It was June 24th, 1938, and a celebration was in order as pugilist Jack Dempsey, aka The Manassa Mauler, blew out candles for his 43rd birthday, accompanied by his third wife (of four) Hannah and daughter Joan. A year prior, Kyril Petrov Vassilev, a Bulgarian painter of royalty, had moved to the US and befriended Dempsey. He had started this painting only 10 days prior to this shot. As you can see, he worked quickly.
I recently came into possession of
narcotics a book of paintings by EM “Buck” Schiwetz, an artist who painted the Texas landscape for decades. In the future, I imagine I will share more of his images, but I just wanted to focus on this one today and get your take. What do you think of the seagulls, the seaside shanties, the brown sky?
Perhaps it is only dusk or overcast, but the lights pop and glow so shimmery, that it looks like evening to me. This is one of my favorite Christmas images, though I confess (living the entirety of my life in Texas), I’ve never ridden a sleigh nor skated on an actual lake (just a rink). In this scene, the kids to the left are dressed for a frosty night and yet the couple on the ice seems to have tossed their coats aside. Perhaps they have worked up quite a sweat.
What about you? Have you ridden in a sleigh? Was it one-horse and open? Have you skated on a lake? Did the ice break and you fell through and someone reached to grab you and administered CPR before you came to an untimely death? No, wait, that was a Hallmark movie…