Friday, May 25, 2012

Artist In The Court; Easton P.A.

Last Monday I got a call from the Graphics Editor at the Allentown, P.A., "Morning Call" newspaper.

He wanted to know if I was available on Wednesday to go to the courthouse in Easton, P.A., to draw another very nasty murderer? Since this is one of my very favorite things to do as an Artist, I said "Yes."

I was looking forward to working once again with two very talented writers and Court Reporters, Riley Yates and Pam Lehman. I was also asked to do this portrait of Riley, as a surprise gift.

The defendant, George Hitcho, Jr., had been found guilty days before of murdering a police officer with a shotgun blast from five feet away. "I was fed up with him trespassing on my property," Hitcho explained.
Not someone you'd consider taking home to meet Mom and Dad.

As usual, the Defense Team tries to clean up their client, to make him "presentable" to the Jurors.
Hitcho is on the right, with the ponytail. It didn't help. The jury gave him the death penalty.

During the lunch break I find a secluded spot to set up my palette, and add color to the drawings.

The paper's photographer hovers patiently, waiting to shoot the paintings and send them back to be reproduced on-line and in the day's paper.
At the end of a very long day I take my time driving the sixty miles back to Philly,  looking forward to the next call to draw in court, and hang out with some nice...and at least one nasty, folks.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Totally Obsessed With Watercolor.

On those days when he's feeling up to it, my Dad and I go for rides. And yes, at ninety-nine, he still likes to drive.

As I watch out for oncoming mailboxes, he reminds me of who still lives where, and now that it is planting time, how every other big field we see is being farmed by "The Dubois Boys."

After last week's visit, I once again ended my day in South Jersey doing a watercolor, this one of a Dubois farm.

And here is one of the "boys," Henry. Now sixty-four years old, Henry laughed and reminded me he rode my Dad's school bus back when he was a kid. After farming and running our little country store for 30 years, Pop then drove school buses for another 20 years. As a result, everybody seems to remember him.

Each of the farms in this photo is owned by  Dubois family members.

As clouds moved in, I painted the pile of shapes that made the farmhouse and outbuildings and trees all one long, meandering bigger shape in the fields.

In another beginning, I decided to not carry this to the usual "finish." I find this delicious mix of colorful washes more satisfying as a small statement about the farm's silhouette against the setting sun.

As the light began to fade I did one more painting, again just hoping to capture the essence of what was in front of me, before ending the day.

Back home in my studio I took it one step more, adding a darker value in the buildings and trees, and indicating the distant horizon. I kinda' like this little guy. 

And finally, this past weekend I did this painting along the stream in nearby Merion Park, where I've painted many times. I think I'll submit this one to the upcoming Annual Exhibition of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society.
Wish me luck.