Saturday, August 18, 2018

"Eraserhead Buffalo" + Iowa Sketches

Once upon a time there was a beautiful duckling who enjoyed a very sheltered & privileged life until it eventually grew older and gradually changed into an uglyass swan. There’s no moral to this fable, that’s just life. The image is from a quick (under 5-minutes) demo done in a student's sketchbook showing how to render forms using first using pencil, then bolding the contour lines with marker, and a touch of wash for value.

Another one of my demos during the same field-sketching expedition to the Museum of the North with my drawing class this summer. Somewhere during the pen + inking application the buffalo took a decidely Lynchian turn.

In retrospect it reminds me of one of the most impactful experiences from my youth with attending a midnight showing of David Lynch's 1977 black & white film "Eraserhead." The film department at Syracuse University used to put on alternative, classic and cult movies at a small cinema, and one of my highschool friends was involved with the group, and so invited me along to what became a habit for many years. This particular showing was eye-opening in that I'd never before seen the peculiar energy a passionate crowd can generate (these days what we would call geeky fanboys at a convention): the first movie ran a few minutes over and I was sandwiched up against the double doors by the crowd who were all chanting "E-head... E-head..." When the doors finally opened the ticket-taking ushers were bowled over by the mob that flooded into the theater - the one in front of me screaming "mongoloid pig-fuckers" before getting overrun. Many of my personal all-time favorite films were first seen at these midnight showings: Wizards, Quadrophenia, Excalibur, 2001, Mad Max, Night of the Living Dead, Breaking Away, Harold & Maude etc.

After returning from a vacation to Iowa, and during the normal reference sketching session in the campus greenhouse with my posse of students, I marveled at both the miracle of having successfully avoided drawing any corn (or barns, or cows) during the entire trip to the Lower 48, and then of all the different species available to draw from back in Alaska, what did I choose?

As part of our one-year anniversary + renewal of vows, the Significant Otter and I, over the course of eight amazing days, blitzed through twelve different hikes in these beautiful public lands:

Of particular note was a couple of trips to the Mines of Spain, which, among many other sweet little trails, hosts the EB Lyons Interpretive Center with it's excellent selection of mounts.

Note: Can't draw goats worth a dang, but, like everything else, who cares when you're having fun

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