Scrapbook One Hundred Seven…

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NOVEMBER 2014

 

People Just Don’t Understand

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Don’t you just hate that? Look at it! With copious people wandering by that spot you’d think someone would pause for two seconds and untangle the poor phone cord? Why would anyone stand there talking and twisting the thing in the first place? It’s so jumbled the sound probably gets distorted going through it.

And that’s not all, there’s always a write way to do something and a wrong one. Maybe I’m just too meticulous, but for me it’s important to keep my priorities straight.

 

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Please don’t tell me that I’m the only Homo Sapien on the entire planet who cares about these things?

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It’s been a bad day, I mean besides my hair. It’s the last date to get my driver’s license renewed or take both the stupid written test, and the driver’s exam. Just because I’m over eighty I have do it every year.

In my rush to get over to the MVD I ran out of gas. It was right in the middle of the busiest street in town, and because I forgot to plug my idiot phone in I had to just sit there until the honks brought every cop in town to my “location.” Big deal, you’d thought I robbed a bank or something.

A cab brought me home and I’m resting comfortably by Tesuque and my warm little fire, but I guess they towed my car to the Walmart parking lot. That’s ok because I don’t ever plan to drive again. I’ll just stay home and keep my eye on the telephone lines.

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Five…

scrapbook

NOVEMBER 2014

 

My Art For Me

None of my friends know I’m an artist and I hope they don’t find out. That’s why I haven’t shown in galleries. My art is nature-specific and reflective of what freedom of expression means to me.

All raw materials used in my sculpture are free. They must be something I’ve picked up in the mountains or around lakes and river bottoms. Those are the rules and I’ve named each piece in my portfolio.

Loonie Bird

Loonie Bird

I made Loonie Bird over at Vermejo Park one Sunday afternoon after catching a 20” brown trout and two 16” rainbows. It was a good day.

My favorite art supplies are cattails, animal bones, tree knots, water iris, pine needles, wild flowers (especially dandelions), and a host of other such materials. I don’t use lily pads because they usually have yucky insect eggs on their underneath.

I’ve learned to anticipate color changes. When a green plant dries and turns brown it can ruin the composition of my work, so I freshen selected masterworks from time to time.

Loonie Bird with Hackles

Loonie Bird with Hackles

It’s alright if I use man-made objects but only if I find them out in the wild, like barbed wire, beer cans and pop bottle tops. But no tires, dishwashers or refrigerators. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Rustie and Her Friend

Rustie and Her Friend

Sometimes my work reminds me of incidents from youth and I title them appropriately.

Miss Ford

Miss Ford

I really like sculpting because it gets me out where the air blows fresh and my imagination can roam free. That’s when I’m most creative and easy to please. Eat your heart out Andy Warhol.

Scrapbook One Hundred Four…

scrapbook

NOVEMBER 2014

 

I forgot where I left my memories

It’s not fair to suggest I’m eccentric because of a few things I do that are different. Being ordinary or predictable is no fun. Let’s talk about stretching the norms, and I’ll use literature as an example.

A book doesn’t have to be just another inanimate object that’s bored and forgotten on a sagging shelf? Why not give it some personality? Let me illustrate my point.

On page 114 of Ken Tankersley’s book, In Search of Ice Age Americans, he wrote about the Crook County Clovis artifacts that were found buried in red ochre. A few of us went to the remote site in Wyoming and I collected some of the pigment. To get to the exact spot we received permission to take a fence down, drive cross-country through gullies, dales, and a few sage-brush flats, so we did.

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I smudged some of the ocher on page 114 adjacent to where Ken speaks of a Clovis fluted knife. Scholars might say it was a stupid waste of time and I was just weird for doing it. And to reinforce their point, twenty-two pages later I did it again

 

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But think about how educational it will be a hundred years from now when someone reads my copy of the book. Who says we can’t influence the future?

I always make a few unique copies of the books I write.

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They’re just something distinctive for me to keep for myself. This is one of them.

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This is my first biography of Joseph Henry Sharp, who was born two years before the Civil War started and lived until the year Peggy and I were married. That won’t reveal my age but may explain why I don’t remember things like I used to. The book has hand marbled end-papers, and an original oil painting blatantly emblazoned upon its cover. “Smooth idea Forrest, but don’t you think it’s a little curious?”

 Hand marbled end papers

Hand marbled end paper

Nicolai Fechin is one of my favorite artists. I wrote a book about him and published another. When celebrities came in our gallery or stayed in one of our guest houses I asked them to sign my Fechin book. I always wanted to schmooze, maybe go to lunch with them, or dinner, hoping some of their mojo would rub off on me. It never did, but at least I got 8 pages of autographs:

 

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Ginger Rogers, Karen Allen, Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Shari Lewis & Lamb Chops, Suzanne Somers, Lillian Gish, Ray Bolger & the Scarecrow, Johnathan Winters, Joe Foss, David Rockefeller, John Connelly, Greer Garson, Gene Hackman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Martha Hyer, Hal Wallace, Steven Spielberg & ET, Jackie Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine, Tab Hunter, Cesar Romero, Sam Elliot, Katherine Ross,  Byron Nelson, Steve Martin, E. G. Marshall, Dick Van Dyke, Cher, Roger Miller, Sandy Duncan, Jane Russell, Ellsworth Bunker, Larry Hagman & JR, Dinah Shore, Richard Avedon, Whitey Ford, Robin Olds, President Gerald Ford, H. R. Haldeman, Doc Severson, and a host of others, especially artists. Fun stuff.

Roaming through my book shelves is a favorite pastime on snowy days and nights, especially when I look through a book that has original documents or drawings bound in.

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To assist my memory I sometimes tip mementos in a book to remind me of business deals that didn’t work, and also make silly notes that help me remember whose book it is.

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OK, I’ll admit to having a few abstract philosophies, and sometimes I’m weird, but my fear is that someone might say I’m typical.

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