Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Fish on the Watertower

The Miraculous Conversion of the Deacon, Christian Ryder

Deacon Christian Ryder, despite the implications of his sonorous appellation, was not particularly Christian until he was left a message just before his thirty-third birthday and on the eve of the birth of his twin girls. Left by natural forces at the command of a higher power, a fish appeared on his freshly painted watertower. Only he knows why he painted his water tower mud brindle brown, prolly got a signal from outer space, that being the origin of most important messages. He was supposed to paint the nursery, and not brown, but he decided it was a better idea to use up some old paint on the water tower. Now, it was hot and the paint was not inclined to form a permanent bond with the wood and that night a nasty little summer storm blew in and pelted the tower smartly. When all was blown and gone the watertower had a freshly inscribed fish. But it wasn't the stylized fish that school children stencil on catch basins to deter the pouring of used motor oil into the ocean or the bumpersticker fish identifying a certain type of was a tropical fish, maybe an angel fish. Well Christian took this as a sign that he better get with the program on the brink of his wife delivering what they knew would be twins. So he looked in the phone book under "religious instruction", found the Holy Triangle Gospel Church and signed up for Wednesday night bible study classes. While not exactly mainstream, it seemed like a good fit and he was on his way to Deacon-hood.

Alrighty then, dial forward seventeen years, give or take. The Ryder twins, Debby and Dianne are in high school and are both gorgeous. I decide it might be a good idea to take a stab at asking Debby to a sockhop in the spring of '70. She says yes, but turns out "stab" was the operative word here. The Deacon decides to deliver his darlin' to the dance himself, what with him havin, a car and me not. So I hop on the' 65 Panhead (Harley) that my grandfather bought me on my sixteenth birthday and fixed up as a reward for me skipping grade ten. ('member him? Ironically he was another lay preacher...but I digress). I meet her at the door and we go in. I pay for the tickets and take her coat to hang in one of the cloak rooms. I put it on a wire hanger and the hanger slips out of my hand and stabs the back of her hand, producing quite a little geyser. Being a man of action (and scared &%$#less) I grabbed some masking tape from a sockhop sign and taped her up. I got her on the back of my bike, took her to emerge where she got three stitches, a tetanus shot, and later a scar. Her dad picked her up after I had beat it outa there. I steered clear of the whole gang for a while, but we all still live in a small town and Debbie never was mad that I could tell. Prudence kept me outa the reach of the Deacon as he was fairly sturdy and quite quick for an older guy.

This is how the spread looked in about 1980, long after the Ryders built a new could still see the "fish" and that brown paint stayed unfaded for years.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ImAginato Menacing on Easel

Back to the easel for a quick sketch from the imaginato department. I have been reading Rowland Hilder and he was not a follower of traditional rules. Surprisingly, I have always just used transparent watercolor according to the "rules", mostly no opaque white, until recently no black, no chalk, pastel, graphite, carbon or plutonium. However ol'Rowland who shed his mortal coil some dozen years ago, used whatever he felt would work and his work is inspiring for/to me. I always wanted more texture and atmo in my productions, my wrecks are mostly dilettantes, they gotta be more wrecked...more menacing...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Riding the Bus

Fake Plein Air (Dodge-ing Traffic By Riding the Bus)

I have always admired the P.A. practitioners and while I am constantly out photoging, it is nevertheless cold and dangerous out there, what with cranky bears and bottle collectors. So I closed my eyes and read the back of my eyelids and this is what was there. I painted it quick before it I guess I pulled it out of "thin air". I should fix it and color the windows but I like the play of whites against the linked darks so this is what you get. I will paint it again but this is the idea and I like the loososity factor. I will also cook up a story for the half dozen charitable souls who claim to enjoy them. In conclusion, while P.A. remains an item on the bucket list, the best I can come up with is T.A.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Old Farmer Had Piles (of Cars)

The Brothers Chayne, whose sobriquets were trimmed from the cumbersome "Clinking and Clanking" to "Clink and Clank" and who were referred to as the Chayne Gang, ran an informal wrecking yard on their family apple orchard for at least fifty years that I know of (to end a sentence with a preposition). Piling things up in any sort of monumental configuration with the emphasis on "mental" was a favourite diversion from actually working. This set piece was was constructed as a tribute to nothing in particular and was erected with an enthusiasm that can only be fueled by an excess of alcohol. To the untrained eye it looked as if some practical purpose might have been served by the "piles" but in fact they were the products of an unleashed mechanical aesthetic that was not to be denied. "Art just doesn't happen, its created!" was the unlikely axiom of these two creators of rural art.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Summer Home of Moonbeam D'Oute

