Exploring different means of expression keeps my art alive for me. This one was inspired by experiences I had in college, and before, with woodcuts, linoleum cuts and lithographs. It excited me to draw it; it excites me to look at it. I hope to produce that excitement in my audience.
It is a wonder to me where inspiration comes from sometimes. This was drawn on November 5, 2018, the day before the midterm elections. I wasn’t consciously thinking about the elections; just started with a doodle. Today, 4 days later, it strikes me that the man in the drawing vaguely resembles Gavin Newsom, an acquaintance who won the election for California Governor 3 days ago – the day after the drawing. That the predominant color is blue and a “wave” is featured was also “unintentional”.
I’m trying something a little different to communicate more complex scenes with a minimalist view. This started with a line tracing of a famous photograph of three farmers on the way to a dance by August Sander. You can see other examples of this direction in the gallery.
My first cousin twice removed, Gus Arriola, created the “Gordo” comic strip which ran in newspapers across the country from 1941 to 1985.
Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, described Gordo as “probably the most beautifully drawn strip in the history of the business.” His work was also praised by the Mexican government as well as the California State Legislature for its promotion of international understanding.
He passed in 2008.
My brother and I got to visit him at his home studio in Carmel when we were kids. What an experience! We got to meet the inspiration for characters “Pepito” (his son, Carlin) and “Poosy Gato” (his cat, “Smelly Dave”) and he explained the process of creating a syndicated comic strip – I was transfixed .
Gus was an early influence on my art and on my life. Who remembers Gordo?