For me, drawing is like entering another world, and leaving the old one behind. I get to relax, focus and deal with whatever comes to mind. Working into it, developing images, using my skills in a skillful manner, to crank out what can only best be described as a bunch of bullshit. It’s really enjoyable being in a place like that. Insulated from the outside world, but still being present in it.
Maybe it’s a bit like meditation. Not this New Age, Guided Imagery, Astral Projection happy horseshit, where only pleasant thoughts are generated whilst in La-la Land [I’ve been there before, the people are really friendly]. But the kind where you focus on the breath, watching and being present with the in-breath, and then the out-breath. Simple huh? Only problem is you can get distracted and witness whole worlds giving birth, living, and then dying; all between breaths. That’s where I tend to get off subject when I sit in meditation. Maybe because the content of all that thinking is really interesting and pretty juicy at times.
Thank god we don’t just inhale all the time, but exhale too. Gives me a chance to wake-up, and with it the realization that Wow, that was a good one. Wonder what’s gonna happen next.
I did a post recently about my use of color, and how using color, for me, was like how a child would color in a coloring book, being careful to stay within the lines. That way you get nice clean work which everybody will like and stick on their refrigerator. But what I failed to mention was, that from an early age, we are constantly being taught to ‘stay within the lines’, not to cross certain boundaries, conform, and by doing so will not only turn out better coloring book pictures, but will make you a productive member of society.
So basically, from an early age, someone is always fucking with your head. “Staying in between the Lines” is one form of mind-nookie. I can’t think of others at the present moment (too much else going on in mind right now), but there’s tons of subtle messages aimed at us to get us to buy into all this mental intercourse.
Thing is, it works! That is, until your actually try to get something accomplished. Then you are encouraged to “Think Outside The Box”. What? I thought we where supposed to stay in between the lines, and now you’re asking me to think outside the box? It can’t be done! What are you trying to do? Sodomize my sanity?
So ya gotta follow the rules, until you want something, then it’s okay to break em. Kinda sounds like all the financial fornication that was going on with banks before the Crash. Bending rules really worked well then. Didn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for breaking the rules. But I also don’t want the cops copulating with me. So I try to stay between the lines, but still keep ’em a little fuzzy at all times.
Maybe I’m becoming a little too self reflective or introspective, or am just checking out all the crap that’s makin’ me crazy. Maybe it comes with the territory as ya get older, and start to see the end in sight. It’s scary! I can see how people could obsess on death and dying. And how ya might just wanna hunker down in your bunker with a couple years worth of stored food and enough guns and ammo (gotta have that) to get you through till the end, because the world’s gone mad and you don’t want any part of it. [Thereby turning your bunker into it’s own little insane asylum].
Thing is, when I look inside myself, I don’t see an old man scared shitless, worrying about everything there is. I see a seventeen year old kid who still likes and enjoys same things he did since age twelve.
Maybe the above drawing reflects this. Maybe it’s just a drawing by a crazy old man hunkered down in his bunker.
Okay, the above nonsense was cranked out when I was feeling good. Maybe a little too good. But it sure felt good. I think everybody, and everything, wants to feel good. And, does exactly what is needed to feel so. Be it via alcohol, drugs, exercise, or sex (which is increasingly becoming more like exercise the older I get); all that stuff. We don’t tend to gravitate to things that make us feel bad; like, “Oh boy, I wanna feel some pain today, it’s been a while”. Hell no! Feelin’ bad is usually only a side-effect in our pursuit of feeling goodness.
Here’s a little secret. Those in charge don’t want us feeling too good. If ya did, you may never go to work again. So although you’d have a society of happy content people laying around all day enjoying themselves, they wouldn’t be producing a damned thing. And we wouldn’t be buying all the pre-packaged happiness those in charge are trying to sell us, leaving their shareholders very unhappy. Don’t get me wrong, they want people to be happy and feel good, but only if they buy it from them. Then the question is: How much happiness can you afford?
Their answer to that is: “You can afford a shit-load of happiness”, all ya gotta do is charge it to your credit card. Pretty cool. Instant happiness. All ya got to do is call that 800 number, or click on ‘purchase’, and happiness is on it’s way [I can’t wait]. Only problem is, if ya get too happy, you’re gonna end up paying for it.
I know. Big F-ing deal. But it’s kind of a trip for me, cause I haven’t been doing much with color lately. And thank God for short term memory loss; I forgot how much fun it was and am busy rediscovering it again. [Finding stuff that you’ve lost is always fun, especially when you didn’t know it was missing]. It adds a new dimension to my work: color.
