Friday, December 5, 2008

1963: A year of change

After working on the Corvair announcement ads I was intrigued by the car and decided to buy one which I drove for a couple of years. I was pleased with the car and later bought a 1962 convertible. One night after work, my wife and I had dinner with Bob Rector, an illustrator friend, when we were driving home on the expressway a car unexpectedly cut in front of me to exit. I slammed on the brakes and the Corvair went into a wild spin, crashing into a bridge abutment. I flew out of the car and hit the pavement, severely damaging my ear. Seatbelts weren't the norm in those days. The Corvair was a dangerously unstable car under certain circumstances and I've read that it was also pron to rollovers, luckily that didn't happen to me since I had a convertible. I recall other friends that have had similar problems. Below: After the spin-out.

HB Self Portrait

There was a Van Gogh exhibition in the Detroit Museum of Arts at the time and I decided to do a painting "Self Portrait With Bandaged Head" as Vincent had done. This is an oil painting on canvas.
The Detroit advertising art business was beginning to change, Chevrolet and other automobile companies were starting to use more and more photography for their ads and catalogs. I was also yearning for a change and got an offer from a new art studio that was just starting up. The studio had put together a great staff and were interested in hiring me as an illustrator.

Al Hutt

Al Hutt, a great rep, and Fred McNabb, a topnotch designer, started up a new studio and it looked like it was going to be a real winner. Above is an ad from the 1962 Detroit Art Director's Annual, Al was working for Art Group at the time. I remember showing this ad to Tom Clarke's wife Joan, she loved Al and kissed the page, if you look closely you will see her lipstick imprint.

Al Hutt Poster

I decided to leave the freelance group and joined Al Hutt Studios, a move that I felt would introduce me to a whole new set of clients and invigorate my career. I would also be working with Mark English, a rapidly rising star, and a few old friends such as Don Silverstein, Bob Rector, Doug Parrish and Ray Burdzinski. The studio had a total of seven art salesman, including Bob Witmer who would be bringing work in from Chicago. Above is the poster that Bob Hohnstock designed, this ad ran in the 1963 Detroit Art Director's Annual.

Lithograph 2 copy

At about the same time I decided to take a course in making lithographic prints at my former art school, the Society of Arts of Crafts in Detroit. Throughout my career I have always been very active in the fine arts, exhibiting in the Michigan Artist Show and other exhibitions. I believe that it's not only important for artists to constantly be growing and developing but to challenge themselves as well.
The abstract figure study above was one of my first lithograph prints.


Here are some more recent figure experiments which I created on the computer. They are quite similar in concept as the lithograph I did 45 years ago.

1 comment:

C. L. DeMedeiros said...

I was born in 1963
I think is a beautiful year
I'll check your blog more often