Sunday, September 1, 2013 least, to me

Here's the sketch, a little watercolor in my small sketchbook, based on a Wilson Friedman photographic portrait of a reenactor.
watercolor, about 4" x 6"
Just a quick, loose sketch, and an attempt to make him look a little lifelike with color. But as I was hitting the details, looking closely at his uniform...

...AAK! That's a swastika!*

And then I had this quite weird and unexpected "should I finish painting this guy?" moment. Was I somehow glorifying Adolf Hitler's regime, or approving the Nazis, by painting him?

Well, then I did finish painting him, but only after my moment of hesitation. It's a weird thing, how something like that can stop you dead in your tracks. I'm sure this reenactor is no more "Nazi" than I am, and he's portraying part of history so that he, and others, can learn from his portrayal--similar to the way there are reenactment regiments here near Saratoga, who portray American "Loyalists" (aka--those siding with the British during the Rev War years, who felt those battling the British were not being patriotic.)

So instead of whether or not to contine with him, I started worrying about gettig the colors in the right places.

*(Which you can barely make out because the one on his hat is teeny and the one on his jacket is at the bottom fade.)

1 comment:

  1. This is really good work. I thought he might have been a WWII Romanian or Austrian soldier at first.

    Rendering a swastika in the painting is OK I think, particularly if it's part of the re-en actor's uniform. It's a sad reminder how everyday, seemingly normal people can get caught up in the tide of an evil idea. A good lesson for all of us.