… back when I was just a wee nipper, I fancied myself as quite an artist…. I doodled continuously on just about any flat surface much to the consternation of my dear Momma…. as her first child though, she spared the rod for the most part… and I was actually encouraged to draw more, albeit on more suitable surfaces… notepads, mostly….

… the whole ‘artistic exploration’ finally culminated in me spending four hot Augusts in Mrs. Ealy’s Summer Art Class… buried away in the bowels of the Englewood Elementary School…

… the reasons for wishing to spend the August afternoons in town were two-fold… first, I could arrange to hook up with my buddy Travis for migratory bird-blasting after class (Mourning Doves, yummy)…. And secondly, I got to spend an enjoyable few hours three times a week ogling Camille – the raven-tress’ed beauty who sat kitty-corner to my easel…

… I specialized in faces…. but I didn’t exactly hit the proverbial ground running… it was a gradual thing for me… I began with pencil, progressed to ink, evolved towards pastels, drifted towards acrylic, and finally – in the fourth year – I graduated to oils….

… I bring this up only in passing, of course, as I have not painted in many moons…. but my Sainted Mother called me yesterday to let me know where she was that evening…. happily ensconced in a local arts class where she was larkedly painting a moonlit acrylic landscape….

…. mercy, you could have knocked me over with a feather…. She? at an easel?... in a million years of Sundays, I would never have guessed it…. but hey, I was overjoyed as well… since being widowed in 2001, she has went many new directions that have not panned out…. but the beam in her voice yesterday was contagious…. and it brought back the memory of what it was like to sit in front of a blank canvas… that distinct thrill of preparing to create something from nothing….

…. I called her again this morning to ask her how she was enjoying the class, and she did not let up…. She’s having a blast…. Hell, she went so far as to say that it is almost as much fun as her dancing classes that she’s been taking… and THAT is saying something….

… I told her that she should finish a few of the old canvases that I have laying around here once she gets up to speed…. I mean, it would be good to have them finished and out of my way… and it would be pretty cool to have done a portrait “together”….

…. the last painting I tried still sits here in the blogroom unfinished…. I think that I stopped working on it during the winter before I left for Parris Island…. a copy of Thomas Sully’s wonderful oil “Torn Hat”….

… if I can find my half-assed, half-finished canvas, I’ll let y’all see it…..

Update:... I found it.... I think I was about 13... anyway, here is "Torn Hat" two days into the process...


... and while we're at it, here is a pencil sketch of Vivian Leigh as "Anna Karenina"... done when I was 16.... damnation, she was one hot brunette.....


.... and I havent picked up a pencil or brush since.... so it is pretty damn cool that my Mother is giving it a shot now....

by Eric on December 14, 2006 | Bullshit (16) | TrackBack (0) | Thinking
Bullshit So Far

I do admire those who can draw and paint..I screw up even painting by the numbers stuff..

Bullshitted by GUYK on December 14, 2006 11:16 AM

... me too, Guy... me too....

Bullshitted by Eric on December 14, 2006 12:20 PM

Shoot, I can't even draw stick figures . . .

Bullshitted by oddybobo on December 14, 2006 01:03 PM

Hold on, boy. Hillbillys can't draw or paint, less it's a Rock City barn roof, of course.

Odd one, you are. A certified East Tenn. ridge running ex marine with a penchant for poetry who can also draw and talks to his coffee pot. Just settle in and pick one, boy. Yer starting the to slide to enigma.

Bullshitted by bitterman on December 14, 2006 02:01 PM

Wow...looks like you've got some talent there! Maybe you should start painting again!

Bullshitted by DogsDontPurr on December 14, 2006 04:08 PM

That's cool. I took painting lessons when I was 11 and 12. Learned a lot and enjoyed it. (No cute boys in there, though.) The old man teacher was real nice and smiled a lot. His wife never smiled and reeked of coffee and cigarettes.

Bullshitted by Lolly on December 14, 2006 04:35 PM

Yay for your mom! It's hard to find things that seem to come together and work out right. I'm so glad she's enjoying both the art and the dancing.

As for me - I can barely sign my name anymore after all these years of typing. Don't ask me to draw. :-)

Bullshitted by Teresa on December 14, 2006 04:40 PM

Wow, they are amazing Eric. Thanks for sharing. Ever think about picking it up again? You should if the mood strikes you.

Bullshitted by Lisa W. on December 14, 2006 04:53 PM

I'm amazed that you didn't stick with the art. You obviously had some talent. I've always been in awe of folks who can just draw something freehand. Give me a pencil and some paper and I will show you the other end of the art ability scale. I break out in a sweat if I have to play Pictionary.

At least, tell me that you can't spell or do simple math.

Bullshitted by Jerry on December 14, 2006 07:46 PM

Thank you for sharing this. My father had a full scholarship to the Boston College of Art and said that when he saw the line of starving artists he joined the Air Force. He rarely ever drew when I was a kid but the winter before he died I had forced him to sit in a chair and sketch the cartoons that were his specialty for the grandkids. He made cartoons of animals that had characteristics of the kids. When he died, I had them all framed and gave them to my children and both my sisters children so that they could all have something that was so HIM. Oddly enough, my own mother has ALSO started taking art classes and guitar lessons!

Bullshitted by Lemon Stand on December 14, 2006 08:44 PM

Well, damn! I am most impressed. Really.

Bullshitted by Jim - PRS on December 15, 2006 10:55 AM

Wow! Your talents never cease to amaze, Eric!

Bullshitted by Richmond on December 15, 2006 03:43 PM

Jebus and you're an artist. Is there no end to your talents?

Bullshitted by Libby on December 15, 2006 04:21 PM

Renaissance Man
Renaissance Man
Paintin' them pitchers the best he can
Adds an ellipsis so de paragraph scan
Renaissance Man

Nothin' this Renaissance Man cain't do
He can grill a pork chop or spit-shine a shoe
Disassemble a gun - and just for fun
Take Sylvia out for a moonlight run

Renaissance Man
Renaissance Man
Whitest white boy around - don't got no tan
Can wield a shovel - or a frying pan
Renaissance Man

Bullshitted by Elisson on December 16, 2006 12:23 AM

Eric, I swear your version of "Torn Hat" was a self-portrait.

I'm just sayin' that pasty-pale pink skin looks familiar :-)

Bullshitted by Harvey on December 17, 2006 02:35 AM

this makes me so sad~ you are an amazing artist, some people only dream of being that good & your were only a child!

At least draw/paint for yourself...get a sketch book or an art journal or something!

I accidently stumbled upon your blog, happy I did~


Bullshitted by Izabella~ on December 18, 2006 12:19 PM