Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gay Marriage: Over and Over and-a Over Again

This 8” x 8” mixed media distressed painting is part of my new series,
Gay Dictionary

The dictionary is composed of artworks based on words related to the term “Gay” in all permutations of meaning including puns, synonyms, similar terms, and antonyms.

I’m finishing the first six of these – FINALLY! Now, I only have 19 more to start and finish in the first set of small paintings. Actually, I’ve started 2 more, but just barely.

The image in this particular painting is from our August 15th Marriage Ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, officiated by the Reverend Pat Bumgardner. The painting might also be titled “Same Sex Marriage,” but I thought two words was enough. I've telescoped the image because I wanted to convey the feeling that the issue of "Gay Marriage" has been front and center this entire year. "Everybody's doing it, doing it. Even all the birds and bees"... well not quite. But, there is this social, and seemingly inevitable cultural drift pushing us toward acceptance by state, and at least some denominations of the Christian church.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dictionary Series

The First Six Small Works - Steps 7 through 11

This is the third entry in a batch about the new Dictionary Series, all artworks based on or related to the word "gay."*

I’m getting there slowly but surely – I think I may be finished with these paintings by 2013. ☹

Actually, I’m not too disturbed that the work is going so slowly – we’ve been doing a wedding, and two celebrations in two separate locations, and we’ve had company as well – just too much partying. ☺

These first six paintings should be done before we celebrate our wedding in Lancaster. One of the six will be titled “Gay Wedding.” The others are variously, “Jaunty,” “Vivacious,” “Pink Triangle,” “Gay,” and “Saphic.” I’ve started two more, and I’d like to get another of the Series II Wave pastels started before we pack up to go to south Florida. However, there’s a lot more going on this month, so we’ll just have to see.


* First Entry titled "Dictionary Series,"second, "Mixed Media Distressed Paint."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Gay Wedding

Now, let me see. I could substitute any of the following for the word “gay."

Our Happy Wedding

Our Exciting Wedding

Our Merry Wedding

Our Peppy Wedding

Our Perky Wedding

Our Snappy Wedding

Our Jazzy Wedding

Our Jaunty Wedding

Yes, our wedding was and is all of these things, but it was definitely a same-sex marriage. So,
 I must keep the title, Our Gay Wedding.

A Brief History

Joe and I went to the New York City Clerk’s office on July 19th and completed our marriage application, and on August 15th at 3:00 P.M. the Reverend Pat Bumgardner married us at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. It was a small ceremony with 9 people present including Joe and myself. However, as one of the party said to Reverend Pat afterward, “I felt the presence of God.”

We are celebrating that August 15th marriage over and over again. On September 15, 2012 we celebrated our wedding with our Rehoboth Beach, Delaware friends. In October we will return to Lancaster to celebrate with friends and family there. Finally, this winter we will celebrate with friends in south Florida. In part we celebrate repeatedly because after 44 years of living in sin ☺ , Joe and I are tied together by a Christian Church ceremony and have a license that is legal in the state of New York. There was no point in doing the ceremony in Florida where we have our legal residence, as it is doubtful such arrangements will be legal during our lifetime. Never the less WE ARE MARRIED!

So, Why Bother After Being Together 44 Years?

As I have explained to some gay friends who seem a bit skeptical as to the practicality of marrying - there are at least three important reasons for doing so. First, Joe and I wanted to take this Twenty-first Century step now available to us to seal our relationship in the eyes of God and one state – and yes it does feel much more blessed and special compared to the past 44 years. It makes a profound difference in my understanding of our long-term commitment to one another. Second, legally we add another document to the powers and wills that protect us from total financial ruin should one of us die before the other. Third, we announce along with a cadre of LGBT people who have also taken advantage of legal marriage in those few states in which it is allowed that this final barrier to first class citizenship for eight percent of the population must be broken.

I had originally thought that Joe and I should just sneak off to NYC, get married and celebrate with friends later. Three couples insisted that they be present, and they took all the photographs of our ceremony and the dinner at Dos Caminos, Park Avenue afterward.

