Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Um, This Was A George Burns Portrait I Did For TV Guide!"

Portrait in gouache for TV Guide cover...
Staying the Batchellers, Keith and Sandy, in San Dimas, CA, is always a treat. I've had the pleasure on many occasions to spend time with them, but this time, my wife, Tee, joined me.

One of the really neat things of spending some time with them is all the great paintings that Keith has framed and on the walls all around his home. Every room is a feast for the eyes. Naturally, there is always something new to enjoy and talk about. Currently, Keith's living room has about a dozen paintings framed and ready to be hung at the San Dimas 38th Annual Western Art show this weekend.

Keith and I, in the Batcheller's living room.
I hope I get the time to peruse the show, this coming weekend.

But, just before we, once again, said our goodbyes, Keith shows me some of his older commercial pieces he's gathered up to show his students today. He has been teaching art and illustration at Mt. Sac College for over thirty years. And, as is his way, as he is moving towards the front door to leave for class, he very quickly, and in his blasé way, opens up his carrying case to show me about five or six illustrations from his Disney and editorial art days. 

"I'm bringing these pieces to show my students what original art should look like", he said. 

"Wow," I said as I savored every illustration. "I remember seeing my first original art. It was used in a print ad for a pharmaceutical company and was of a roller coaster that turned into a snake. It was painted by Dallas illustrator, and I couldn't believe that there was no printing "magic" that changed the original into a perfect printed ad."

"It was, indeed, illuminating to see that what was printed was exactly what was painted," I said.

"That was an education for me, then," I quipped. Keith agreed as he started putting the art back into his bag.

"Wait, wait," I begged, these are really nice man. "Let me take some pictures...okay, I know you gotta go," I said as I fumbled for my camera.

"Come on man, at least, just one!"

Copyright 2014/Ben Bensen III

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Publicity," I Gasped...!

My Mom...the Rocker!

Yesterday, amongst the myriad of things I had to do, I had to bath and "dress up" my mother for a Easter wing ding at the Senior Center. I also had to bring or make a cake for the celebration. Apparently, mom recruited me for the baking job.

I brought one!

We arrived one half hour late because I had to take my paintings to the museum to be hung at the Plein Air show this weekend. When mom walked into the senior center, not unlike John Wayne walking through those swinging bar doors, she started dancing and waving at everybody. 

Why music was playing while some politician or government official was making his speech, is beyond me. But, whatever he was saying mattered little to the senior crowd, who, I guess have heard it all too many times before. Mom, reveling in all the attention, was completely oblivious to the official presentation, and started boogie-ing to the music. Many in the crowd, pointed at Mimi and started laughing and waving, throwing kisses to my mom and egging her on!

It must have been the bunny ears I stapled to one of her skull caps!

It was hilarious, and the thing is, we had to leave within about an hour because mom had a doctor's appointment. Upon my return, Mellow, a staff worker, was taking more pictures of mom with her "paparazzi iPad" for publicity!

"PUBLICITY", I gasped while trying to drag mom away from the cameras.

"Yes", said Mellow. "I'm trying to get her into the newspapers, again!" 

"It's good publicity for the center," she giggled!

"Oh brother!"

Copyright 2014/ Ben Bensen III