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 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.
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.
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.
I used the paste-up as a basis for the initial 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.
Here is the progress so far.
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.