A STUDY IN CONTRASTS, I SUPPOSE

What we have here is Virginia with her sweet little kitty and Kyril with what appears to be a woman's breast. The thing is, I have to work with what I'm given, so it would be immensely unfair of you to Google my home address so as to streak by my house in your rusting '85 Olds Cutlass Supreme, tossing eggs or worse in my general direction. It would be equally unfair of you, and you know who you are, to email me asking where you might acquire a woman's breast like that one. I haven't seen Kyril for a couple of years now, and he didn't have that breast when I knew him, so just leave me alone. 

KRAZY PORTRAIT

The more visually astute among you will have gleaned that this is a portrait of Doug Clarke. We can just dispense with the "Liquidmethod" with which he insists on preceding his name, because no one knows what it means, and I am loath to ask him. The list of things I am loath to do is voluminous, but this one is pretty close to the top, since Doug is a moody fellow who is known to fling paint at the drop of a hat, which is also why I don't wear my spiffy new fedora in his vicinity.

PORTRAIT PARTY PORTRAITS

Up late sitting in the dark ;laying loud music. Hope I'm not disturbing the upstairs neighbors. Mostly Leonard Cohen, there's that at least. Not as if I've got Fall Out Boy cranked up. But Diamonds In The Mine just played, and he's practically screaming. Well, it can't be helped. What do you mean, it can't be helped, you ask. Just turn it off. Well, fuck you. 

PORTRAIT PARTY

When I have shuffled off this m. c., it will probably be said of me that I was a wastrel, and I'd be hard pressed to deny it, and not only because of my deceased state. Wastrelsy as a profession has a bad name, up there with politician/philanderer and religious leader/philanderer. In this age of multitasking, biterminal candle burning, and workaholism, few remember that Benjamin Franklin was a closet wastrel, or that Isaac Newton came upon the theory of gravity while wastreling underneath an apple tree. Their achievements soiled what would have been exemplary records of wastreltude, making them tragic figures in the eyes of contemporary wastrels. I'm just warming up to this subject, but I suddenly feel a need to pour myself a glass of wine and go sit on the porch.

PORTRAITS

The other day The History Channel ran a program called "More Sex in The Civil War". This implies that not only was there a "Sex in The Civil War," but it was a big success. The History Channel! Why aren't these people airing panel discussions chaired by little guys with bowties like Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., on the Gadsden Purchase or whatnot? I don't have the slightest interest in Sex in the Civil War, except for a mild curiosity about how the men kept their stovepipe hats from falling off. I'm making the assumption here that the actual topic is Sex During The Period When The Civil War Took Place, not Sex Among The Soldiers In The War Itself, because the impression I get is that the soldiers spent their free time composing poignant letters to their sweethearts while a plaintive violin played in the background. Either that or worrying about their brothers who enlisted in the other side and they hope to God they don't come face to face with them across the trenches. Not many opportunities for sex there. Maybe that accounts for their facial expressions in those photos. 

PORTRAIT PARTY

My very first real girlfriend was named Gwen. She was three inches taller than me because she had "developed". Hormones had catapulted her and many other conspirators in my grade into a higher species, leaving me behind with a high voice and no hair except on my head. Fortunately, my ability to draw grotesque and scandalous caricatures of the teachers gave me a certain niche popularity which almost offset my hopeless resemblance to a Vienna Choir Boy. When Gwen had dropped enough hints to lead me to understand that she would be amenable to being asked on a "date", meaning a party at a friend's house to which we were driven by my surly Dad, who would much rather be home watching You Are There with Walter Cronkite, and which ruled out hitting a motel after the party, I carefully wrote out the conversation that I imagined would transpire when I got up the nerve to dial her number and pop the question. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have been so rigid in constructing this conversation, including her responses to my comments about the weather and whether she thought Maynard G. Krebs was funnier than Chatsworth Osborne Jr.'s mother, because she veered off script right away, leaving me speechless. I'll describe the ensuing developments in a future post, but suffice it to say that they were so traumatic that the day after our "date", in American History class, my testicles descended, with a suddenness that caused our teacher to look up from the papers she was grading and say "What was that noise?" A deep, gravelly, manly voice responded "It wasn't me!" It was me.

