Friday, November 12, 2010
Portrait of an Artist on his Birthday
I guess we should have known that The Great Chet (aka Birthday Boy) would be involved in some artistic endeavor; from the age of three he was curiously investigating things and drawing them. And I remember the first photograph he took - I think he was about 7 years old - we were walking around looking at some shops when he asked to use the camera for a picture he needed to take. His dad hung the heavy camera around Chet’s neck and we watched as he took a shot of an old, beat up tennis shoe lying in the gutter – even then he had an eye for the unique.
Chet also spent hours creating unusual things from wood, wire, batteries, pieces of concrete, food items, etc, etc – nothing was off limits when it came to his vision. He made heads from latex, monster makeup, fake blood, even a movie starring his friend, Chris, (who, being naturally artistic himself allowed Chet to stuff watery cream of rice cereal into his mouth) as Chet filmed the sequence between bouts of hysterical laughter. Chet was never lacking in the sense of humor department. I remember the time he walked in, started a conversation with us and once he had our full attention he turned sideways, revealing that half of his head was shaved – causing his dad to yelp in shock which was the hilarious reaction Chet was looking for. Which reminds me of the other painter in the family, Chet’s dad, Jim. Chet and his brother, Jack, always delighted in Jim’s painting skills as well as his personal quirks. If the boys knew Jim was going to pick up food from the Drive-Thru they’d gather up the neighborhood kids and sit on the porch awaiting his return. When Jim would show up without the food (which he did nearly ever time) they’d casually ask, “Where’s the food?” then laugh themselves silly as Jim ran back to the car and took off with a roar.
Speaking of Jim, I’m putting my blog on hold so that I can work with Jim on his blog (www.zarsart.blogspot.com) it seems that I can only handle one important job at a time (could it be that years of exposure to all this creative zaniness has caused a disconnect in my smart cells?)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHET - we love you!