Sunday, November 30, 2014


Meusse-Argonne Cemetery in France

A significant part of the drive behind the work we do is my thankfulness for having a shot at life. And a human life at that…most life on earth has been, and is, one of the other myriad of life forms.  And then to be an American architect on top of that - so many of us have not had that opportunity.

I think of Gary Hahn, a first year architecture student at USC of great talent and promise.  I wondered what he would be like in second year when we moved from basic to architectural design.  He didn’t show up – it turned out that he was killed in a rock climbing accident over the summer.

I think of Lionel Dover, my mother’s oldest brother, who fought in World War I at the age of eighteen, but married before he left.  He was wounded and in a fox hole when his buddy went back for help, but when they returned he was gone, never to be seen again.  His name is immortalized on a wall of the missing soldiers at the Meusse-Argonne Cemetery in France.  Josephine never remarried for as a Mormon she held the belief that marriage was for all time and eternity.

I think of all the grave markers in the children’s section of our cemeteries – those who hardly got a taste of life at all.

So I work hard and try to make sure I carry my share of the load.  Helena has always bought into this mind set and together we are thankfully living the life we began for ourselves over four decades ago.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Willem de Kooning

de Kooning, my portrait, and one of his drawings

I was slow to appreciate abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) which may be attributed largely to the almost excessive amount of accolades piled on him since the 1950s and the ridiculous artspeak with which much of it was written.  But eventually I had to admit his work was original, compelling, accomplished, and moving.  I probably like his “Woman” series as much as any of his work.  Perhaps I feel a touch of remorse for my belated acceptance, but now I think of his approach as being “all over the place” and I’m literally indecisive as to how to represent him.  A quick pencil sketch?