Sunday, July 25, 2010

hemingway days, key west

Every year, as close to his birthday on July 21st as we can get it, Key West celebrates the life and times of the hard drinking author, adventurer and one time resident of Key West,
Ernest Hemingway.

The Annual Hemingway Days Festival is five days of events that include Marlin Fishing, KeyLime Pie Eating and Arm Wrestling contests, the Lorian Hemingway (his granddaughter) Short Story Competition, a Caribbean Street Fair, and a 5k Twilight Walk/Run.

And of course, there's the unique take on "The Running of the Bulls" and Sloppy's Joe's "Papa Look-A-Like Contest".

Sloppy Joe's is famous for having been Hemingway's favorite watering hole when he lived here in the 1920's and 30's. The "Keys quirky" element in the look-a-like thing is; the town fills with hundreds of white haired and bearded older guys but when Hemingway actually lived in Key West,
he looked more like this. .

than this. . .

Even so, we don't worry about that. We throw the party and enjoy the off-season reason to sell lots and lots of beer.
It's all good.

A handful of years ago I got a bug to do something really "Key Westie" and tried my hand at guiding walking tours of "haunted" Key West. I'd walk a prescribed route around town with a group of "visitors" telling ghost stories.
Somehow, part of the script was about the how and why of Hemingway in Key West.

If I remember it right, it goes something like this. . .

In 1928 Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, came to Key West on their way to or from Cuba and for one reason or another decided they wanted to buy a car.

So he went to the Ford dealer on Simonton St. - now "Casa Antiqua" - and the vehicle was ordered for him.

Of course in the 20's Key West was really only accessible by sea and shipping a car from Detroit to the end of the earth was going to take a little time.

So the car dealer rented Ernest and Pauline an apartment above the dealership where they lived long enough to have a son and write "A Farewell To Arms".
Then, as the story goes, Hemingway really got into the secluded Key West lifestyle and culture and decided to stay.

After a few years he bought the house on Whitehead St, now the Hemingway Home Museum, shared it with the brood of now famous Polydactyl (6-toed) cats, continued to write some of his best work, fish for Marlin and spend a lot of time at Sloppy Joe's Bar.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"bone island weekend, nude male show & sale"

Like I mentioned in my last post, July has turned out to be a fairly creative month. Just after the 4th, a friend came by the studio to tell me about an upcoming exhibition at the
"Art 612 Gallery"
on Fleming Street.
He suggested I might want to do a few pieces for the show and when I asked him what the theme of the exhibition was, he told me, a celebration of the male form.

I was intrigued; not since my years at The Art Students League doing figure drawings, portraits and life studies had I thought much about working with nude forms. I slept on the idea for a night, thought it might be fun and, the next morning, decided to move forward.
At that point, the show was less than two weeks away, I had a plateful of design projects working simultaneously and so for the sake of time, (time is a design element too) I chose to work with photography rather than acrylics.
I asked a fairly good-bodied friend if he'd sit for me, he agreed and we worked through a long productive afternoon shooting about 80 photographs.

"fantasy" 11" x 14" by Art Winstanley
Matted & framed, limited edition archival print. Available for purchase.

I knew, among the other artists in the show, there would be a few other photographers represented whose work would likely be in the stock and standard, dramatically lit,
black and white genre.
I'll admit that I shot some in the style too but, true to form, I ultimately wanted something other. So over the next week I worked the pictures over in PhotoShop and came away with a dozen finished works that I liked and of those, chose 3 limited edition prints that I would submit to the gallery.

En masse the "Bone Island Weekend Nude Male Show & Sale" made a good showing that ran for a long weekend and sold pretty well for an off-season event.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

t - shirt culture

Key West, like Martha's Vineyard, San Francisco or almost every other tourist destination, is notorious for T-shirt selling.

As it happens, I've been pretty busy these last few weeks in Designer mode. A logo here, a slim-jim there, some print ads, a handful of political radio spots and yes. . .
a few T-shirt designs.
In the time between each project, my design mind doesn't turn on and off. It just keeps doing it's thing and I end up with what I playfully call "collateral damage", overflow concepts that
are hoping to find a home further on up the road.
The designs pictured here are some of the latest.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

happy 4th. . .

Because it's the 4th of July, I thought I'd think out loud about the Declaration of Independence. . .

Like how the document was written, principally, by Thomas Jefferson but that he was backed and badgered by a committee that included John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. And how, each time that committee would make changes to the original draft, Jefferson would get a bit cranky about it.

And how the Second Continental Congress actually voted to approve the "resolution for independence" on July 2nd but due to the nature of any Congress, the wording of the declaration was debated, again revised and couldn't be rolled out for another two days.

Or how most folks think the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Congress on July 4th when the reality is that most of the delegates didn't sign it until August 2nd and the British government didn't even find out about it until August 30th.

And how the handwritten and signed copy of the declaration (the one we all recognize) is not Jefferson's handwriting but that of Timothy Matlack.

Or how Jefferson and Adams (at first friends, then political enemies, then friends again) were the only two signers to be elected president and that on the 50th anniversary of the declaration (July 4th, 1826), both Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other.

"Holiday Hammock", digital illustration, © 2009 Arthur A. Winstanley

. . . But I'm not gonna do that. I think, instead, I'll just lay back in the hammock and relax with a Mexican cerveza and a pound of Canadian bacon and try to figure out why any American would even consider taking such an amazing history and trade it in for a North American Union.



Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

launch the western union - VIDEO

This past Wednesday morning I rode over to the Truman waterfront to watch the Schooner Western Union slip back into the sea.
She had been dry docked for a restoration that took 14 months and it looked like about 200 anxious Key Westers came down to cheer the event.

It was a very cool way too spend the morning and naturally
I took stills and shot video.

Enjoy. . .

click arrow to start video. run time, 3:58