Friday, June 19, 2020

Supermarket Panic part 8

The weather reports had predicted heavy rains today, and for the next 5 or 6 days, so I made sure to get the lawn mowed yesterday.  Of course, they were wrong, or maybe lying.  It was warm and sunny all day, which makes for a hot evening in my apartment.  But it also meant I had the day free for other  things, including art.

In the afternoon I headed up to Ocean Grove to continue work on my latest supermarket print.  In advance of that, I had done a little online research last night.  One idea I had a while back was to dress my shopping cart pusher in a sorority sweatshirt, like someone I had observed in a local supermarket several weeks ago. Didn't note which sorority she had been part of, not that I wanted to use a real one for this purpose.  There are hundreds of Greek letter organizations around the country, the first one (Phi Beta Kappa) starting at my college centuries ago.  Often the initials are based on a slogan.  Sometimes this is a secret.  My college had a number of secret societies, with long existences, including one just known as the FHC, but the meaning of the letters was unknown, at least to the general public- I guess the members know.  Eventually it was decided that the FHC stood for the "Flat Hat Club".  I don't know, I was never a member, but it was decided to adapt that name for the student newspaper, and so the weekly newspaper was named The Flat Hat.  I offered to do illustrations for them when I was a freshman, but the graphics editor didn't approve my style. As a senior, my good friend Dave Lasky was the graphics editor, so I was invited to come join the bullpen every Thursday night.  (The paper came out on Fridays. so Thursday night was when the whole paper was laid out, and graphics people got the job of doing illustrations and otherwise filling up the empty spaces in the paper before it went to press.)  Didn't pay great, only about $2 an hour, but when you are a college student every little bit helps, plus I do have a page that includes one of my signed illustrations and one of Patton Oswalt's comic strips. We were both on the Flat Hat graphics staff for a  year, but I don't recall ever meeting the guy.  These days it's probably all done on computers, but back then everything was stuck together with wax, and all shading was done with Zip-A-Tone.  Actually back in those days, Dave and I started a secret art society, named for something we knew and we abbreviated it to the three initials.  What was it?  I told you, it was a secret.

I came up with a phrase that I felt described the situation with this sorority girl. a three word phrase (in English- I don't speak Greek), and translated the three initials into their Greek counterparts. Last night I had looked up the Greek alphabet and determined which Greek letters were the equivalent of the English letters I was using, thus naming my imaginary sorority.  Verified that no actual Greek letter fraternity or sorority with those initials ever existed.  Today I added those Greek letters to her sweatshirt, at least what was visible in the image.  What is the phrase?  I told you, I can keep a secret.

Whether Greek or Latin alphabet, in woodcut all letters have to be drawn and cut backwards in order to print forwards.  For now I decided to keep the letters white, and make the sweatshirt gray.  Played around a bit more with the perspective on the shelves, and some items on them.  It's coming together. No Molly again today, so I brought music, the first solo album from Mike Watt. Played bass with a number of important bands (mostly punk), and pretty much knew everybody, so when he decided to do this solo album in the mid 90's he as able to call on over 50 other musicians and singers to be part of it.  Ball Hog or Tug Boat also included Ray Pettibone illustrations (did a lot of Sonic Youth as well) and 17 songs.   I actually saw Mike Watt perform live several years later. The Stooges had reformed and were playing at various festivals, including original lead singer Iggy Stooge (aka Iggy Pop), but the original bass player had died, so Watt filled in for him on that tour.  My friend Doug had come up to NYC for the occasion. Several years earlier I had seen two other performers who ended up on the album performing live- Evan Dando and Dave Pirner, singing leads with their respective bands at a show in Nashville that I saw with my friend Doug.  We've seen a lot of good music together over the years.


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