Sunday, August 31, 2014
Hello everyone, sorry for the slow updates recently. I had planned on another post today, but life has a way of kind of being really getting in the way sometimes. Especially when you're going back to college. I started attending my first university this week. Prior to that the past few weeks have been chaotic with my wife getting a new job.
She got her Bachelors Degree last spring at the same university where I'm going now. She studied to become a high school math teacher. This summer had been a rough one for us for several other reasons as well, including her taking special summer courses for her credential to be come a teacher. I had to drive her around a number of places including a couple of schools where she was interning. A lot of that driving meant time away from the keyboard both for this blog and the novel itself. There were a lot of things to be done around the house that only I was available to do (cleaning, laundry, errands, etc.)
I also had to go through some skin cancer surgery, which didn't always leave me in the best of shape to be working on things.
These last two weeks, I was spending a lot of time on the novel itself thanks to my wife's new job. She had to go through the interview process, be offered the job, accept it, and went through a couple of weeks of training at the new school so she could settle in. Now the location of her job was in another town about 1/2 an hour away from where we currently live, which is actually quite a nice drive.
But even better, the town where she's working has the most beautiful library, where I parked myself for hours working on the book. I'm happy to announce that the 1st draft is almost finished. I'm within pages of finishing it off. Once that's done, I'll be doing a second draft to iron out certain issues such as clarity of thought, spelling, making sure the story flows, and finally getting to work on the actual cover.
After the 2nd draft is completed it will be going to my proofreader/editor. Then I will do the 3rd draft at which point it will be unleashed on some willing Beta-Readers. Once I hear back from them, a final draft will be completed and the book will be released.
How long will all that take? I don't have a clear idea yet, but the release will happen between late October and early December. That much I can tell you. It will all depend on how long it takes for others to get back to me (editing, beta-reading, etc.) Once the 1st draft is completed the second one will come fairly quickly.
So hang in there, the actual novel is coming. I will be posting more blog entries by the various characters you'll be meeting in the book very soon. Some will be funny, others interesting, a few tearful, but I'll try not to leave you bored.
A new post will be here in a week. From what the characters are telling me, we'll be hearing either from Nathaniel, Lisa, or Marisa. Or someone completely new. Some characters can get kind of pushy.
For now I bid you a pleasant week. Come freely, visit frequently, but always leave a bit of the happiness you bring to this blog. (paraphrased from Bram Stoker's Dracula). This is my copy. As you can see, I've read it a 'few' times, give or take...
Monday, August 11, 2014
*Author's note: Today I'm introducing Brian's daughter Lisa, who is also Marisa's best friend. Like her father, Lisa is fully aware of what Nathaniel is and has no problem with it as you will soon see. She too will be a key player in the actual novel. So please sit back and relax as Lisa introduces herself to you all. I hope you'll find her as charming and fun as I do...*
Oh my God, I've been having the best time since we got here. This place is so incredible. I really didn't know what I was going to think of this place when I was told we were going, but I'm so glad we came. My whole attitude about coming was kind of 'mixed' so to speak. I'd really been looking forward to enjoying the summer with my best friend Marisa, only to be told we were heading overseas for three months touring Europe.
My dad is teaches history over at New River Tech College and had been wanting to visit the continent for some time in order to take in some 'history' in person. But he didn't want to just visit, he wanted to really explore and have the time to do his research.
Enter my godfather, Uncle Nate, who thanks to his inhumanly long life, was heading to England to visit some of his 'extended' family there and other parts of Europe. While he was looking to going, he hates to travel alone. So he decided to 'drag' us along with him on this trip.
As exciting as the trip sounded, I was pretty annoyed about not being with my bestie as planned. I even tried to talk my parents into letting her come with us. Much to their credit, they did like the idea and would've loved to have had her along. They like to think of Marisa as another daughter and would've watched over her like a pair of hawks. However... there was Uncle Nate to think about. Marisa does not know about his being a hundred and sixty-four year old vampyre. None of my friends know, which is why I have to keep this blog "PRIVATE". It's more like a personal diary where I share my adventures and experiences involving Uncle Nate. The only people who will ever read these entries are myself and any children I have when I'm older. I want them to know and understand what makes Uncle Nate so very special and amazing. He's been part of our family since 1866 when he married the widow of his best friend and commanding officer in the Union Army. He's been our 'guardian angel' ever since.
