Boots on the Ground
8 x 8
Oil on Raymar Panel
James Gurney is sponsoring a challenge. The challenge is to write a story using only 6 words and then illustrate the story with a painting. The most famous 6 word story was written by Ernest Hemingway. "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn." Hemingway's story is poignant. Baby shoes...never worn. Such a sad tale.
When deciding on a 6 word tale I started thinking about what would also be poignant. I often turn to my life and what affected me. As a child, a military brat, my siblings and I would count down days. Days to the next duty station, days to the next holiday, days to any significant event. Then I thought about who else would also count down...I can only imagine how many military members have counted down the days till they get to go home and see their loved ones. It came to me. Boots on the ground...counting days. The days until the deployment is over and they can return home. That was it...that was the story I would tell.
I began by distressing the panel I was using. I used some burnt umber and wiped it to look used. Then I put lines...4 down and one diagonally across. A traditional counting tool I have seen used. I used these lines to cover the background. A visual depiction of counting days. Painted the boots in the middle of the panel and put the lettering down on one side...down to the ground. Counting days goes across the bottom and leads your eye off the panel.