My Arkansas, Then And Now

My Arkansas, Then And Now

Monday, July 27, 2009

"The Garden"

…Oil tinted Ink Sketch

Many—if not most— of the Cotners in my lineage are good gardeners, some were outright farmers. I’m currently growing a container garden of herbs, tomatoes, various squash, peppers, radishes and okra and they are doing excellent. There’s nothing like eating fresh, home-grown items directly from your own garden. No wonder then that many of my art subjects are of the vegetable and flower variety.

I completed this little sketch called “The Garden” in 1989. It began as a simple pencil sketch, a mindless little doodle one afternoon, on a sheet of computer paper. I transferred it to a heavier grade paper, mounted it on hardboard, and used my Rapidograph pens to ink it. I then gave it two coats of Liquin to seal it. After the sealant thoroughly dried, I used thinned, transparent oils to color it. This technique allows for a permanent, wonderful and rich contrast between the inked subject and the oil color.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Fourth Of July

…Was My Dad’s Favorite Holiday

In the late 1940s and beyond, we lived in the Hodges’ Addition of my hometown of Booneville, Arkansas. From there, looking south, are the Ouachita Mountains. Perched on the northern edge of those mountains was the State Sanatorium where every year that I can recall as a child (weather and financing permitted), the annual fireworks display would be visible for miles around. Every 4th of July since those days, memories of that era come back to me. Family would sit out on the front lawn in the white Adirondack chairs my dad built for my mom, waiting for dark and the arrival of the bright, colorful pyrotechnic displays and listening to the stories of those gathered around. I remember homemade, hand-cranked ice cream, honey in a big mason jar with the honey comb still in it, ice cold watermelon, egg salad sandwiches, firecrackers and sparklers and chasing lightening bugs. All these memories and more, come back to me every year as the country celebrates Independence Day.

Hope everyone makes some of their own wonderful memories this year. Have a safe, fun Fourth of July!