The things I learn ...
Rambling about the art of making little magical moments.
This reminds me of Dale Bedford. A technical engineer guy for fiber optics. Who I met drawing caricatures at Six Flags over Texas. He was a grown man with an established career that wanted to loosen up and rediscover his creativity of his childhood. He did okay, drew like an engineer. Kinda tight,stiff drawings. Not a lot of flow or rhythm in his work.
Eventually life separated our pathways we went on our individual ways. Then as life randomness often happens,we met up about ten Years later. I was drawing at a blues festival. I had some time so it visited the arts guild tent. And in this tent was a booth full of these large elaborate Italian baroque. Period catholic paintings of Jesus. Dark emotional masterpieces with drama in every brush stroke of heavenly light coming of the flesh of Jesus. They stopped me dead in my tracks with their beauty. I would never hang one in my house mind you, just not my style, but wonderful works none-the-less.
Then I hear this familiar voice behind me. "Got's pretty good hasn't I?" It was Dale.
These? Are yours? I asked in amazement. And yes, they were his works of original paintings. Here's what happened in the time he left our group of caricaturists back then.
He left our group feeling a lack of confidence when he compared himself to the rest of us. I wish I knew this. I'm sure I'm. Guilty of leading him to that conclusion with knowing I said something lightly that was taken in the wrong context or whatever..
So he picked up a new hobby. Ti Kwan Do. He became very good at the martial arts. In fact it was during one of his black belt requirements that he got kicked just above the left eye. Knocked him cold. Concussion the whole shebang. A week after the accident he felts as if he was able to drive to the store. During his trip he blacked out and ran into a tree. In the hospital they ran scans and tests and found that some bone fragments had broken off from his eye socket of his skull and were loose digging around in his brain, causing all sorts of problems. In short, they had to do surgery to remove them or he would face very serious damage.
Well the operation and damage caused by the accident left him not knowing how to read or write. A major part of his rehabbing required relearning from about the sixth grade level and up from there. And part of his personal addition to all his newfound school work was learning to draw simple cartoons. From a "How to draw cartoons" children's book. He got pretty good at drawing everything in the book, then he got another "how to" art book, then another. And started accelerating his drawing skills and knowledge as re rehabbed. The he was so confident in his art skills he took an oil painting class at the community college. And the "this just started to happen. I found myself duplicating art history examples from. The Italian baroque period. " Dale explained.
All of this story of his was unfolded before me by him over a nice Little lunch. My only response to this was "Dale, you have a sock hanging out of your pant leg and no sock on your foot, but you have your shoe on."
"That's what happen to it!" I was looking for that sock all morning.
All of this recollection about Dale moved me to look him up and reconnect, but this is all I found. I've once again missed an extraordinary personal opportunity to better myself by knowing someone remarkable.
The last memory I have of Dale was visiting him after a class he was teaching an art class for people with demnsia. He had a little two legged chihuahua with him that rode around in his backpack.
This was a listing in Google that I found on Dale.
November 5-28, 2010
The third part of the themed November exhibit is work by the late Arlington artist and teacher Dale Bedford whose artistic talent blossomed after he suffered traumatic brain injury in an accident. Dale's large scale oils on canvas have a depth of meaning and spiritual content."
From Ty Walls:
After four decades drawing smiles I often encounter remarkable people. I've learned to create little special moments for people from all around the world with my simple smile-drawing skills. But sometimes, life creates little magical moments for me. This blog is my attempt to share them with you.