And we're not the only family he watches over. Since coming here I've met at least a dozen families who know and adore him as much as we do. They too know his secret and guard it with a vengeance. I've been told that before we finally head back home, I'll have met many more who call him "Uncle", "Friend" and even an "Angel" with dark wings..
But what I want to talk about right now is this new thing I'm getting into. As soon as we arrived in London's Heathrow Airport I started seeing people in the most amazing outfits. They're Goths, but not like the ones I've seen in school who do the dark clothing and black hair routines. These people take it a step further into like living history meets art. We're talking Classic Goth clothing and make-up done with STYLE.
I totally fell in love with the clothing at first. I mean, some of the styles border on historical with an added touch of modern clothing. Like this dress...
But I'm not just getting into the clothes. The make-up is fascinating me as well. It turns out one of my 'cousins' over here is into the Goth scene, and she's been taking me under her wing. She's been showing me all kinds of cool make-up and looks I can go for, like this one she did for a party we went to...
I've started accumulating a new wardrobe. Kate (my cousin) gave me this little outfit to take home with me.
I can hardly wait to show it to Marisa when I get back. That's one of the major drawbacks to being here. I can't phone her from here because it's too expensive to make an overseas call. And we're kind of on the move a lot, so I don't get much of a chance to get online except for a few minutes, like now. So I'm mainly using my computer time to write all this stuff up, while I keep sending postcards and short letters back to her. I hope I can tell her about Uncle Nate one of these days, he's really an amazing guy and I think she'd really like him.
Great, Mom's getting on my case about getting off so I have to stop for now. We're heading to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum tonight and in a few days we'll be in France. What a wild trip this is turning out to be. I can hardly wait to see what comes next.
Later all! (kiss)
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The Crypt is silent tonight. It's a Tuesday and the place is closed as usual. Usually I only open the place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If I have it open during the regular weekdays, a lot of the kids would never get enough sleep for school the next day, and I don't want to deal with angry parents complaining that my place is an attractive nuisance. Not that anyone would believe it. My place is a drug and alcohol free zone. It's actually one of the safest places teenagers can come to get away from the darker elements out there.
Still, keeping the place open seven days a week would be quite demanding on me and my DJ Scar-Man. He has a family these days and needs to be able to spend time with them. And I need time to myself. Even after a hundred and fifty years, I still enjoy some 'me' time. I know, I know, most vampires you see in movies or read about are lonely and longing for company. Well this is real life and I have plenty of extended family and friends who love to have me visit, or who like to drop in to see me, and I love it.
However, I do need some time alone every so often and tonight is one of those evenings. So with the doors locked up I've scaled the many steps that lead to the top of this old building where my art studio awaits. I though I might be in the mood to pick up a brush and work on a canvas or two, but not at the moment. Instead, I'm in a more contemplative mood.
There's a huge picture window at one end of the studio that allows me to gaze out at the town. It's very pretty at night. The streetlights are lit up, as well as a number of houses. The evening is still young so very few have gone to bed just yet.
Who knows who I might meet this evening if I venture out into the streets. That's half the fun of being a night walker. It's always an adventure. You see things and people, most folks overlook in their busy day. For me, I find stories and inspirations for paintings, novels, or just things that make you think a bit. No, I'm not one of the gloom and doom vampyres of legend. I'm going to be walking this earth for some time yet and I'm fully aware of it. I am what I am these days. Although I did not choose this existence, it was pushed onto me by a very unlikely source, but unlike others I treasure each moment I have.
I've touched and had my life touched by so many wonderful people. Not just the stars I met back in vaudeville, or the heroes I met out on the battlefields, but everyday people and I thank them for it. The ones who've come and gone, as well as those who are still with me now. Yes, I've said goodbye to a good many friends over the decades, but there are always new people entering one's life that you can share and experience so much with.
In my hundred and fifty... correction hundred and sixty-seven years on this planet (I always forget to count my life before the change) I've seen so much. How many people can claim they saw the first silent films? Or heard the first radio broadcasts? I encountered and even got to work on some of the earliest computers when punch-cards were the high point of technology.
