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Sunday, October 28, 2012

"South of the Border, Down Mexico Way"...

Hasta Luego...
Well, I'm surprised that they didn't leave earlier. Maybe the regulars did and these that are visiting are traveling through from the north. It is kind of hard to tell without some sort of banding, but it has been two days since I last saw any hummer around. They must have left sensing our first real cold front was approaching. This morning, there was ice on our cars and it was quite unexpected. When they disappear, they usually leave by cover of darkness unlike this little guy above who is announcing his departure. 

Luckily, this time, I had not just cleaned and replenish the sugar water. Normally, this late into fall, just a day or two after I put up some fresh nectar, the birds just don't show up and I end up throwing out the mixture. 

So, the timing was perfect for a change... Until later, little ones!

Copyright 2012-2013/ Ben Bensen III

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"It's Where You Find It...

Sometimes, somethings need to be recognized!

Yesterday, I was in Hammond on business for my mom with the VA, but stopped by a PJ's coffee shop  near the Southeastern University campus. It looks like it may be a brand spanking new coffee house because it is the first one I ever seen with an upstairs balcony. Next to a sign that said, "Please don't use the balcony without a purchase!" was iron bannisters following up the flight of stairs.  I had to blow about an hour before the local mall opened up, so I purchased my "ticket to ride" and sat down with my  new Mac laptop. In between stares out of the second story window and the internet, I noticed these two beautifully created custom made iron fleur-de-lis sculpted between the black grillwork railing.

It was exquisitely done.

With no sketchbook available, I decided to sketch out the design in my "Daily Reminder." I should have taken a picture of it with my cellphone because the sketch, though pretty accurate, doesn't capture the variations of linear weight. So many fleur-de-lis, which is a stylized lily composed of three petals bound together near their bases and especially known from the former royal arms of France, are many times poorly conceptualized or distorted to fit ones own needs. There are many different designs of that French icon, so it is hard to actually pinpoint the correct historical "interpretation" but when accurately drawn, sculpted, painted or decal-led, as in the Saints logo, the fleur-de-lis really a site to behold.

I don't know much about the process of ironworks and since there were two of the exact same designs within the guardrail, it probably was manufactured into the grill mechanically, but regardless of that fact, whoever actually created the design should be highly commended for it is a incredibly functional, yet understated work of genius, in my opinion.

With a couple of sips of coffee, a few more stares out of the window and a final tweak, here and there, of my sketchy interpretation, I returned to Facebook one last time before I closed up shop.

I wish I hadn't checked.

By doing so, I read that a good friend of mine, Bernie David, unexpectedly passed away. In disbelief, I pondered the what would become of his four or five now silenced Cajun built accordions which he so adeptly played as he accompanied his high register vocals sung in English and Cajun French.

Stunned, I decided to sit and stare out of the window some more.

Copyright 2012-2013/ Ben Bensen III

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Portraits I Never Did Get Right!"

Never did get them right...
One of a few sketches at Gus's restaurant from across the room. Jerry and his wife, Pat, are regulars here and show up around nine in the morning after church. Normally, there's about a dozen "Catlicks"
( a phrase I created to differentiate them from the myriad of local "tones.") who transplanted to Folsom from New Orleans after they retired.

You can hear New Orleans with every word 'dey speek, darlin'!

Jerry is a retired "NOPSI" employee and although it doesn't look like it in my drawing of him, he is a really nice guy! It's just his deep set eyes and thick eyebrows that, poorly drawn, makes him look angry.

Although, at the time I was drawing him, he was getting down on what this world is coming to... with much disgust!

Copyright 2012-2013/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"It's Just A Bunch 'O Bull"...

I wonder how many actually hitch up their steers to this post?
Well, it's been a little on the fuzzy side of Tuesday and so I decided to have a "view of the bay" at Gus's and continue "fuzzing out." Because the part time Times/Picayune recently made its decision to go to a three day circulation, there wasn't any newspaper to read with breakfast. The local restaurant patrons here obviously "don't cotton" to any multicolored fish wrap like USA Today, so there's only the "The Farmer" to read, if you are into that sort of thing.

Three days a week? What a bunch of bull!

Luckily, after a long breakfast stare out of the window as I finished my veggie omelet with ham (Yum!), I remembered that I had my sketchbook with me and so I decided to draw some of the patrons as they discuss how the world needs to be fixed.

I, soon, got the feeling some didn't really appreciate being recorded in such a way, so I turned my attention to this sculpted, bovine hitch that is affixed to the wall straddling two iron brands. I decided to try and draw it without picking up my pen from the paper and that didn't go so well, though it is an very effective way to cramp one's brain... if you are, once again, into that so of thing. Unless you have a headache, brains aren't suppose to feel when you think, you know? So, instead of creating any more "fuzzy frustration," I moved on to sketching this bull totally in line and without any tone, which is something I always fall back on when my brain gets lazy.

All things considered, though there are quite a few superfluous lines and the entire hitch is kind of not perpendicular to the wall, I think it turned out pretty nicely.

Of course, we all know, it really is all a bunch of bull... isn't it!

Copyright 2012-2013/ Ben Bensen III

Monday, October 8, 2012

"The Visual Ramblings of an Inebriated Artist"...Take Two!

Paper tablecloth doodles!
My wife asked me to take mom out of the house so she could have some privacy and get some work done without interruptions, so I took mom to a Books-A-Million store for a looksie and then to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Mom had nothing to say except how tender the chicken was in her "mexican poorboy."

Monday Night Football was a horrible matchup and the Orioles and Yankees were still in a rain delay, so I drank margaritas and idly sketched on the table top paper cover. There was more, but this was the better of the rest.

And yes, the styrofoam container did have "Who Dat?" embossed on the cover and I highly recommend the flan for dessert!

Copyright 2012-2013/ Ben Bensen III

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More"Tonka Toys"..."And, That's Your Little Red Wagon!"

That's your little red wagon, son!

I befriended an elderly, but feisty cowgirl at Gus's years ago and she told me this wonderful story about her youth in Rotterdam during the Nazi occupation of Holland. I've been working on a blog post for over half a year and I might ask her permission to do a children's book about her little red wagon.

Would've, could've, should've, right?

Well, we'll see about all of that. At least, she approved this little sketch... sort of!

It's a start... and it works well with my "Tonka Toys" series!

Copyright 2012-13/Ben Bensen III