Some of these are from a beautiful book that a dear friend put together from photographs she and her husband took during and after the ceremony. Still others were taken by another dear friend and assembled into a second book. I find it significant that our heterosexual friends have been so extremely supportive of our plans to marry. They have demonstrated to me personally that this issue of “Gay Marriage” is purely social and should not be a political and/or religious Christian (Not all Christians) weapon, though it unfortunately is, and has been historically.

Anyway, who would have thought when Joe and I met back in 1968 that we would someday be able to be married!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Characters Pub, Lancaster Pennsylvania

I took the photographs of the food and drink I consumed at Characters Pub on the afternoon of my birthday dinner

For My Birthday Dinner

Joe took me out to Meghan’s and Jose’s Restaurant, Characters Pub, 38 North Christian Street (Behind the Court House and Fulton Bank), Lancaster, PA. I had one of Jose’s super dry and dirty martini’s with a huge lemon twist, just the perfect blend of salty olive and lemon infused juniper.

I also had New England clam chowder,so rich and creamy. For the main course the Characters Crab Cake, completed by the pale yellow sweet potato and grilled summer squashes was a knockout. The crab cake is pure crab, and the squash was so good that I stole some of Joe’s.

My birthday chocolate cake and ice cream were served on a huge white plate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate along with all the terms of endearment used by various persons over the past 68 years. These include but are not limited to; "Clark Klomp" and "HRM The Princess of the Netherlands." That last invented by one of our best friends who shall remain nameless here. The cake was truly one of the best chocolate cakes it has been my privilege to consume. As my granddad use to say, “My sufficiency was absolutely fulfilled!”

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sundance 25

September 2, 2012

This journal entry is a departure from Art and / or my art with the exception that it is also about Murray Archibald's design for Sundance.

Once again, Murray has hit the disco ball into a glittering land of light, music and dance. Nowhere does any of the literature promoting Sundance talk about the fact that Murray Archibald along with his partner, Steve Elkins and a small army of volunteers at Camp Rehoboth are responsible for creating the setting for the huge party celebrating another season of sunshine and fun at our beach. Of course, the title of “Camp Rehoboth” refers obliquely to the history of our community as a Christian based summer camp. And, that factoid refers to the values of the organizers, organization and volunteers at Camp Rehoboth. Nor does the literature delve much into the fact that the Camp Rehoboth organization is responsible for creating one of the most diverse and inclusive vacation communities in the USA. A vacation community that ranks 4th in LGBT population in the country. Having said that, I mustn’t forget that Rehoboth Beach itself is “the summer capital” of the United States, and that the Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach communities together represent the greatest family friendly beach resort on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Now that I’ve finished the infomercial for Camp, and Rehoboth Beach, take a look at my cheesy video showing the Twenty-fifth Sundance.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Camp Rehoboth Twenty-fifth Sundance Auction

Once again Joe and I were Sundance slaves this past week. ☺

Every year since we retired we spend the week before the auction and dance turning the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center into one massive stage set designed by Murray Archibald to sell gifted merchandise, furniture, dinners, cruise and other vacations, and art of all kinds. During the Auction there is a cocktail buffet and open bar with silent auction followed by live auction. We worked yearly on several different art auctions in Lancaster, Pennsylvania before we retired. However nothing compared in scale to the Camp Rehoboth Sundance Art Auction. This year, the 25th year of the Art Auction Murray’s design is better than ever.

I always put an artwork in the auction that sells under value, but it is all in a good cause for the LGBT community of Rehoboth Beach, one of the best places in the country in which to retire whether a member of our community or any other. In fact, it is primarily due to Camp Rehoboth and its founders, Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald that Rehoboth Beach is one of the most diverse and friendly TO ALL vacation (as well as year round) communities in the country. This year I had two works in the Art Auction.

The first, a pastel, “Broadkill River #2 (2008), 24” x 40,” and the second, a digital photographic montage of mixed media work and my photos titled “Romance of the Tropics #8,” winner of a judges Recognition Award in the Arts United 2010 exhibit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and exhibited in the retrospective of those exhibits this past spring in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

These artworks were among hundreds of other items at the auction, and I include a short video taken with my iPod the night of the auction.