Friday, March 26, 2010

What a Ruckus They Raised

Journal Entry: March 17, 1861

With Shortcake’s reins wrapped around my hand, I was sleeping on the side of the ridge road, when off to the east, high above the creek at the bottom of this crest, an assembling gaggle of geese flying north woke me just before dawn. What a ruckus they raised, forming their familiar V in the air. I sat up and watched the parade move from the south across the sun rising sky, sensing the same was on the horizon for me and my brothers; a contrary crew of boys about to learn how to become one unit, one cavalry, riding together in unspoken harmony. With winter’s end, war will begin in earnest and while I know I possess the skills, will I possess the will to do what will be asked of me?

Friday, March 5, 2010

The characters behind my art in this particular exhibit are brothers; the blacksmith and the beekeeper’s boy. They represent two different aspects of life in the mid-nineteenth century and, for that matter, in this twenty-first century; all centuries. My grandfather was the last blacksmith in our long family line of blacksmiths. In 1950, my father could not raise a family as a blacksmith; he tried many hats; fireman, farmer, grocer, union steward, jouster, and beekeeper. I am that beekeeper’s boy.

The blacksmith represents the technological, steampunk outlook of the future, where wondrous worlds will be hammered on the anvil of innovation, where invention will conquer any problem and make life an easy existence where we but ask, and invention obeys.

The beekeeper’s boy represents the timeless sense of nature where seasons drift into seasons, and life is fine as it is, slowly flowing forward as the river runs, moving to the ocean to join an even greater body of life.

I am a child of these two aspects, searching for my place in both of their worlds; a somewhat bipolar existence, where I am content in neither world. It is this discontent that makes life painful; makes art possible.