Positioning groups of figures using tracing paper prior to transfer to working surface.
This past week, between fielding e-mails and phone calls from a bevy of media folks and consulting with the Marine Public Affairs Officer at Quantico, I completed the first oil study for Storm and Stone. The Marine Corps was gracious enough to have extended me permission to talk to the press about my time last October spent with the Marine unit, K/3/1, implicated in the alleged Haditha incident. However, at the end of the day, I decided to decline the radio, newspaper and television entreaties, and focus on just doing art. No Marine officer, not even the Commandant, has gone on the public record about the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate and controversial event......I wasn't going to be the first. Plus, these news people seemed a little too desperate for anything, and what little I know would have surely ballooned up way out of proportion to fill an information vacuum; a vacuum that is currently swollen with enough second-hand twice removed conjecture and editorializing, sermonizing and demonizing. It was interesting to have had the opportunity to speak at length with Thomas E. Ricks of The Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Making the Corps.
On a sad note: I'd like to pay tribute to my Mom's companion of nearly 20 years, Andy Frantz. Andy passed away this afternoon of complications following a massive stroke a week and a half ago. During the last three years he struggled with the insidious assault of Alzheimer's Disease with dignity and an unfailing sense of humor. Andy was what we back home refer to as a salt of the earth Pennsylvania Dutchman. His passing will be mourned by my Mom, her seven grandchildren (who knew him as their Grampy Andy), and legions of friends in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Here's to you Corporal Andrew Frantz USA, 82nd Airborne Division...go easy my friend.