Plus I got to watch man reach the moon and take his first steps onto that barren alien landscape. And there are so many years ahead of me, which both fill me with wonder and a slight dread. For unlike vampyres of legend I do age, albeit at a much slower rate. I was only seventeen when I was changed and these days I barely look thirty. For every ten years that pass for others I age only one. This means I have a long time ahead of me, but what about when I finally start to reach 'old' age? Will I start to turn grey and less able-bodied? With I spend centuries trapped in a body that is feeble and infirm? That' is a frightening prospect, that I try not to think too much about.
There's still so much about my condition I don't know anything about. In spite of twenty years spent getting degrees in botany, anatomy and physiology, and several other sciences, there's still so much to learn. Luckily, science continues to move forward and I can always go back and take more classes and learn more about the new discoveries that may help me fully understand what I've become. And that's something I actually look forward to.
I love taking classes and learning new things. I've taken all kinds of classes over the decades including art, dance, languages, mathematics, writing, etc. Learning can be so much fun. I meet new people and get introduced to new ideas and skills. Life is a wondrous thing and whether you have only one life-time or many what you do with your time can be very enriching. It all depends on the individual.
And right now, this individual feels like stepping out for a while. I'll come back here later and start working on one of my unfinished canvasses. There's one in particular I'm very eager to get back to.
I've already put it on an easel so it can be waiting for me when I get back. It's a portrait of a young girl with flowing black hair and the most amazing brown eyes. I can never forget her eyes. They saw through me like no other and loved me for who AND what I am...
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
****NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I want to warn you all in advance that this particular entry is a bit heavier than some of the ones you've seen before. It deals with someone fighting cancer. So if you wish to take a pass on this entry I'll understand. I suffered a loss of someone very dear to me a few months back and it hurt to write this passage, since I drew upon a lot of the emotions and thoughts that I went through. However, this sub-story plays an important role in the main novel. So I leave it to your own discretion. I don't wish to hit anyone's 'triggers' and set you off. SPOILER: And if it's any comfort, the person fighting cancer is still around in the novel.****
Sorry I haven't been posting for a while, my life has turned upside down in the worst way possible and I don't know what to do.
About two months ago Dad went to see our family doctor, Jack Tyler. He's been our physician for as long as I can remember. Which only makes sense since he and my dad grew up together. Anyway, Dad went to see him for his annual physical. Aside from feeling a little tired for the last month or two, he didn't have any complaints. But some of his blood tests came back and something wasn't right. So there were more tests, followed by X-rays and a Cat-Scan. Long story short, he's got cancer.
Uncle Jack assured us that it was detected early and there was a good chance they could treat it with surgery. Well, the surgery seemed to go okay, but then they found it had spread to one or two lymph nodes. So they removed those as well and now he's getting chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
He's been holding up for the most part, but those therapies take so much out of him. He's lost weight and looks a bit grey some days. Plus they leave him pretty weak. Some days he mostly sleeps or just sits and reads or watches a movie or two. Uncle Jack has told us things are looking good, but he said that about the surgery so I'm not as confident in his predictions.
At this point I'm trying to spend more time with Dad. I keep feeling like I may lose him and I don't want to. I've stopped hanging out as much with my friends, except for Lisa. She's my best friend and has been trying to be there for me every step of the way. Unfortunately, she's heading to England for the summer with her family. Apparently, her godfather is over there and made arrangements to have her entire family come and stay with him for a while. I've never met the guy, but I've a lot about him. Uncle Nate is in like his twenties and is working with a professor over in London, which is someplace Lisa's always wanted to visit. She offered to ask her parents to let her stay with my family, but I told her no. If this turns out to be the last summer I have with my father I want to be with him as much as possible.
I even cut back on my school activities as soon as I knew he'd been diagnosed with cancer. The first thing I did was give up my place as head cheerleader. Both my parents told me I didn't have to do it, but I knew they'd need me, and they have It's been a rough couple of months.
Watching my dad have to sit around be tired out so easily freaks me out sometimes. I mean, he's a mail carrier. He walks miles and miles every week doing his route. Now he gets winded just moving from room to room sometimes. Which is why I need to be around for him. Mom can't always be here, so I make sure I am. He and I sit together and talk or read. Sometimes we'll watch movies, but even that's been kind of hard lately. Not for him, but for me.
I know I mentioned a while back that he loves vampire movies. They're like his all time favorite thing to watch. And until he got sick I loved them too. But now when I watch the heroes trying to save someone who's being fed on night after night by Christopher Lee or whoever's playing Dracula, I keep noticing how pale and even grey the victim looks sometimes. They're so weak and tired, after having started out so lively and vibrant earlier in the film. So instead of helping take my mind off what Dad's fighting, I get a huge reminder that I may lose him.
