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Christmas Time is Here (That is, as far as the radio stations are concerned)

Vince Guaraldi

WHILE I tend to side with the abolitionists on the issue of popular Christmas music (one can only hear so many jazz covers of Carol of the Bells before going insane), I am always glad to hear anything from the Vince Guaraldi Trio getting played on the air. In case you didn’t know, Vince Guaraldi was the jazz pianist behind the original Peanuts soundtracks.

Thor and Mjölnir

Thor and Mjölnir
I am still alive! Otherwise, I would not have been able to see that new Thor movie a few hours ago, nor would I have been able to draw this comic in response to the film. I think the original “Thor’s Hammer” looks pretty cool.

Two Studies

Study after The Hermit by Gerrit Dou

Study after The Hermit by Gerrit Dou (which I got to see at the National Gallery of Art last year!).

Study after Mars by Diego Velazquez

Study after The Rest of Mars by Diego Velazquez.

The squiggly white lines on Mars were done with an electric eraser I received last week as a birthday present. It is a neat little thing; I am still getting used to it as you can see here.

 

Current Sketchbook

MY SKETCHBOOKS tend to fill up with spaceships and robots and all sorts of things from my head. This may not bad in itself, but it does cause me to burn through sketchbooks without really improving. I have therefore dedicated my current sketchbook to drawings of things I actually encounter (e.g.: not spaceships). This should help me improve and, ultimately, draw better spaceships. Here are two pages out of about a dozen so far:

sketches_2013-06-15-2335

sketches_2013-06-15-2340

Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

SINCE my last post I have been doing well. I was promoted to a Cadet Staff Sergeant in Civil Air Patrol this past Thursday, I had the honor of serving for the first Mass of a newly-ordained friend of mine this morning, and I am going on a retreat tomorrow evening. My current sentiments put me in mind of that well-known verse about snails and thorns and larks and things.

Recent Things

THERE is a neat website by the name of WikiPaintings. I have found it useful for getting the general idea of a particular artist’s career, as the site lets you quickly flip through their work chronologically. It is interesting to see styles develop, themes revisited and models reappear. below are some sketches I did while surveying their collection of Bouguereau paintings.
(The site does contain some artistic nudity, just so you know. Parents, you might want to check it out ahead of your children.)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau Studies

Also worth mentioning is yesterday’s homeschool formal. This year’s theme was Marvel Comics. Here I am disguised as Stan Lee:

Gaelen Mibeck as Stan Lee

Skulls

THERE is no cause for alarm (I am not depressed or anything like that); human skulls are just an interesting subject.

Human Skulls

2013 North Dakota Civil Air Patrol Wing Conference

I AM PRETTY TIRED, having spent most of the day at this year’s ND CAP  Wing Conference. Before retiring, however, I wanted to write a bit about Colonel Mary Feik, who did us the honor of coming as a guest speaker.

Upon joining the Army Air Corps during WWII, she began working on the designs for “Captivair” training devices (essentially an airplane that is anchored to the ground) and authored pilot training and maintenance manuals.  It is worth noting that she did this all in her late teens and early twenties. Throughout her career she has worked on restoration projects at the National Air and Space Museum.

You can read more about her here.

Three-Piece Samurai

Three-Piece Samurai

IN KEEPING WITH this blog’s subtitle, here is this Saturday’s post. Three-Piece Samurai began as an idea for a short video about a well-dressed ronin who goes around fighting giant robots. Even though this never got further than a simple storyboard, I still think about using the character. Maybe I will start a band with the same name.

Here is the illustration that inspired the character.

 

Alfred Leete

EVEN IF I DID have something of my own to post right now, I would still probably post this instead:

I am currently reading The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse. While looking at the gallery of covers for this particular book on the Russian Wodehouse Society’s website, this one struck me as familiar. Using Google Images’ nifty “Search by Image” tool, I found the cover to have been taken from the above poster by Alfred Leete, who was also the man behind this well-known WWI recruitment poster (which I parodied about two years ago).

This leaves me with a new favorite artist and a new blog post. I am going to bed.

Billions of Bilious Blue Blistering Barnacles

BBBBB
A FOURTH BIRTHDAY was recently celebrated by my little brother. Like any older sibling, I gave him a present. Like any good older sibling, I gave him Red Rackham’s Treasure by Herge. Like any extra-good older sibling, I read it to him with funny voices and everything (making up a voice for Captain Haddock is especially fun). So if you are looking to ingratiate yourself with younger siblings, nephews, nieces, et cetera, you may take it from me: The Adventures of Tintin will not dissapoint.

Musical Recommendations

I GAVE UP MUSIC FOR LENT. Since I do not have anything of my own to post right now, here are a few of the songs I have been enjoying again since Easter:

The Salamanca Reel, The Banshee and The Sailor’s Bonnet by The Bothy Band

The Road to Errogie and The Reconciliation Reel by Tumbleweed

Postoi Paravoz preoformed by Yuri Nikulin

Flight of the Passing Fancy by Squirrel Nut Zippers

The Harrowing of Hell

The Harrowing of Hell
OUT OF ALL OF THE SATURDAYS IN THE YEAR, Holy Saturday (today) is probably my favorite, owing (in part) to the fact that it gives me an excuse to draw Jesus Christ pulling Adam and Eve out of the jaws of death, represented by a giant monster head. Have a good Easter!

If you do not know what to make of all this, please refer to the Wikipedia Article on the Harrowing of Hell.