PORTRAITS R ME

You know how old people will sometimes get a faraway look in their eyes and begin reminiscing about "back in my heyday"? This is different from when they get a faraway look in their eyes and pass gas, which they apparently feel they now have a free pass to do. Well, I just realized that I never had a heyday. I forgot! How do you procure a heyday? Nobody ever told me. It seems vaguely unfair, but on the other hand, maybe I'm in the midst of my heyday right now, and will only realize it later. Except I'm kind of running out of time to be able to hearken back to today as a heyday, which worries me, and what if this worrying will ruin my euphoria and remove this current period as a candidate for a heyday? Oops, I'm getting a faraway look in my eyes...

STILL AT THE PARTY

Oops. That second one looks just like a "Can You Draw Me" ad from way back in the 20th Century, doesn't it? Remember when being called a 20th Century man didn't mean you're hopelessly out of it? Of course, if you do remember, that means you're hopelessly out of it. As long as I've exposed myself as hopelessly out of it, I'll make this confession. I don't get Manga. It looks like nothing more than those awful Keane waifs from the 60's, except half of it seems to be kiddie porn. Has the swine flu created a generation of perverted half-wits? There, that ought to get me some mail, huh? 

THE PORTRAIT PARTY CONTINUES

This is why I don't get commissions to do baby portraits, thank you Jesus. Babies are a lot harder to draw than you'd think. They're all out of proportion, for one thing. They have these great lumpy heads with tiny little features floating in a sea of fat. That's why I have trouble drawing Karl Rove, too. Harry Reid, now, he's as easy to draw as a dried Granny Smith apple. And that's my drawing lesson for today.

TWO MORE PORTRAIT PARTY PORTRAITS

Jesus, I feel like I've been cleaning out a particularly foul latrine for the last hour. In my attempt to see if I could come up with a fresh perspective on an editorial cartoon about the court martial of the Navy Seal who allegedly punched an alleged terrorist and then allegedly lied about it, I read an online newspaper article about it, and then the comments section. If any of you is interested in maintaining your faith in the essential goodness of the human race, do not read this comments section. This being a Navy town, I expected the usual amount of macho posturing by ex-Navy types and their groupies. What I didn't expect was the virulence and hatred spewed by these guys. Their basic stance was, if it had been them, the subject would never have come up because they would have put a couple of bullets in the alleged terrorist's brain pan the moment they encountered him--problem solved! But they didn't stop there. They were equally angry at the sailors who witnessed the incident, at the brass who investigated it, and at anyone who disagrees, however mildly, that the Seals in question should be worshiped as heroes, and expressed that anger in truly disgusting ways. Of course, these guys get to hide behind anonymity and use fake names. Heroism only goes so far. I swear I don't know why the Pilot doesn't apply the same rules here as it does to the Letters section of its editorial page. If these testosterone-drunk patriots had to identify themselves before speaking, they'd be a lot more inclined to behave like adult human beings.

ANOTHER PORTRAIT PARTY PORTRAIT

Julia Kay's Portrait Party

I was supposed to be at drawing group tonight, but I had a run-in with nature this afternoon, an experience I'm just now beginning to recover from. I found myself with nothing to do after lunch, so like a fool I decided to mow the lawn. Artists don't mow lawns!! I forgot. No sooner had I started off than I hit a bare patch and was immersed in a cloud of dirt, much as I imagine I would be if I were standing next to a camel and it shuddered. I also managed to aspirate a month's accumulation of pollen and spent the next two hours sneezing out much-needed and sorely-missed brain cells onto my computer screen. So like I say, I'm just now recovering from this ghastly confrontation with the natural world, just in time, coincidentally, to stumble over to Shucks and see if the drawing group is holding court, so I can gather scandalous anecdotes for my next post. Bye now.