When I look at the television screen instead of seeing a vampire, I see some form of cancer that's taken on a human shape. And it's everywhere. Even at school I used to hang with a couple of the Goth kids, but then I stopped. All that pale make-up and dark clothing... it was too much.
God I wish Lisa were here right now. I feel so lost and alone sometimes. But I've still got my dad and I'm going to hold onto him as much as possible. I pray Uncle Jack is right and Dad is going to be okay. I just wish there was more I could do for him. I feel so helpless sometimes..
Oh, he's just woken up from a nap and is calling for me. Sounds like he wants to watch another movie with me. Talk to you all again soon. If you don't hear from me again for a while, I know you'll understand.
Ciao for now...
Saturday, May 31, 2014
While scouring my art studio for clean paper I found one of my old journals which I thought I'd lost. It's a fairly recent one with only a few entries in it. I remember buying it just after I headed out to California to meet with some movie producers down in Los Angeles. It had been many years since I'd last been down there so I bought some art supplies to do some preliminary sketches to be turned into paintings later on. The journal had originally been intended so I could make some mental notes and impression, but it wound up being a travel diary after I made an unexpected stop in Monterey and wound up visiting my first aquarium...
*Note: Yes I know it sounds weird but most places like this have daytime business hours. I was lucky to catch this one with extended evening hours. Furthermore, not everywhere I've gone has been close to the water. A pity really because I really enjoy walking along the sea, or traveling on a ship.
I need to do that some more. Anyway, here goes...
Travel Journal, May 16th, 2009...
Well, everything is set. The producers were happy and so am I. Soon my bank account will be as well. Negotiations for the rights to my first two novels are set and all is well. I've come back north to stay with some old friends, the Cloudfoots. As the name implies, they were of native American ancestry dating back to way before my time even.
I met Jason Cloudfoot some years back over in Connecticut, when his niece disappeared around Christmas. After helping find her, Jason and I became fast friends and I visited whenever I could. Over the years he's told me some wonderful tales of Seneca lore, while I've shared many of my own personal stories and adventure with him. He's one of the most remarkable men I've ever met. He's one of those rare people who figured out right away I wasn't all that I appeared to be... but that's a story for another time.
I got to know his children and helped keep an eye on them they were growing up and they too know all about me and what I am. Now they have families of their own and have moved out this way and are currently living up near Santa Cruz. When they heard I was going to be down in Los Angeles, they insisted I swing up north and come to stay with them for a few days.
When I gave them a date they asked me to meet them here in Monterey, because they were taking their own children to the aquarium located here. Apparently, this place keeps long hours and occasionally have sleep-overs for children who wish to spend the night surrounded by the mysterious beings from the depths.
I agreed to meet them and I'm so glad I did. I've never been to an aquarium like this before. To me, an aquarium is a big twenty to thirty gallon tank in someone's living room, filled with gold-fish or whatever.
I had no idea what a treat I was in for. This place was magical. I've practically filled my sketch pad with pencil drawings of creatures and settings I'd never dreamed existed. Oh, I've seen photos in magazines, but to actually be here is another thing entirely.
For one thing, each exhibit room has it's own background sounds. There's a jellyfish exhibit that is nice and dark (perfect for someone like me) with the most ethereal music playing in the back ground. It was so soothing and relaxing I almost didn't want to leave that room. The types of fish varied more widely than I ever suspected.
Then there were the sea otters, playful furry beings who are so gosh-darned cute as well. They are also very large, much bigger than I originally expected. Some are the size of a large dog, as in 60-70 pounds big. Yet they were so graceful under the water.
There was a particularly interesting blue room with a circular ceiling. Inside the ceiling was a series of glass windows all interconnected, with silver sardines racing about in one huge continuous circle. It was both dizzying and breathtaking.
I even got to see my first real live octopus. My timing couldn't have been more perfect. Like me, the creature is usually very shy during the daytime hours. But tonight, he was more lively and I got to see him to great advantage. I made several sketches of him for future use.