There's a coupla things notable about "Moonbeam", I know her quite well so I gotta be careful and second she reinvented herself on her seventeenth birthday and it stuck. Formerly Kathleen Doute, she became Moonbeam D'Oute. It just so happens that "oute" means and I quote- "A Joint or Spliff with weed". Moony, as she became known, was the child of a single parent, the notorious, Branch Doute, logger turned actor (more about him in another episode). Since Branch was off killing trees mosta the time, Kathleen became a wild child with a hippified outlook and a renaming was necessary. So Moonbeam it was. Moonbeam and the rest of us spent a lot of time hanging out in the estuary of the lazy little river where this boat sat. How'd the boat get there? Glad you asked:

The boat belonged to my uncle, after whom I am named. Uncle Ronnie bought the boat sometime in the early sixties with the dream of sailing somewhere...anywhere. He parked it on the far side of the river and the only way you could get to it by land was over a decrepitated old log bridge. Misfortunately, my aunt's dream was to divorce ol' Ronnie. So rather than freeing Uncle R. up to sail away it sent him back to the plumbing business with a vengeance. The unintended consequence of this outcome was that I enjoyed a certain proprietary interest in the hulk. Moonbeam was the prime beneficiary, she stayed in that old boat off and on the whole summer of '70. I don't think I have to splain what went on, those summer nights...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Last Temptation of Coe LaTrelle

Coe is currently doing a stret ch in the regional remand center awaiting trial on charges of marijuana production and distribution. Normally he'd get to carry on with only a few restrictions, but on previous occasions they had a hard time fin ding him. Cops can be real spoilsports when it comes to hide and seek. Coe is a large, bearded , bl ue-eyed, career scofflaw. If he had focused his good-natured energy on legal activities he'd be a beacon of something or other. This time, he buried a steel container on his rural acreage, procured with ill-gottens from previous crops, and set up a hydroponic grow show. State-of-the-art facility, power bypassing the meter, back up generator, flow through ventillation...bumper crops. Access was gained through the false bottom of a concrete water cistern and a precast tunnel. Foolproof operation, except for the fool running it.

Coe was proud of his work and couldn't resist showing it off just to impress the locals a little. I mean, whats the use of building such a fine operation if you couldn't share it with your friends. So bit by bit word spread as more of his associates got a glimpse of the inner workings. There was another complication. Coe was a pretty good shade-tree mechanic who loved (you know whats coming) old cars and the idea of restoration. He was mostly a theorist but he accumulated a collection of junk through his money laundering program. If you were in need of cash and had a interesting wreck you could push, pull or drag to his place, more'n likely you could come away with some cash. He became known as the "Pawnbroker". He got caught this last time because an undercover cop with a little leve rage on one of Coe's buddies showed up with an irresistible fifty-eight Edsel and a keen interest in Coe's production facility. A little flattery and when all was said and cuffed, Coe was in remand, again.

This is my pre-study its three feet wide at least and just an idea.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dusty Rhodes and the Auto-Genome Sequence

When they tease apart the last strands of the human genome and fire the whole batch into the centrifugal separator, then put it under the microscope (or whatever they do), put the data in the computer, and come up with a final diagnosis of the human condition, I am sure they will isolate the "auto" genes. Individuals with a predisposition for racing, building, collecting, and generally being one hundred percent concerned with anything self-propelled and internally combusted will finally have the proper excuse, "It's genetic dear, not a darn thing I can do about it, sorry. Have you seen my axle-puller?" O.C.A.D., "obsessive compulsive auto disorder" will finally be explained. I prolly should mention "painting of autos" but I am more obsessed with watercolor than cars.
Dusty Rhodes was a rodeo rider who lived on the far side of the Fraser in the territory of the previously mentioned, Clyde O. Skope. The only way to get across the river is by an aerial ferry contraption, which is a cage hung from cables, or a reaction ferry which uses the current, a barge and cables also.There is a bridge way up river but its a long way round and a rough road. Dusty would hitch to town or walk, do a little rodeoing where ever it was happening, buy a heap, a trunk full of liquor and head for home. The tar-paper shack musta bin cold in the winter, but plenty of stuff to burn and it being hotter than a frying pan in the summer kept him living here for a long time rent free. Since Dusty was batchin' it with only the occasional visitor of the female persuasion, he ran things sorta like a recycler without much actual recycling. Tear things apart, sort out the usables and file them naturally the whole property was a junkyard. I going to tell you how dusty died and its sad, I know because I worked on the new bridge a coupla years ago. There are a bunch of railway bridges across the river as two railways criss-cross the river on separate tracks. Dusty got drunk and took the railway bridge shortcut to town....unfortunately his scheduling was a little off.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Freenbean & Magoo, Purveyors of Fine Collectables

