26 March, 2009
Yesterday's post on the Medal of Honor.
I am proposing an illustration for a memorial to my late father's World War Two army division. I will post the roughs and sketches here as I get them completed.
This guy has a ways to go as a sketch, but he's on the path. I want to re-render the hand, and maybe add some more grace of movement. That used to be a big deal for me in the days when I drew the figure lots, and it has extra meaning when rock climbing is involved. I did enjoy taking the extra effort to model the figure, especially since it will stick out (if this becomes the final image) from a marble flat as an etching.
Next, I want to render a ski trooper as another proposal for the etching.
For you oldsters out there: remember Tom Lea? I certainly thought of his seminal on-sight drawings from WW II. Must have rubbed off on my psyche.
This book, The Two Thousand Yard Stare, covers Lea's WW II art and writings about his work. I once asked my late father, who saw heavy combat in North Italy, about this phenomenon of the "two thousand yard stare," which is the look a shell-shocked infantryman "gets" when he comes off the line. His story was a keeper. He said that he recalled one guy in particular who had that look coming off the front in the North Apennines (revered as one of the worst places to be in WW II) and he was also rather tall. Maybe 6' 6" or something like that. Years after the war, my dad picked him out of a crowd back in the states - quite an unusual circumstance, but he certainly remembered that guy's face.
I spent a number of years in the infantry, and later as a mountain climber. All subjects deeply held, and good content for my illustrations.
They Drew Fire. PBS documentary on war artists of WW II.
Tenth Mountain Division Association. My father's army unit. I am working up illustrations for a memorial plaque in their honor.