Over the 7 years since I started sharing my artistic journey on this blog, I have deliberately shied away from showing anything controversial or political. I’ve been playing it safe, but not anymore. The recent American Presidential election has jolted me out of my quiet world, into the partisan struggle surrounding us. I believe that we are in the first chapters of an epic cautionary tale, which portends to be an instructional parable and test of our democracy for at least a generation.
I cannot sit back and go on as usual, trusting that it will all work out without my involvement. Those pesky fairies are ganging up and insisting that I express my thoughts and opinions through art. They know that is how I deal with distressing events that keep me awake at night. In the dark, I think about and visualize what to make and how I’m going to go about it. It helped me get through election night, when I pictured a huddled group of wee folk under a sheer black shroud. And that is how I will continue to try to comprehend what I see unfolding before us. I have always been inclined toward editorial illustration, but couldn’t figure out how to do the work quickly enough to meet professional deadlines. Now, my mind is full of ideas and I will make the time to bring as many as I can to life.
Lately, I have been thinking about the purpose of art and have come to the conclusion that artists, writers, poets, comics, cartoonists, musicians, storytellers and filmmakers have more of an important role to play in our world today than is realized. We need art to help illuminate the way to a greater human understanding. It’s a messy process, fraught with conflict, but not lacking of wit. As Oscar Wilde said, “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” We must keep creating art that recognizes and reflects the irony and tragedy, as well as the beauty of the society we live in. Goodness knows, there’s no shortage of material to use. I’ve already given this new movement a title: American Art – Post-election Period. You can see my contributions here.
Now, allow me to introduce Wee Trump, whom I hoped would just go away. But it looks like he’s here to stay for a while. He has a persistent nasal condition which may be permanent, but he and a lot of other people don’t seem to mind. Below are 2 portraits, from before and after Nov. 8th, 2016. Do clothes make the President?
We’re sure to have interesting adventures together over the next 4 years.
I know how much you like to see photos from behind the scenes, so here are a couple. The most challenging part for me was printing out the reference materials.