A part of me could have stayed in this wondrous place for days or weeks. Alas, time was getting on and the children decided they wanted to be home instead of staying for the sleepover. Too much excitement for them they said. Personally I think they were a little intimidated by all that was around them and I couldn't blame them. Everything here inspires both wonder and awe. I could set up my easel and spend night after night painting these wonderful creatures. This place is truly magical...
Alas, I haven't been back there since, duty has called me away to other places. But I hope to get back there soon. Jason is no longer with us, but his children know me (and what I am) yet always ask me to come and visit them again. Which I will do shortly. There are other sights and places I wish to visit, like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and a supposed "Concrete Boat". Jason's son always laughs when he mentions it, perhaps it's the incredulous tone in my voice. A concrete boat? That is something I have to see for myself. I'm planning on going to see them next month. I'll write more about that adventure when I get there.
For now, I'm going to set up my easel and try and make up my mind which of my sketches to work from first. I'll either do several pieces or use the various creatures to create one large painting. We shall see, it's so hard to say. They are all so beautiful and colorful. My palette will get a hell of a workout over the next few weeks.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
I visited Mary's Heights over in Virginia today. It's something I try to do every year. Partly to pay my respects to my Union brothers who fell that day, as well as to those from the Confederate side who took pity that night cold December night. War can be hell, but it can also bring out a certain decency among men when the shooting stops even for just a little while. I was there... sort of. Or rather, I could see everything from where I landed up.
Like so many others I was badly wounded, but out of anyone's reach. However, the thing I passed through which led to my current condition, was still open. I could see down onto the battlefield and witnessed all that transpired.
Those wounded during battle, like myself, who could not drag themselves to safety had been left where they fell. Still alive and crying piteously for water. But no one dared go out into the open for fear of being shot. There were hundreds of them
Night had fallen, the guns and the cannons had gone quiet. But silence was nowhere to be found. The screams and the cries for water from the wounded left on the battlefield still echo in my ears. But what happened the next morning is etched into my memory like a treasure.
The legend of the Angel of Marye's Heights comes into question at times, but I saw what transpired. Admittedly, I was drifting in and out of consciousness occasionally, but I was awake enough to see the Confederate soldier carefully climb over that stone wall and take those first tentative steps onto the battlefield where thousands of Union soldiers lay, many still alive.
The fellow was armed with dozens of water canteens, blankets and little else. I remember silently praying that no one from my side would take a shot at him as he carefully made his way to the nearest Union soldier and gave him water and a blanket. He made my brother soldier as comfortable as possible, before moving on to the next man. I didn't know the man in gray's name, but I wished like crazy to shake his hand and offer a word of thanks for what he was doing. He went back for more water and blankets time and again. I also prayed that by some miracle he'd look up and see where I was and could show me some of that compassion, but his eyes were fixed on those before him.
Eventually, I passed out and when I awoke again all was quiet. The battlefield was quiet, I vaguely recall crying out myself, hoping someone would hear and take pity on me, either with a bullet or medical aid. Of course, no one heard and if they did my voice would've seemed to come out of thin air.
Although I say 'no one' heard me, something else did and made me what I am now. Eventually, I managed to fall back onto the battlefield, partly to escape a menace that still haunts my dreams. It was night and I remember falling next to one of my fellow soldiers. He'd been stripped of his wool uniform by some poorly dressed southerner who had been desperate to keep warm. How do I know this? Because of the person who mistook me lying next to my fallen comrade as a another dead body. I saw into his mind as I sank my teeth into him and tasted blood for the first time.
Miraculously, I did not kill him. I was too taken aback by my own actions to finish the job. The thirst was still with me though and it took every ounce of self-control to keep from indulging in the fluid pumping through his veins. However, I managed to make myself let him go and slaked my thirst with the more stale blood of my fallen friends. At least in their case, I did not have to see the terror I inspired as I took from them what my altered form demanded.
To this day, I prefer my blood to be in bags or from a willing volunteer who's mind will not hold terror or fear of me. Instead I will see and feel the friendship that drives them to making the gesture. I find their thoughts a great comfort on those occasions.
On this day, as I venture out onto the field where I fought I feel the pull from above and know the opening to the place I went is still there. I do not sense presence from it though and allow myself a sigh of relief. This is the other reason I keep coming back to this place. I keep hoping to find the 'door' or whatever it was I passed through to be closed. Perhaps it does and it's merely my presence that makes it open again.
I make a sweep of the area anyway and find nothing amiss. After a while I bend down and offer a prayer up to my fallen friends who lost their lives in this place all those years ago. Then I stand up and head off to a particular memorial.