Spring

Study After The Merchant's Wife at Tea by Boris Kustodiev

ACCORDING TO THE CALENDAR, Spring began three days ago. But, as the snowbanks still stand about three feet high around here, you really couldn’t tell. I have, therefore,  found much comfort in the warm, colorful paintings of Boris Kustodiev, who even manages to make the dreaded Russian Winter look inviting.  Above is a study after The Merchant’s Wife at Tea which, needless to say, does Kustodiev’s  original no justice.

De Rerum Novarum

FIRST OF ALL, long live Pope Francis! The above painting (P.S. Krøyer’s Hip, hip, hurra! Kunstnerfest på Skagen) sums up my feelings pretty well. I was naturally as surprised as anyone by the recent abdication of Pope Benedict XVI. All I can say is that I wish our former Roman Pontiff all of the best as he carries out the rest of his days.

 

Secondly, I have decided, painful though it may be, to learn how to draw (properly, that is).  Why painful? let us just say that the more I learn, the more apparent my ineptitude becomes, and, in turn, the more humiliating I find it to publicly display my drawings (hence the recent lack of posts). Seeing as humility is something I can always use more of, I have decided to share with you the fruits of my efforts, horrible as they are (also, the knowledge that my sketches will be made public should prompt me to put a little more work into them).

 

A few months ago, a friend gave me a small plastic skeleton model (thank you, Mrs. D.!). The picture below is a sketch in pen and crayon of the same. As you can see, I have quite a ways to go. If you have any recommendations as far as books on drawing go, please feel free to make a comment or send me an email.

 

Skeleton

 
Thirdly, I have changed the name of the blog (yet again). This time (as you can see) it is G.M.’s Weekly, which, besides being inaccurate so far, is a reference to something. Any guesses as to what?

Fourth and lastly, I wish you all a happy Feast of Saint Patrick!

March for Life Pilgrimage 2013

Capitol Building (FOITSOP)
NEARLY FOUR WEEKS have elapsed since my return from Washington D.C.. The reason I have not written about it until now is simple: I do not like sorting through pictures. But sort them I did, and here they are for your perusal.

Our group followed essentially the same itinerary as we did in 2011 and 2012, and were once again very generously accommodated  at the Saint Francis Hall. Our ultimate goal was to participate in the annual March for life, but we did get to see a fair bit of D.C. beforehand, as well as Emmitsburg, Maryland and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania after the March.

 

Brother Thomas
We were given an excellent tour of the Franciscan Commissariat to the Holy Land‘s beautiful Memorial Church by Brother Thomas.

 

Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus Yours Truly
I had the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

 

Trilobites
So… Many… TRILOBITES!

 

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution
I was also able to return to the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution (I visited before in 2011).

 

V2
The Vergeltungswaffen-2.

 

Enterprise Prop
The U.S.S Enterprise (the original prop).

 

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception's Tintinnabulum & Conopæum
The Tintinnabulum & Conopæum of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

 

Regina Doman
Regina Doman happened to be doing a book signing in the Basement of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I purchased a copy of her manga, Habemus Papam (illustrated by Sean Lam), which I highly recommend.

 

On the Way to the March for Life
Here we are, vexillum unfurled, on our way to join the March.

 

March for Life
In the midst of the March.

 

March for Life

There was an estimated 5 x 105 people present.
 

March for Life
If you are wondering about the big print, the U.S.Supreme Court Building’s facade was being restored.

 

Little Round Top
While we were visiting Gettysburg, we stopped atop Little Round Top.

 

Memorial of Major General G.K. Warren
The memorial of Major General G.K. Warren.

 

Little Round Top

 

In addition to regular images, I decided to try something new: my dad recently came across a neat program by the name of Microsoft ICE which allows one to stitch images into a panorama and project them onto the inside of a sphere (the result is similar to Google Maps’ Street View tool). You may need to download a plugin in order to view these panoramas, but here they are if you are interested:

1. Waiting for Mass to begin at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

2. The Main Altar and Baldachinum.

3. Right before the beginning of Mass.

4. The Basilica’s basement.

5. The Basilica from outside.

6. Inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

7. The Appolo-Soyuz display at Air and Space.

Lastly, I would like to express my thanks to everyone who made this pilgrimage possible: Father Gunwall for his spiritual direction, Mrs. Sauvageau for all of the planning and coordination on her part, all of our wonderful chaperones for keeping us from getting lost or worse, the Franciscans of the Commissariat to the Holy Land (especially Brother Max), everyone who supported us financially or through their prayers, and all of my fellow youth who made up our group. I enjoyed my five days with you all and hope to see you again soon!

Wing

Fin.

I Am Good At Making Newyear’s Resolutions But Terrible When It Comes To Keeping Them

Writing one post per day is not working at the moment. I did say that there would be one post per day (as opposed to a new post every day), so as long as I write 365 blog posts this year, that resolution will still be fulfilled. There is plenty of time, right? :)

Later today I will be leaving for Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Life (I went before in 2011 and 2012).

March for Life 2011

Valete!

Happy Epiphany!

magi_study_2013-01-06

Above is a study I did of the figures in James Tissot’s Les rois mages en voyage.

Viking Mead Hall

viking_mead_hall_2013-01-05

Happy 121st Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

Speaking of Tolkien, yesterday I read his essay On Fairy Stories (which you can read right now on this Ukrainian website). In it Tolkien writes about the history of fairy tales, the suspension of disbelief, Eucatastrophe, why certain mediums work or don’t work for certain types of stories, &c. I recommend reading it when you get the chance.

Also recommended by me  is his short story Leaf by Niggle (which can be read on this other Ukrainian website). It is the compelling tale of a grumpy, preoccupied artist. Fans of C.S. Lewis will probably probably enjoy it in the same way as they did The Great Divorce and The Last Battle.

(By the way: I began writing this post before midnight, so let’s just say that it still counts for January 3rd.)