Even If You Can’t Dance / Incluso Si No Puedes Bailar

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

AS MANY OF you know, I majored in art and grew up wanting to be, simply, an artist. My Mother the Dowager Duchess, although proud of my talents, told me being an artist was not an acceptable career choice (unless, of course, I was the next Picasso, “… and we all know that will never happen” she said). I have a feeling my father would have supported my choice, but that’s water under the bridge. He even wanted me to get my master’s in fine arts, but I thought, “What’s the point?” I worked at times as a graphic artist, as an illustrator in Medical Illustration, and in publishing and publications design in many different capacities. For a while, I continued to carry a sketchbook wherever I went and was never shy about sketching in public even if people looked over my shoulder. But time passed, I built a career, and I rarely pulled out the sketchbook. Years later, when I tried, I was much too self-conscious. And my attempts at sketching in private frustrated me. “You can’t draw!” I would tell myself.

I’ve been talking for a while about getting back into drawing for my own pleasure. I did a sketch for a local (retired) gallery manager here and didn’t disappoint myself (click here). Finally, I’m back to it. And with each passing day, I’m happier. And I don’t care whether I think I can draw or not. I can draw if I want to.

I pulled out an old sketchbook to carry around, having no idea how old it actually was. I found the image above and the first two below within its pages. I remember sketching at our friend’s house on Cape Cod, Massachusetts around 1990. And I remember stopping after saying to myself, “You can’t draw!” and putting the book away. Since moving to Spain, I tried again in the same book — without even noticing there were other sketches there; I was dissatisfied, and I again put the book away. The final image is what I’m currently happily doodling. I’ve never thought I could dance either, but I don’t seem to care so much anymore.

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COMO MUCHO DE vosotros ya sabráis, me especialicé en arte y crecí queriendo ser, simplemente, un artista.. Mi Madre La Duquesa Viuda aunque orgullosa de mi talento, me dijo que ser artista no era una opción de carrera aceptable (a menos que, por supuesto, yo fuera el próximo Picasso, “… y todos sabemos que eso nunca sucederá”, dijo. ). Tengo la sensación de que mi padre hubiera apoyado mi elección, pero eso es agua debajo del puente. Incluso quería que obtuviera mi maestría en bellas artes, pero pensé: “¿Cuál es el punto?” Trabajé a veces como artista gráfico, como ilustrador en ilustración médica, y en diseño de publicaciones en muchas capacidades diferentes. Por un tiempo, continué llevando un cuaderno de bocetos donde quisiera y nunca tuve miedo de dibujar en público, incluso si la gente miraba por encima de mi hombro. Pero el tiempo pasó, construí una carrera y rara vez saqué el cuaderno de bocetos. Años después, cuando lo intenté, yo era demasiado consciente de mí mismo. Y mis intentos de dibujar en privado me frustraron. “¡No puedes dibujar!”, me decía a mí mismo.

He estado hablando un rato mientras volvía a dibujar por mi propio placer. Hice un dibujo para un gerente (retirado) de galerías aquí y no me decepcioné (haz clic aquí). Así que, finalmente, estoy de vuelta a eso. Y con cada día que pasa, soy más feliz. Y no me importa si creo que puedo dibujar o no. Puedo dibujar si quiero!

Saqué un viejo cuaderno de bocetos para llevar, sin tener idea de la antigüedad que tenía. Encontré la imagen de arriba y las dos primeras debajo de sus páginas. Recuerdo dibujar en la casa de nuestro amigo en Cape Cod, Massachusetts, alrededor de 1990. …. Y recuerdo que me detuve después de decirme: “¡No puedes dibujar!” y de guardar el cuaderno. Desde que me mudé a España, lo intenté de nuevo en el mismo cuaderno, sin darme cuenta de que había otros bocetos allí; estaba insatisfecho y guardé el cuaderno otra vez. La imagen final es la que actualmente estoy felizmente garabateando. Nunca pensé que pudiera bailar tampoco, pero parece que ya no me importa mucho.

Unfinished: Maggie, our friend’s dog.
Inacabada: Maggie, la perra de nuestra amiga.
Unfinished: I tried again I think about 7 years ago and said, again, “You can’t draw!”
Inacabado: Lo intenté de nuevo, creo que hace unos 7 años y dije de nuevo: “¡No puedes dibujar!”
In progress: And, now, I can if I want to.
En progreso: Y, ahora, puedo si quiero.

San Geraldo And The Pig

In the summer of ’82, my parents and The Kid Brother drove up from New York for their one and only visit to us in Boston. We moved, spur of the moment, to Los Angeles a few months later.

San Geraldo thought it would be fun if we all drove to the town of Plymouth (home of Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock) about 45 minutes away. Plimoth Plantation was home to some of the first people to emigrate to America from England on the ship The Mayflower. Four of San Geraldo’s 10-great-grandparents were on that ship.

The “English Village” portion is a living history museum, which means everything is meant to be authentic. The staff stay in character and look and act as if they are living in the period from 1620, the time the settlement was founded, until 1691, when it was abandoned. It’s beautiful and fascinating.

In one reconstructed home, the housewife was preparing dinner. A chicken (or maybe it was a goose) carcass lay on the table surrounded by freshly chopped vegetables and a cloud of flies. The house reeked. Like I said, authentic.

(Click the images. You can almost smell the authenticity.)

FAMILY TIME AT NEARBY WAMPANOAG HOME SITE.
NOW STAFFED BY NATIVE PEOPLE FROM A VARIETY OF NATIONS.

There were pigs out back. The stench was awful, so we quickly walked to the other end of town and stopped, at which point My Mother The Dowager Duchess said, “What happened to Jerry?” He was nowhere in sight.

We had only just passed our first anniversary but I already knew him well enough to know exactly where he was.

“I’m sure he’s back there petting the pig,” I said.

The Kid Brother said, “Are you kiddin’?!?”

And I said, “Nope.”

So, we walked back through the village. There he was, scratching the biggest sow behind her ear and whispering sweet nothings.

My parents wrinkled their noses, but laughed. The Kid Brother scowled and snapped, “Tell him to wash his hands!”

THE KID BROTHER WITH SAN GERALDO.
ONE OF THE TWO WAS IN HOG HEAVEN.