Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Studies of Uncle Bill

Sketches at the Beach

Spent a couple of days at the beach sketching. People don't stay in one position for very long so it is imperative to work quick.

Orchid Shopping
Victorian House in Oak Bluffs
Marthas Vineyard


Summer Travels

After the big Oshkosh event I headed over to Mass. to visit family. This is the approach to Marthas Vineyard from the ferry boat.


At the opening of Airventure we were viewing the vintage aircraft when suddenly we heard the drone of 40 radial engines overhead and looked up to discover an entire formation of DC-3s. As I looked up I felt myself transported back in time and knew in an instant what it must have been like to be one of those pilots flying off on a mission that you didn't know you would return from. What a combined moment of glory and trepidation they must have experienced. It was a beautiful sight and an emotionally moving one. That will probably be the last time such a great number of them will fly together so I feel privileged, as all Oshkosh attendees must have felt that day, to witness such a rare event.

Oshkosh 75th anniversary of the DC-3

Oshkosh hosts the worlds largest fly in every year and it is an awesome experience for aviators and enthusiasts. I had my initial visit to the event in the late 80s and had the amazing experience of flying in with a mad scientist lover of mine who had built his own aircraft, a modified StarDuster II . We crashed in West Branch, Iowa when a pully came off the water pump ( yes, it was a liquid cooled experimental engine!). From there we had managed to hitch a ride the rest of the way to the event in a motor home that had made several journeys to Alaska and had the passenger door held to with a bunjee cord. Because the biplane we had flown in had so little space we had bused our camp gear ahead and had originally planned to camp under the wing of the plane (that is the custom at Oshkosh) but thankfully a friend of Carls, Dave Blanton was kind enough to give us a room in one of the dormitorys that is close to the site. That was just the beginning of our "big adventure" because getting the wrecked plane out of Oshkosh involved some real maneuvering in order to escape what I call "the Iowa Triangle." So that was my past trip to the area. I don't think I was inspired to go on vacation for another 10 years following that experience. Fortunately, this year was a more comfortable trip. Our friend Captain Becky arranged the details and Santana and I joined up with her for the fun. We made our base out of Milwauke and ended up roaming all over the state before we made it to the fly in. That is what happens when aviators try to navigate somewhere on the road and think they don't need maps. What can I say! It keeps things interesting!Ha! So...my advise...if you go on vacation, get a map! or not.

Chicago Summer of 2010
As an artist I find it stimulating to get around and see how everyone else is living and be exposed to different landscapes. This summer I got to spend a day in Chicago and had all my previous ideas about the city turned around. It really is an architectural odyssey. This particular shot was taken from the 14th floor of the Trump Building. We got lucky and had a local to give us a tour of the place and she took us up for this special view.