Monday, May 5, 2014

"Added Spice From Jack Leynnwood"...

Jack's Added Spice...
Well, it is about time that I "fess up" to a few things. This is a painting that I completed at Art Center back in 1976 in one of Jack Leynnwood's rendering classes. If you know me, you know that I adored Jack. The reasons are many and have been explored in pretty explicit detail in earlier blog posts.

But this "Jug" illustration was one that when I showed Jack he felt it needed more "visual pizzaz." As is the case in so many of an early artist's education, once you've completed an assignment, collapsed in bed and awaken a few hours later, you see things you like and things you don't. At Art Center, critique stories abound. Some are really embellished to the point of absurdity, but you always wanted to meet the class deadline "spit spot, and spot on!" It was always better to catch a mistake before you went into a classroom critique.

But, not so with Jack.

We had to complete a product illustration or rendering of our choosing on a 15x30 surface. I really should have painted the Thunderbolt horizontally, but at the time, it never occurred to me to do so. If I had, I would not have had to paint that hole in the sky that just refused to be ignored. With a giggle that suggested no one should be ridiculed for making mistakes, Jack recommended that I lose "the donut in the sky." He, then, at my request, not only made some suggestions on how to make the scene more appealing, but he actually, pulled out the brush and quickly painted, or repainted the foreground runway with puddles from the rainstorm and some skid marks. He also suggested I add some wet spray coming off of the wheels which were shown retracting. 

I asked him to show me how he'd do it, so, he did.

I had that piece in "C print" form in my portfolio for years, but the original now belongs to the United States Air Force in their art collection. In hindsight, I am ashamed to say, I took the framed Ben Bensen III/ Jack Leynnwood painting that I, so dearly loved, off the wall and used it to secure my trip to the Air Force gala presentation at Andrews, AFB.

The painting I started for the show never got completed... and, I was a desperate artist in need of a vacation.  I must have been dizzy from late night deadlines and marker fumes to have done such a thing.

Did I mention that I owned two Jacks? No? Well, one day, when I find out where the hell I put the other matted and framed Leynnwood classroom demo, I tell the whole story...

But, don't hold your breath. 

It has been missing somewhere in my home since Hurricane Katrina!

Copyright 2014/Ben Bensen III


  1. Thanks for the Jack Leynnwood posts! I have a great admiration for the illustrations of that era, his aircraft in particular. I'd love to see more! I'm trying to learn by looking, it would have been great to be in his class.

  2. I don't know, John, if you saw these other blog posts, so I'll introduce these to you:

    Have a few more, but this will have to do for a while!