Happy Father’s Day

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What do you get the God who has everything??

 

.My father was a Methodist minister. And when I saw this card in the window of the card shop, I had to send it to him for Father’s Day.  It was appropriate for several reason.  Because he was a minister.  And because he used to paint versions of this painting back when I was a kid.

Like most children, I had a hard time sitting through an hour-long church service. And my father’s sermons were no exception.  But he did develop one good shtick. Before he was a preacher he’d been a commercial artist.  So he had some artistic skills.  So he used to put on these special church services called “Chalk Talks.”  He’d be up there on stage by the pulpit with his easel.  And during the course of the hour-long service he would do a chalk drawing of a Biblical scene.

And while he was painting, different people would get up there and read Biblical passages or give testimonials, and musicians would play songs, and the choir would sing.  So it was a pretty varied show.  It was kind of fascinating for average people to see a piece of art being created right before their eyes. And my father had it timed so he’d be finishing the picture just as the service was coming to a close.

Then, after he finished the chalk drawing, the lights would go out.  The church would go completely dark. And then my Dad would start turning on different lights attached to his easel.  He painted the picture with fluorescent-colored chalk.  So the picture would change before people’s eyes as the different day-glo colors popped up.  Then for the grand finale, my Dad would utter a few solemn and profound profundities (ha ha).  And then the lights would go on and the crowd would go wild.  Followed by backstage scenes of groupies, drugs and debauchery (kidding).

But all and all, it was a pretty effective bit of show biz.  And different churches in the area would hire my Dad to do the gig at their churches.

So anyways, Happy Father’s Day to the all the Fathers out there!

Art about art about art about art

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Today I was going through my storage stuff that i hadn’t looked at in 20 years. This weird artificially-preserved time-capsule of my past. So that threw me into these odd emotional spaces.

This big painting by Frederike Rheinheimer from 1986 was painted from a photo by Duncan, of Rick, me and Vince. Rick had just driven us in his truck to the printing press in Fremont to pick up the bundles of the latest (and last) issue of the TWISTED IMAGE tabloid (#10). Hot off the presses. Literally. Now we’re celebrating at a coffee shop.

Being a man, seeing one of my publications rolling off the presses is probably the closest I’ll ever come to that feeling a woman gets when she has a baby.

I’m also struck by how convoluted my art career got back then. This is a painting. Of a photo. Of a publication. And later a newspaper would turn the whole thing into a newspaper article. And now I’ve turned it into a blog.  It gets to be like playing 3-dimensional chess.

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