Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday's Marine

I have a large folder with pictures of Marines tagged as prime portrait material. I'm presently working on a couple oil paintings and part of that process is waiting for the paint to dry, or at least set up tacky enough to move on. My oils are based on a simple technique called fat over lean. Early stages are painted with oils thinned with turpenoid and drying medium. Later stages involve thicker applications of paint. A couple pieces I'm wrestling with are in final the paint is more direct from the tube and hence takes longer to set up. To fill the down time I've decided to start a series of finished graphite drawings based on these photographs. The images almost all are from times out in the goo when sitting down and doing a life drawing is simply out of the question.

Today's drawing shows a Marine squad leader (note the microphone) taking a quick look at his guys during a momentary lull in the fighting last November in Husayba, Iraq. After looking at this face think about the twenty-somethings you see at the mall....there's no comparison.

Post-entry: Several weeks ago one of the good readers of Fire and Ice posted the comment "When will we stop praising the warriors, and praise the peacemakers?" in response to the post Wounded Warrior. It is quite evident here at Fire and Ice that I, and many of our readers, celebrate warriors....especially in light of the current unfolding historical struggle with Islamofascism. Today, Tuesday, via a wonderful blog called Dr. Sanity, I read a revealatory commentary by Victor Davis Hanson, and the good Doc's accompanying thoughts. Both of these accomplished and lucid thinkers have articulated how the self-proclaimed peacemakers of today's world, the unhinged left-leaning world of feel-good-wishful-thinkingocrats, have both created and nurtured not peace, but the conditions for war. What stands between us and the caliphate chaos of Islamic fanaticsm is not George Soros,, the DailyKos, the Democratic Party, Code Pink or any other slice of the left's soft underbaked marshmallow pie, but hard young men and women willing, like the Marine corporal pictured here, to strap on a gun, 60 pounds of gear and under the most hostile conditions of heat, dust and death keep reaching for another can of Old Fashion All-American Whoopass. Hanson makes the keen counter-intuitive observation that at the end of the proverbial day it'll be NASCAR guys keeping the legacy of the Age of Enlightenment alive. You're either with these kids or against 'em.....which is it? Drivers, start your engines!


SK said...

What an amazing job you've done in capturing the expression in his face and eyes. There IS no comparing this face to those at a mall.

V. Schroeder said...

Wow, you just keep rolling along. I so admire your work!

gonzalez said...

reminds me of one of my buddies, you ever get these marines info?

Bag Blog said...

I'm with you, Mike. Don't stop praising the Warriors.

By the way, thanks for the "fat over lean" links. I am not very familiar with oil paints. I tend to work in any medium except for oil, but my students seem to love oil paints and the links provided excellent info. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I understood that turpentine (mineral spirit) thins the paint, and I knew that linseed oil gave the oil paint a different texture to work with, but the info on the links really provided some much needed workable knowledge.

I think all of your work is great, but your graphite drawings are my favorite. The look you captured is awesome.

countrygirl said...

“We have arrived at the present unhappy situation not so much because we challenged those with a different worldview, but because we ceased to assert our own values and advance our world view.” —Michael Ledeen

These young warriors believe in the American worldview, and are willing to risk their all to defend it, and maybe even "advance" it.
We owe you all our gratitude.
Thanks, for doing what you do, and for keepin' on keepin' on!

Anonymous said...

I'm with the warriors.

The best way I've ever heard of to keep the peace is Teddy Roosevelt's way "Talk softly and carry a big stick". Most of today's "peacemakers" want only to talk softly.

It's time to use the big stick, full force, with intent to win.

MissBirdlegs in AL said...

I'm with the Warriors - all the way! How can we be otherwise? They/You do so much for us.

Your drawings are wonderful.

Patrick Parker said...

Some of us still celebrate warriors like you and with you. It is strange to me that some people either don't understand that or choose not to understand that.

Thanks to you and thanks to those like you that still stand on the wall.

James Miller said...

Perhaps your sentiments will do for the short (very short) term. Some of us are old enough to remember "American Woopass" relative to the commies of Viet Nam. I pray for your safe return, I fear for the USA. Whoopass has created for us a far more dangerous world. Lack of understanding is a dangerous thing.

mdfay said...

James, firstly, I am far and away old enough to remember the Viet Nam era and much of our nation's 5 decade struggle with communism. Last time I looked communism lies upon the dust heap of history. The world IS a dangerous place and no amount of Kiss-ass will or ever has made us safer. Our current enemy loathes us in large part due to our culture of openness, tolerance and your blessed understanding. Too much understanding it turns out is an even much more dangerous thing. We are at War, wrap your understanding around that.

Donna, Los Osos, CA said...

"Blessed are they who fight for peace".

Our warriors fight for peace. Even Bin Laden recognizes this difference when he said, "We love death. The US loves life. That is the difference between us two".

God bless our troops!

I love your new drawings. I am even frightened for the Marine carrying the unexploded bomb. Talk about nerves of steel!

GunnNutt said...

Well said, Marine!