This is a story about a coupla guys whose wives were always trying to sell their stuff on account of they were inveterate junk collectors (This sentence may be slightly ambiguous but you know what I mean).Twins, married to two guys who were friends, named Albert and Bartholomew, Bert and Bart. The twins were good natured lunatics whose life mission was/is to make people laugh, usually involving some sort of mayhem. The running gag being that the sisters would list various prized items of Bert and Bart, childhood buddies and neighbours from birth, in the Buy and Sell. They would describe whatever junk they wanted off the property in such irresistibly lavish terms that suckers would pop outa the woodwork to pounce on the valuable items, usually at bargain prices. When they got a load of the junk they either laughed or got mad but either way, there was much amusement and rarely did anything get sold. The husbands took this with a good natured, bemused attitude, kinda looking forward to finding out what they were gonna sell, knowing full well that something would intervene to prevent the actual loss of an irreplaceable piece of junk.

Okay, fine, but the fun thing is that "movie" guys came to town and were looking for a place to construct a set on a rural property. Bert was delivering a load of firewood to a guy who turned out to be a location scout and a supplier of props and they got to gabbing as they unloaded the wood. Said he was looking for a place where they could see mountains and had plenty of trees and where nothing else man-made was visible. Well the wheels started turnin' and boomo bongo, Bert and Bart's adjoining properties contained a perfect spot for set construction and it was rented for a fat fee. They built an old time road stop cafe and garage. Part of the deal was that the set be left behind and of course it was a perfect junk-magnet. Bert and Bart scattered their prizes around the facades, the house looking part was actually useable as a storage area, and they planted a wreck on the roof of the garage. They created a set piece from the movie set.

All righty then, this is what I batched up and it was actually a movie set for "The Pledge" with Jack Nicholson and I just added to it. By the way, the twin's nicknames for their respective partners were Mr Freenbean and Mister Magoo. The painting is an idea painting and in real life is rubbish but I am trying to work out the compo, I need more clutter, on the roof maybe...the cars aren't actually junk and they aren't for sale either.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Beached Truck

This bit of silliness is just some brush fun...bink it!

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Colorful Ride of the Reverend Reyne Beau-Hughes

Now, the guy that owned this rig was no more a reverend than I am. He was in fact the charismatic leader of a merry band of loons who built a commune on a bluff overlooking a remote stretch of beach on the island where I live. He was called "The Reverend", facetiously or ironically or sarcastically or something. He was a dope smoking faux mystic who led his flock in the worship of the lunar tides, the winter solstice and whatever other excuse he could cook up to get thoroughly stoned. It was the sixties and the "back to naturites" fled the cities and set up shop close to the water and became hippies or acolytes to a convenient guru (or both). When the local loggers got a load of the rastafarian do's and bright colored clothes of the congregation when they were on a field trip, much merriment ensued. The loggers and fishermen had a consuming pre-occupation with the hippy chicks and political correctness hadn't been invented yet so the comments weren't necessarily what we have come to think of as "acceptable" but they were often quite comical.

The commune's transportation needs were met with the de riguer V.W. Bus and an old school bus, but the "Rev". had his own personal ride, a 1935 Plymouth business man's coupe (hows that for irony?) When it bit the dust and was literally put out to pasture with a coupla goats who ate the interior, it had to be suitably honored. So the whole L.S.D. fueled bunch painted it with the remainders from their shack painting projects. The left over paint was bright enough and applied with so little actual planning that its presence long after the commune had vapourized was a puzzlement to all who saw it.

Rainbow Hues....colourful