It's a beautiful piece that helps renew my faith in man's ability to show compassion even in the heat of war. There etched in the dark stone I see the name "Richard Rowland Kirkland" the man I saw bringing water and aid to my injured brethren in arms. I quietly offer a quiet thank you to his memory and move on. Although he never reached me to offer water or comfort, his actions that day did feed my soul with hope and a desire to be as good a man as I could be in spite of what I'd become, a vampyre with a human heart.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Just got back from the museum. Transcribed more letters onto the computer, while Brian tended to a new exhibit. I'm pleased to say that the transcriptions are getting easier with time. Occasionally, I find it more difficult and emotionally draining, but it mostly depends on the content of the letters and who wrote them.
Tonight I was mostly working on letters to friends while I was serving the in the 7th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, more commonly known as 'The Bloody Seventh'. We didn't start out with that moniker, it came later. But for the first six months of our existence we were basically guarding the railroads from Confederate raiders. These letters were from that period.
I enter the building where "The Crypt" is located. But instead of going into the club itself which is located in the basement level, I head upstairs. As I've indicated before, I bought the entire structure back during the Great Depression. It's a four story affair that takes up a small block downtown. I keep the place in good shape so no politicians can get any funny ideas about declaring the place 'run down' or an 'eyesore' that needs to be pulled down.
The ground floor is currently being renovated to become roller skating rink. Yes, you read correctly. A Roller Rink. There's already some really good hardwood floors and open space down there. It won't be a huge affair, more like a couple of small rinks. The smaller of the two will be for lessons or private parties, while the other will be more like a regular place.
I had thought about making one of them and Ice Skating Rink, but the refrigeration equipment would have to get run down into the basement area. Plus there was the risk of any leaks dripping down into The Crypt itself.
Anyhow, above what will become the roller rink are three floors. The 2nd floor is comprised of mostly empty office spaces, while the 3rd floor contains empty small apartments. Occasionally I'll rent a couple out, but not for very long. I'm not keen on anyone living full time in the same building where I stay whenever I'm in town.
Then there's the fourth floor, which is closed off to all unless I invite people up. The entire floor is one gigantic open space that I use as my art studio. Mostly the room is filled with canvases, oil paints, pastels and the like. There's a big window that looks out into the sky that I love to work near, especially on nights when there's a full moon, like tonight.
I wander over to where my easel is and pull out one of the many canvasses I've been working on. That's one of the tricky things with oil painting, you have let each layer dry before you continue. So whenever I do settle in to work in here, I'll have several pieces under way and a lot of paint on my palette.
I tried my hand at painting after I 'came back'. It was in the late 1890's, shortly after the death of my first wife Madeline. We'd been traveling in Europe at the time she passed. Feeling lost and alone I'd found myself wandering the streets at night. One evening I'd run across a gallery where a local artist was giving a demonstration. I wandered in and sat down to listen.
By the time he'd finished, I was eager to talk to him about doing a portrait of my dear Madeline. Alas the speaker refused, but another fellow who had attended the talk was only too happy to talk with me. He was an older man, Professor Otto Hofstadter. I often wonder what turns my existence would've taken had I not met him that night. Much of man I have become I owe to him.
We spent many evenings talking and eventually Otto found an artist who was renowned for his portrait work. I still treasure the portrait Mr. Sargent did of my Madeline, but I remember him more fondly for taking me under his wing. I studied oil painting under his watchful eye for three years, but then I had to return to America to deal with issues regarding my Madeline's estate.
But like any good pupil, I continued to learn more from other teachers, some of them recommended to me by my mentor. I did not see him again until 1918 when we met in England. He had just been hired by the British Ministry of Information to paint a series of images depicting the Great War (World War I for those not familiar with the original name of that conflict). His depiction of the victims of 'mustard gas' I still find hauntingly realistic.
I like to think it was my time with Mr. Sargent that got me to try and learn new things. Otto, being a professor, got me to take night classes and expand my education. But that's a story for another entry. Right now it's time to get down to some painting. Light is just right and I know what I want to work on.
I turn to my unfinished paintings and pull out the one of Brian's daughter Lisa. She's going to be turning sixteen in a couple of months. And since I'm doing her portrait in oils, I really want to make sure its fully dried and finished in time.