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Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Tuggin' At My Heartstrings!"

"Oh the stories it could tell...
I thought about bringing it and I thought, long and hard, about leaving it home, but I really wanted to practice enough to play some songs with friends at a Christmas party. It was gonna be a long stay in LA, and I wanted to use the down time to practice and to try to work out the stiffness in my left hand, which seems to be getting worse with each passing year.

Well, I didn't want to buy an extra seat for the instrument and I didn't think it could possibly fit in the overhead compartment on the plane. ( I later found out that would have been the best place for it! ) With a good bit of trepidation, I sent my baby with the rest of my baggage in the baggage compart-ment of the aircraft. I mean what could possibly go wrong. It was insured. Christmas travel is so crazy, I just knew this was the best I could do, short of leaving it home.

I bought the Guild D-55, in California, way back in 1979 just before our son was born. Originally, I wanted to purchase a Gibson Hummingbird, but I really could afford it. The Guild actually sounded as good as, if not better than the Gibson... at least, to my untrained ear.

Well, my flight to LA went fine. I was looking forward to visiting a lot of friends and enjoying the wonderful Christmas weather there. Standing at the turnstile with my carry-ons strapped across my shoulders, I patiently waited, like everyone else, for the bags to start down the conveyor belt and on to the rotating turnstile.

Twenty minutes later, and with each passing minute, my heart sank just a little bit more. I started to chastise myself for being so naive. Christmas was certainly gonna be horrible, no matter how good it will be, if I lose my baby. What was I thinking?

With a resolute and heavy sigh as the conveyor belt came to a halt, I wandered over to the baggage claim department to see if they had any knowledge of my six string companion.

"Miss, I seemed to have lost my guitar." It never came down to the turnstile!" I said.

"Sir, is that guitar over there in the corner, yours?"she said with a "I'm glad to be a service to you" smile!

"Oh man! That's the one! That's mine!"I said as appreciatively as I could.

"You've made my holiday", I said.

"Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays," she said with a nod...

"And a Merry Christmas to you, m'am!"

Copyright 2016/ Ben Bensen III

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Another Sketch From The Air Museum"...

The other unfinished Paso Robles sketch...

Here's the second of two quick sketches that I started about ten minutes before Tee, me and our hosts, Ed and Irene Rush, decided to leave to get some lunch in downtown Paso Robles. I did have time to, at the Estrella Warbirds Museum, capture fairly well an F-86, a T-33 and the tail section of an F-104.

After lunch, we decided to visit an artist in residence kinda co-op called, "The Studio On The Park" which is located across the City Park square in downtown. I had a few great conversations with some of the artists. Anne Laddon, who created the concept of the studio, was very congenial, as was her studio mate, Tamara Thornton. They both share a studio together and I found, through asking many questions, that both ladies came from an advertising background and had to deal with the idea of eventually being put out to pasture.

They seemed to have made the change into a fine art arena quite successfully having felt that they had accomplished all they had expected to accomplish as ad women. Nice place to be.

Anne's site is: http://www.anneladdon.com/artwork/ and Tamara's is: http://www.studiosonthepark.org/artists/artist-directory.php?artist_id=96

Copyright 2016/ Ben Bensen III

Friday, January 22, 2016

"Hello, Is There Anybody There?"

Hello... is there anybody there?

Just sittin' here a thinkin' bout that old matchbox and wondrin' why it takes so long to accept incompetence.

Since my mother passed away almost one year ago, I've been wrestling with closing out mom's account. It's taken six months or more to jump through the many hoops the government and the bank were putting before me...

It's a joke to know that the bank didn't know whether they even performed this task anymore. I waited politely and patiently and then decided to passed the time away sketching. The paper of choice was the envelope that my mother's statements came in. The sketch/doodle took about ten minutes or so, but the transaction took over one hour, and it still wasn't done correctly...

While sitting in traffic, after depositing the check, the bank calls me and tells me NOT to deposit the check...


Hello, is anybody there!

First cup...

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Maybe, There's A Lesson To Be Learned Here"...

A quick sketch...
Good Monday "MLK" morning, y'all...
Staring out of my matchbox hole, this morning, thinking 'bout who knows what, when two chickadees landed on the birdbath for a drink. Problem was the birdbath was pretty much frozen over.

Five minutes later, a blue jay hopped unto the "frozen tundra" and gave the ice two good whacks with its bill, and got to the water underneath the ice. A few more minutes passed when that chickadee couple came by for a sip or two.

There's a lesson to be learned here... I just have to figure out which one to stuff in my pocket for the rest of the "MLK celebration".
Second sip... I mean, cup!

Copyright 2016/ Ben Bensen III

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"How To Make The Best Use Of Your Time... No.3."

"Round and Curved"
Here's the second of two sketches I drew from a photo on the return flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans. I'm one of those passengers that love staring out of the window to the busy world down below, but when my view is obscured or the sun finally gives up the day and turns it over to the night, I quickly look for something to do besides sleeping.

As an artist on an airplane, one quickly tires of drawing the backs of people's heads, so I drew this bright and colorful photo that I snapped from a fruit stand in Madisonville, LA. I did quite a bit of editing and included only enough to tell the story.

The first of these two sketches is seen on the previous blog page at: how-to-make-best-use-of-your-time-no-2.

For those that care about technique, with these type of sketches, I just usually put a point down with my Razor Point Sharpie and track all the forms from that point. I make a few miscalculations from one line to another, but it is all just to help me see form and page relationships. There are lots of different ways to incorporate a style into one's visual, but this approach can be time consuming and exhausting, but it is just a great way to concentrate on visualization... for me.

And, it is the best use my time.

Copyright 2015/ Ben Bensen III

Thursday, January 7, 2016

"How To Make The Best Use Of Your Time... No. 2."

My inflight sketch...
This is a sketch I drew from a picture I have of a female F-35 pilot from the 330th Fighter Wing. Don't quote me on those details. I assume because the canopy opens from the front that it is an F-35 and the shoulder patch reads vaguely, the 330th.

It is not so much the technical that intrigued me to save this photo and to actually use it to draw from en route from Los Angeles to New Orleans. It is the femininity of the picture that I think is so beautiful...

Okay, in a strange way!

On first look, it seems as though she is fixing her hair in a mirror making last minute adjustments before a date. But, the hard cold reality of being a pilot in an advance multi-role aircraft says something totally different. The juxtaposition of these two factors is truly mind blowing. Whether you are for complete opportunities for women or not, this visual was something I new I'd eventually have to address.

Clearly, she is in a "man's world,"but almost everything about her in the sketch from a picture says, "Women."

I did one other sketch that night when all the refreshments were completed and the moon replaced the sun and the cabin lights were down for a rest. I'll post that one, which is completely different, later this week.

Copyright 2015/Ben Bensen III