Ever have one of those mornings … when you impress the hell out of yourself?
That’s the morning I’m having. The rest of the day can be utter trash… but knowing that between the hours of 3:40am and 5:58am, I put this homage to Amedeo Modigliani out. This came out of me, through his eyes.
I am the last person to ever toot a horn… my horn or any other horn…
But damn, Frank.
Never underestimate yourself… because cool stuff can happen when you least expect it.
My family rendered in the style of Viennese Secessionst artist Gustav Klimt, a name I hadn’t really considered since sophomore year undergrad.
Full disclosure… as a young art student, I was not particularly fond of art history. I could never wrap my head around how any why the simple was forced to be complicated. How connections were connected by a million other connections that didn’t didn’t seem like they should be connected. I memorized the names, the dates, the movements, the art… but it didn’t move me. I was more concerned with the present and what I was making. I knew everything… and if I didn’t know it, so what?
Reason #286,951 why I’d love to go back in time and slap the hell out of my younger self.
As I got older, I got wiser (funny how that happens). And while not all art appeals to me on the same level, I appreciate the creation of it… even if I don’t understand it. I know what it means to stare at nothingness and make it into somethingness.
I’m STILL more concerned with the present and what I’m making… but I now know to create in the present, you have to have an understanding of the past. It all connects. Inspiration doesn’t develop in a airless, space… it needs stuff. A MFA in visual communications and that’s the deepest I go? wow…. friggin’ cartoonists, am i right?
The transformation of my FAMILY CARTOON STYLE series into an art history series is challenging me like nothing ever has… and really, I should just refer to the whole thing as an art history series. I mean, fighting the fight to put cartoons right up there with fine art is part of my life’s work… it’s not cartoon history and art history… IT’S ALL ART HISTORY!
I don’t know how much longer the series will go… and it really is wearing me out… but I’m enjoying brushing up on people, places and pieces I had long since packed away in an undergraduate storage container…
I’ve always had bad timing. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I don’t think I am.
Either I’ve been in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time… at least 85% of the time.
2019 has been a historic year for me and my family in many ways… but mostly it’s for losses.
In January, I had to say goodbye to my dog Lucy. It’s true what the clichès say about the bond between a boy and his dog… and it’s true even if that boy was in his 30s.
In February my Aunt Pauline passed away
My Grandmother passed away in April
My Aunt Josephine in May
And my friend of almost 27 years passed away at the beginning of November.
I’m not going to lie…it’s been difficult for me to keep it together. And even if I did lie, I think the struggle is super clear in the work I’ve produced… produced at a feverish pace I might add.
See, that’s what I do to cope. I get all manic about certain things. When I was living in Utica and unhappy, I chose to get manic about buying dvds. Every Tuesday when the new releases came out I was at Best Buy buying two, three sometimes five or six discs. I was unhappy with my life, so I coped with movies. By the time I left Utica and essentially my first marriage, I had amassed at least a thousand dvds. Many of those disc had only been viewed one time… while others were still in the shrink wrap. I left most of them behind…because I was starting over.
ROCK BOBS kicked off my coping… I didn’t realize what it was, but that’s what it was. One-hundred images after that, HISTORY BOBS took over. And WHILE I was doing HISTORY BOBS the FAMILY STYLE series happened… so, lots of coping and avoiding.
And this is where the bad timing comes into play.
Albert Einstein – the first HISTORY BOB
The first HISTORY BOB was posted on June 24, 2019. Unlike ROCK BOBS, I planned out the entire one-hundred image history series, making sure equal and diverse representation was present. I did that. It wasn’t easy cranking out this on top of
Chris Cornell… ROCK BOB favorite of mine.
everything else… I know the strip suffered because of it. I will be the first to claim that the stories this year are not that good…some weeks the art was marginal at best. There were moments, ask my wife, when I just wanted to say, “F–k it. I’m done. It’s not working and we need something else to bring in more income.” And either she knew I was full of it and would talk myself out of it, or I was just tired and I’d change my mind. The one thing she didn’t say was, “Okay honey, just quit.” I’m to far in at this point to give up. Against all logical judgement, I still believe the comic strip is good… and could be great. It’s like breathing now.
So, the plan was that the last HISTORY BOB would post on Friday, November 8, 2019. I wanted to do a big thing for it.
My wife had to go in for surgery. By having this surgery, she could come off one of her post-breast cancer medications (which has its own not-too-nice potential side effects). The surgery was scheduled for… you guessed it: Friday, November 8, 2019.
So, no big send off for the series. My wife’s health comes first. It’s not that I NEEDED to do something big. The series ended.
Lez is recovering nicely. She’s a tough chick. This should be it for a while. I’ve roughly calculated that in the last few years, I’ve spent the equivalent of 11 straight days in medical waiting rooms… my earlier estimate of 8 days was off a little.
Unfortunately, there won’t be a 2020 Bob the Squirrel Calendar. I mean, I COULD throw something together with previously used art, but I don’t want to re-hash anything… New year, new art – that’s the way that it should be.
I was thinking that the FAMILY SERIES would end at 50 images… but that has gained new life with my dipping into my old art history textbooks. Besides, I still need a series to cope, right.
Finally, the 2019 Bob the Squirrel collections will be announced in the next few weeks…. a little late this year, but they will be available.
Thanks for your patience… art is funny. Squirrels are funnier.