those people together was to send out invitations–which was where I came in. The first flyer had a sort of ‘last supper’ drawing of a bunch of cartoon pigs seated at a long table, drinking and eating–the best drawing of all but, unfortunately, one for which I have lost all the art and flyers.

The next year, I would be unable to draw as well, and Randy had to settle for two pigs toasting with beer mugs. The year after that, Randy had to settle for re-using the same art, and just updating the words. This was one of the hardest periods for me–I was becoming a shell of my former self and still believed that I just wasn’t getting enough rest–and it hurt me to have to say ‘no’ when people asked me to draw–they couldn’t understand that my ability had simply dried up and blown away, and neither could I.

If you’ve never drawn a map of directions to a party, be advised that it isn’t as easy as it looks–fortunately (from my POV at that time) a map done properly once need never be drawn again.

final drawing for Directions Map:

There were early sessions between Randy and I as he explained what he wanted the picture to look like…

early sketch 1 ‘party pig’

…and I drew rough sketches to see if we were talking about the same thing.

After fixing upon the figures, we then discussed the ‘scene’:

rough sketch – left-side ‘toasting pig’:

rough sketch – left-side ‘toasting pig’:

toasting pigs

final art

Randy was very kind, always offering to put me and Claire and kids in his House (which he designed and built himself!–the only permanent structure with utilities and running water). Alas, we were raising young kids and I was falling apart inside, so we never did get to see the roasts. (I had been to the very first one, but had spent the two days in bed, sick and exhausted.) Still, they were wonders of the art of hospitality and it’s a shame Randy doesn’t live there any more.

randy’s Invite & Thank You:

Randy has been writing poetry lately, under the URL cloudfactor5.wordpress, and very good poetry, IMHO. You can judge for yourselves at:   cloudfactor5

more art to come…..