APRIL 14, 2009
It often becomes a far more interesting side endeavor, while fishing for a long buried piece in your files and storage bins, flipping through and reevaluating pieces you either had forgotten about or still have memories of but not sure how well they would hold up upon reexamination.  Today, while waiting for a confirmation on a sketch, I went hunting for a couple decade old book covers I had done that someone from out of the blue, a friend of the author, emailed me and was curious about purchasing.  Apparently it took him this long to get around to wanting the originals.  I had a vague idea when I last saw them and where I stored them.  Turned out not to be the case.  Same room but twenty bins later, by accident I fingered through a large envelope and by complete accident saw one, and following a hunch, dug out the other.  But before this task was over my eyes had scanned over quite a volume of work covering more than ten years- thankfully I didn't have to go back to th estuff from thirty years ago.   Many pieces produced shudders but I was on occasion pleasantly surprised by what I came across. Such was the case with finding an illustration I had done back in 2001 for READER’S DIGEST on out of control Congressional pork barrel spending.  A fun piece and probably my second or third opportunity to do a variation/spoof of one of my favorite childhood paintings, “Charge of the Scots Grey”, a magnificent, romantic painting I first saw in a LIFE Magazine issue commemorating the battle of Waterloo.  Actually, all the paintings in that issue were jaw dropping to a young boy, but the drama in the Scots Grey was particularly gripping.  I saved that issue for many years till it was a tattered rag, every so often returning to the article to study the artwork and remember that initial rush of getting swept away in the action represented in the images.  My earliest drawings were huge battle scenes, inspired by those big American Heritage books on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, along with magazine issues like this LIFE.

Anyway, it was a pleasurable re-acquaintance, enough to motivate me to dry mount the flimsy paper onto good triple ply Strathmore and rescan it for my records.  I would have preferred to be given a two-page spread to stretch the image horizontally and include a whole lot more hogs, but it works well even so.  Not surprising that this illustration could apply just as well to current events as back then.  I hope to revisit this fun painting more times in my creative life.  It’s an iconic enough image, like the Mona Lisa, or Rembrandt’s “Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Plato”, or Fuseli's "Nightmare", that lends itself to any number of satirical solutions and variations.  

You know, on second thought I could have done this a whole lot better. If only I had more time to play with it.