Bunting Glider Project & More

For the past month, hipster-hubby Joel has been doggedly working away on an old Bunting Glider set.   All three pieces were disassembled, professionally sand-blasted and primed, but this was only the beginning.


Bunting Glider company set

Bunting Gliders were made in Philadelphia via a complicated precision die process and were considered to be on the high end of the market.  You can tell Buntings by their stamp on the bottom but also by their signature rolled top.  This is hard to do and was a way to distinguish themselves from the competition.  Alas, by the time we got to our set, it was full of rust and came with a complimentary bullet hole.


Three-seater Bunting Glider

The 3-seater couch was in the worst shape.  Sand-blasting revealed just how bad things were.  Joel spent endless hours doing body work and custom-fitting aluminum patches.  He even used some stock from an Airstream factory tour.  We were the only people who took them up on the offer so I guess hoarding sometimes really does pay off.


Bunting Glider Company Chair

Luckily, the chairs were in nearly pristine condition and needed only paint.

While Joel has been in the garage, I’ve been in the studio.  “Langkawi Honeymoon” is proceeding slowly and with great difficulty.  There has been much effort but little indication whether this will lead to success.

I started out with a real memory of something seen on pilgrimage to Malaysia.  There was no photograph so I assembled this collage-like paste-up of images gleaned from the internet to approximate it.  The background is from the website of the resort where we stayed but the figures are just photographic artist models.

Langkowi Resort Paste up

“Langkawi Honeymoon” Paste-up

I used the paste-up as a basis for the initial sketch.

Langkowi Resort sketch

“Langkawi Honeymoon” Sketch

I’m employing a Moghul-inspired-folk-art approach for the distant jungle and an almost calligraphic technique for the water in the pool.  I had a vague idea that this might serve as a subliminal nod to Arabic writing but now that it’s a done deal, I’m not sure what it looks like other than strange.   I thought at first that I’d place the figures on firm ground but have decided to just let them float.  It’s a memory, more like something from a dream than a portrait.

Langkowi Resort In Process

“Langkawi Honeymoon” under-painting with initial details.

Here is the progress so far.

Langkawi Honeymoon in process

“Langkawi Honeymoon” in Process

I’m deeply insecure about this piece.  Is it a worthy effort, or an ego-busting invitation to fear, irritation, pity and laughter?   Who knows?  Sometimes, doing your best and vulnerability go hand in hand.


Small Steps

Time passes so quickly.   The goal was to complete at least two new, decent-sized paintings before the Jung Haus show, but lately it’s been looking like finishing one ambitious piece is more likely.   Sometimes, when the choice is between planting potatoes and spending time in the studio, the potatoes win.  I’ve slipped into the familiar pattern of nestling smaller, simpler things around a larger project.

The big piece is “Langkowi Resort,” which will take weeks to finish.  The image is based on a sight seen on pilgrimage in Malaysia.  The resort where we stayed attracted many young honeymooners from Saudi Arabia.  The sight of a lovely young woman in full cover standing beneath the broiling tropical Sun next to her Metallica-tee-shirt-clad husband  made quite an impression.   My aim is to paint the image as prettily as possible and leave any editorializing to the viewer, but we’ll see how that works out.

Langkowi Resort sketch

Just to keep things moving,”Romulus and Remus,” a 9″x6″ plywood piece is now done.  I’ve continued the same “paint by numbers” approach which worked so well for “Niqabs With Wallpaper.”

romulas and remus underpainting

“Romulus & Remus” Underpainting


Romulus & Remus

“Romulus & Remus”

The image is based on an Italian sculpture depicting the foundational myth of Rome.  The sculpture has been variously claimed as ancient Etruscan, Roman or even a medieval forgery, but whatever the origins, the image of a fierce wolf outfitted with creepy lady-boobs grabbed by toddlers sure sticks with you.  I added the patriotic diapers to bring the piece into the modern era, but the reason behind the golden-red wolf hair shall remain a secret.