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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A "Toof Cleaning" Sketch... and Comfort Food!

A "Fishhead" Sculpture of a Radiator, I'm sure...

It's been a while since I've done a "daily sketch." I'm doing some paintings for a show, and that has been taking up most of my time, but I had to go get my teeth cleaned the other day and I hate having it done to me.

No need to go psychological on this subject. I'm lucky to still have all my teeth, even my wisdom teeth, and it all comes together to give me a charming smile, but I just don't like the process. 

So, what does this sketch have to do with a "toof cleaning," you may ask. The answer is, comfort food!
Whenever I get my cleaning, I have to go to some restaurant, and eat to quell that violated feeling I always get.

I know it is wussy. I've had quite a bit of dental work, and I don't like that either, but I usually am advised to not eat anything after a root canal or other dental excavations!

So, I don't.

Anyway, I went to a local restaurant called Mandy's appropriately named for its location... Mandeville, LA. The food is great New Orleans home cooking and their etouffee omelets are to die for. It was a Monday, and so I decided to have the ubiquitous "Who Dat" luncheon special on the menu on this day...

Red beans and rice with hot Italian sausage... yum!

So, again, what does that have to do with this sketch? It is a large brightly colored fish that resembles one of the members of the now retired bar band, The Radiators. Probably, at the time this seven foot sculpture was created, the band's writer and piano player, Ed Voelker, wore a gray, slightly tattered beret on his balding dome. If you are at all familiar with the band and Ed's facial features, you cannot deny that the sculptor was inspired to create this "fish head" maitre'd with Ed in mind. Having finished my lunch, while sipping another loving cup of Mandy's strong coffee, I sketched the monster.

It is not one of my better pieces, but I was still feeling sorry for myself. It really should be sketched in vibrant, almost psychedelic colors, which I did not bring with me. So, if you are ever in the area, check out their menu for breakfast or lunch and be greeted by a very imposing, colorful fish head.

By the way, another clue to my theory of its origin is that the restauranteur is Frank Bua, the Radiators' long time drummer!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Monday, September 16, 2013

"A Sketch From A Deli Window"...

Biker checks his iPhone while waiting for another client.
My wife and I took a two week vacation up the east coast in late June. I didn't spend as much time sketching in my sketchbook as I normally would do because there wasn't a whole lot of down time. Most of the sketches revolve around eateries because I like to linger after a meal, and Therese doesn't. In Charleston, South Carolina, I would get up early, mosey down to the hotel's beautiful courtyard and  have breakfast while reading the complimentary "multicolored fish wrap."After about the third or fourth cup of coffee, I would start sketching. I only have one or two really good sketches from that "courtyard session."

This sketch from a deli window in Georgia is about the same.Therese got antsy and went walking and window shopping in downtown Savannah, and I sat and made this sketch with another cup or two of coffee.

Both of us enjoyed our own time away and in our own way. It was time well spent.

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Friday, September 6, 2013

"It Was Good To See Rita Again"...

My "Octo-Friend" Rita was back at it!
Admittedly, this is not a very good sketch. Sometimes, you just gotta humble yourself to remind the train to stay on track! But, I'm not posting this to prove to anyone that I can draw poorly. I have a fair bit of sketches in my books that I would never want to admit to as being mine. No, that's not my intention here.

Rita ( see an earlier blog post about her and a better portrait of her at, "She Goes By Rita!" http://sketchiethoughts.blogspot.com/2013/07/she-goes-by-rita.html" ) had a few melanomas that had to be removed and one on her face was gonna be a dousie to remove. It was supposed to be one of those inpatient surgery, but, day after day and week after week passed and there was no Rita at the senior center.

Apparently, she had a reaction to the medication the hospital gave her which created a urinary infection that would not go away. Test after test, were taken and all kinds of solutions to her complications were suggested. The replacement antibiotic made her dizzy and disoriented. She said that after the doctor decided she might need a brain scan, Rita told him to forget about it and didn't return. And, she said she just stopped with all the medications.

When I asked her about the ordeal, she said, as she continued walking on the treadmill,
"If you want to stay healthy, stay out of hospitals!"

Amen, Sister!

Copyright 2013//Ben Bensen III

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Oh, The Embarrassment Of Sketching Friends!"

So, do a sketch of me...
A while back, I met a friend for lunch, and we had a really nice time just catching up with each other. We decided to take our coffee and desert outside to continue our conversation without hogging a table inside.

Somewhere in the conversation, she saw my sketchbook and asked if I would do a sketch of her. I was flattered that she asked and felt quite confident in my ability to do a reputable rendition... as long as she kept still.

She was just being kind when she asked how come I didn't make her smiling! And, she didn't asked for  the sketch to take with her.

Sometimes... you know?

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III