I guess I stopped because I was gettin’ lazy. Like in “I don’t wanna do jack-shit” lazy. And although my crude pseudo-psychedelic drawings don’t look like a lot of work has gone into them, actually a lot has. Except recently when it hasn’t, when I’ve been content to just draw crude pseudo-psychedelic pencil or ink sketches.
Those ‘quickies’ are fast and easy, and don’t require a commitment from me, or mean I have to do anything else with them or see em again when I’m done. Adding color, for me, is like doing coloring books as a kid. Always had to stay within the lines. And oh, those hard choices ya had to make when ya had a deluxe set of 64 crayons. It was like being in coloring heaven. But it didn’t last long. I’d pick out the coolest pictures and have at em, and then burn out. [My god, that sounds like my career in Corrections].
So, when I add color, it’s like doing a coloring book, except I have to draw the whole book first before I can color it in. And if I want the pictures to look really good, I gotta first rough them out in pencil and then add details with ink (cheap ball-point pens), erase all the pencil work, and hit em again with colored pencils. I’ve left crayolas far behind; about the same time I started writing on bathroom walls.
Damn. That sounds like a lot of work. And just to crank out a crude pseudo-psychedelic drawing. I think the best part is the process. The end result…so so.
Okay. Some of you may have been wondering about my drawing style, which may be called ‘weird shit’, but is a more Surreal and a little psychedelic in nature. A common theme being making the real unreal; and the unreal very real.
I started drawing the way I do sometime in 1967. I had just spent the summer, home from school, working in a gas station for college money, and honing my drawing skills. I did many large pencil drawings that year, drawing whatever I could organize into a still-life, and rendering it as accurately and realistically as possible. Spend a lot of time just looking at stuff, it’s line, it’s form, it’s volume and how lighting affected it.
But a funny thing happened when I got back to school that Fall. Everybody was smoking Pot. Gawd damn, it was a new world. All my friends were smoking weed, and had just gotten “turned on” that summer like me. Things were beautiful on campus. Everybody was higher than a kite. Music sounded better, with groups like Cream, Credence and Hendrix blowing our minds; and even Bob Dylan was suggesting that “everybody must get stoned”. Wow, everything looked new, and was seen from a new perspective. Us students were “Feelin’ Groovy.”
Needless to say, I too got a little bit caught up in that craze. And soon developed a yearning for all things psychedelic. All that, and a passion for surrealism, had an impact on my work (I was an art major). All my artwork started to look like big hallucinations. I’ve always enjoyed figurative work and have kept it as one of the major focuses in my drawings. [Don’t do painting anymore].
The one above (and below) was painted in 1974/75. A fairly good likeness, especially if you’ve never seen me before. It portrays where I was at then. I painted it while wearing earphones listening to Led Zeppelin. I was into a high-fiber diet, and a…oh yeah…had a beard. Pretty trippy. You might say that this was one of Hansi’s earlier hallucinations.
I hate telephone solicitors, or Tele-marketers, as they’re called. Even went so far as to post my name and number on the National Do Not Call registry. A lot of good that did. Even after the six months it took for the registry to kick-in, I’m still getting calls. Not from the big corporations like AT&T or B of A, but local outfits. Maybe I need to be on the Local Do Not Call registry.
Anyway, I’m striking back! Now when I get one of them calls (which is usually at an inopportune time, which is always cause I hate talking on the phone; that’s all I seemed to do when I was working), I have a little fun.
When the phone rings and I answer, “Hello”. A voice comes on after about fours seconds, and if they are not busy still chewing food, or appear to have been interrupted during some phone-bank banter (usually about how someone fooled another sucker). They ask, “Is Mr. Hansi there?” This pisses me off greatly, cause they tend to mispronounce my name. It’s Hans, as in schwance. Not “Hands” or “Huntz” [dumb fuckers], or “Hanes” like in the underwear. I ask who’s calling, which sends them into their spiel. About half way through I say. “Hansi’s not here man, he’s in the Joint (prison)”. Oops. Not quite they demographic they were looking for.
Another time, some police organization working with ‘at risk’ kids called and wanted to sell me tickets to the sheriffs rodeo as a fund raiser so these kids could attend. I thought that could be a trip, watching cops in squad-cars lassoing and hog-tying crooks. But no, I replied, in a manner drawn from years of probationers lying their asses off in front of me, “I don’t talk to the cops man.” Whereupon he replied, “I’m not a policeman, just a volunteer”. Whereupon I re-assured him that, “I don’t talk to the cops man!” The more he tried to tell me he was not the Police, the more I told him I didn’t talk to the cops. “I ain’t no snitch, I don’t want no rat-jacket on my ass next time I had to go Inside.”
