Thursday, March 06, 2008

First Serious Artwork

I just ran across this image I had scanned a few years ago. Blair High School in Pasadena was where I actually started my first serious work into art. This all thanks to Mr Gerald Garden and Vince Melie. After I got out of the army in 1979 I went to Pasadena City College. I took aa drawing class there and Mr Melie was my teacher there too. Mr Melie had been all around the world and had the stories to prove it. He was a very funny and kind human spirit. About 2 years after that class Mr Melie suffered a heart attach and passed away. I think of both of these teachers all the time still. Most of these images were paintings or pen & ink drawings with watercolor or tempera washes done in cartooning class in which I sat at a table and really did illustration work. Mr Garden would hand me an editiorial cartoon from the LA times and say "think you can draw this?" and that's where I learned the use of quill pens and my first ink work. I never saw a rapidograph until college. Sometimes Mr Garden would hand me the cover of a sunset magazine and I'd learn to paint using tempera. I did the tall cowboy with the rifle for my Dad for Christmas one year...the Jaws boat was inspired on monday after seeing the movie on Saturday night, (I still won't swim in the ocean!), that was done from memory because computers weren't around to let you look up anything and everything on the planet.

I remember the day we took this photo. I had brought all of my work home from that year 75-76 and my Dad and sisters friend told me to bring it out in the backyard and we'd take a photo...good thing, most of these have dissapeared over the years. I still have the Kissinger Time magazine cover...that was done in Conte Crayon. My Dad still has his cowboy. I also have a small editorial cartoon left too done in ink and stuff called Zippatone for shading...that's how they shaded cartoons back then for the newspapers. I can see these drawings and pretty much remember when I was working on most of them throughout the year. It's nice to have those memories. I'm now a "half a dollar" as my grandma once told me when I asked her how old she was. To me, taking this pic seems like yesterday. Hard to believe it was 32 years ago. Oh, for those of you who don't think illustration board doesn't last, I've got a piece of one with a cowboy holding a rifle on it that looks pretty damned good for being 32 years old!

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