Friday, June 30, 2023

Two dozen partisans, wearing threadbare clothes and shoes that were falling apart at the seams, advanced towards us

Two dozen partisans, wearing threadbare clothes and shoes that were falling apart at the seams, advanced towards us, headed by their leader, a tall man with bright eyes and a square jaw, and followed by the boy, with whom I had escaped from the burning truck. 

They surrounded the two SS soldiers, forced them to kneel down, and tied their hands behind them. 

The Germans were shivering in fear. Were these the same people who—only a few days ago—had strutted around their victims on the way to the execution site? Were these the same people who had charged ahead, wielding their batons, to capture the boy and me? Their sense of authority had collapsed. 

And the little French they used to know must have flown right out of their heads, to the point that not a word was left. One of them cleared his throat a few times, started to say something, then took a breath, somewhat haltingly, only to end up swallowing his spit. And the other made a failed attempt to deny who he was. In a weak, shaky voice, he mumbled, “Ich bin kein Deutsch.”

“Really?” said the leader. “You are not a German? Could have fooled me!”

He made a slight gesture to his men and at once, they raised the Germans to their feet. Then they took them away, not before stripping them of their boots. After all, good footwear was nothing to sneeze at.

Meanwhile, the traitor wiped the beads of sweat off his upper lip. “Will they be shot?” he asked, anxiously.

“No,” said the boy. “They will join the others, down at our camp.”

“What others?” 

“Those who escaped from the burning vehicles. We have rounded them up.”

“Too bad,” said the traitor, who must have been hoping, up to this moment, to be rescued by the Germans. “I mean, too bad for them.”

With that, he swung around and was just about to dart out into the woods when two of the partisans laid their hands him. They relieved him of his Pistolet Automatique and shoved him to the ground.

Marriage before Death

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Sunday, June 11, 2023

The humble beginning of a new sculpture

This is the humble beginning of a new sculpture. Usually I don't show the process, and wait until the piece is finished in as polished a state as can be. But today, I'm sharing with you how I start building it. I always start by creating not only the face but also the hands and feet -- those are the parts that are most expressive and I give them the attention they deserve. Then I creat a wire armature--a 'stick figure' if you will--and start building the limbs and the body onto this armature. Next time, I'll share how it'll look.

So this is close to the finished piece-- one of two pieces I have in mind. I touched its 'vallies' with brown shoe-polish to accentuate the depth and its ridges with a dab bronze acrylic paint to accentuate the lines. Because I used oil-based clay on a metal armature, he can move his limbs and my next step will be to try and animate his movements.