That was a good one. Never got a call from them again. Wonder who’s gonna call me next? Wonder who’s gonna answer?
I did these when I was in my ‘women riding rockets’ period. Actually it was more like a phase than a period, because I only did two of them, maybe three at the most, so it’s more like a a passing fancy or brief obsession at best. And that’s all. I don’t draw women on rockets anymore. Period! However, a little re-visiting of the subject would sure tickle a brief obsessive fanciful phase of my life, as I hope it is tickling yours.
These are among my favorites, and who doesn’t enjoy riding on a rocket? These gals sure do. I’ll leave it up to your imagination (or filthy mind) to determine why they’re enjoying it so much.
I have no clue when I last used this drawing, or what that post was about. But having had a caseload of domestic violence offenders for a few years immediately came to mind, sorta like flashbacks from a traumatic experience. My career as a probation officer wasn’t so traumatic for me, but sure was for my clients, especially all those wife-beaters I had to supervise.
I loved those guys, not for what they did, but for the simple triggers that set them off. I mean like wow, coming home drunk and slapping around the wife because: a) Dinner wasn’t on the table. b) She wouldn’t give him sex. c) She was spending too much money on shit like clothes for the kids and food, (which severely cut in to his beer money). Or d) All of the above in that order. Well that sure made ya a man. Not!
My job was to domesticate all that violence inside these guys, and try to tame some of that wild behavior which got them into trouble. The threat of jail was my biggest weapon, but a little reason and common sense went a long way too. Although I faced a lot of denial and excuses from these guys, when I pointed out that: a) They were arrested and spent a night in jail, b) Went to court and was convicted of a crime, and c) Had to see Mr. Hansi every month who made ya go to 52 weeks of counseling, or else we started with # a) again. Well, all that was a fairly obvious indicator that something wasn’t working for them in their personal lives, and needed to be changed! Some of them got the message; some of them had to start all over again with #a). Still can’t believe I did that for a living.
On a more serious note. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, be it physical or emotional, there is help out there. I’d start by checking out the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Nobody should have to tolerate an abusive relationship.
I drew this one from a book of Albrecht Durer wood-prints I have. I forgot what the illustration was about, some saint or another. I happened to like the gesture, and did a fair job of copying it. Looks to me like this holy man is about to receive something from on high. The phrase “Holy Shit” immediately came to mind. I think ol’ Albrecht is rolling over in his grave.
Sometime things don’t work, no longer function as they should, or serve no useful purpose. Well that’s me. I’m unemployed and It’s back to full-time retirement.
See, I retired in 2004, at age 57 (damn that’s almost ten years ago), but within six months was back working part-time for my former employer: Probation-land, and have been doing so ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of them guys that lives and breathes all that law enforcement bullshit, and can’t live without it. Hell No! But what I do live and breath for is the ability to still make money. That’s why I sucked it up and have been fighting crime in retirement; it pays well….fighting it, not so much the crime itself.
Working in our local Juvenile Facility was a real trip. The place was like a modern prison for kids, with individual cells, electronic doors, everything monitored on video. The best part was my co-workers; most of them young Hispanic studs in their late twenties with gizz levels way off the charts. It was kinda like getting a testosterone contact-high being around those guys. Lately I’ve just been pushing paper on some huge Drunk Driver caseload (boring). Not as much fun as the adrenalin-rush I got breaking up fights and spraying gang-bangers with pepper.
Now my hours have been cut way back (was only workin’ 12 a week), and I can only work when another P.O. is on vacation. Union bullshit, but I can dig it. So my sweet post-retirement gig is coming to an end. Sweet being a misnomer for a lower realm of Hell where old Lucifer was showing a new arrival the options of how they will be spending Eternity. The new arrival looked all around at the hideous tortures going on, and spied a group of people shitting an huge piles of shit drinking coffee. Well, Mr Newbie, having been a government bureaucrat his whole life, started to thinking, “I can do this, it’s not too different from my career in Corrections”. So Lucifer gave him the assignment, and there he sat, somewhat content, until a loud voice shouted out: “Okay you sinners, break-time over, everybody back on their heads.”
Maybe not working ain’t so bad. Maybe I should put things in perspective with all this part-time work. Maybe it’s all about how ya look at it. And maybe things are not always as good as they first appear.
Here’s another favorite from the Archives. I drew this one specifically for a post I did on the “Hershey Highway”. [Which is not my way]. I didn’t have a model for this one, cause I was trying to illustrate a concept, and to do so literally. With mouth-watering, chocolatey good, bite-size morsels of Hershey’s sweetness snaking it’s way up someone’s rectum. Maybe they’re coming out instead of going in. I can’t remember if I drew this one in forward, or reverse.