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    « Happy Thanksgiving | Main | From the Department of 'Things Don't Always Appear as They Seem' »

    Walter E. and Anne Foran

    The image below was a pencil sketch I did of the late Senator Walter E. Foran and his wife, Anne, in the early 1980s. The senator died of lung cancer in 1986. I did this portrait for my close friend, Frank, the senator’s son, who faithfully visits his mother in a care facility each and every week. I just returned from New Jersey and spent my last night at his home, where the picture hangs in his dining room. 30 years of sunlight have taken a toll, but it’s still in pretty good shape.

    Walter’s brother Dick was a Hollywood actor who starred in, predominantly, westerns. He was considered one of Hollywood’s singing cowboys during the 30s and 40s. Frank and I have been close friends for nearly 40-years.

    The actual drawing is larger and not cropped like this one, but this was the one that had the least reflection on the glass.

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    Reader Comments (27)

    Wow Dave, this is awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had no idea you were such a great artist !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you, Marie. I had no idea, either. Still don't, but I guess that's just the way I am.

    November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarie C.

    Such a gracious southern lady.

    Very interesting you say that, Linda. One of the things I remember most about Mrs. Foran is her rich Georgia accent, like in GWTW. I do declare... I can just hear her saying that. Yes, quite a lady.

    November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda M. Bush

    YOU DID THAT SKETCH???? YOU ARE REALLY GOOD! Holding out on us I see, you are more than meets the eye! No doubt you have a whole treasure of your works hidden somewhere. Love it!

    Yes, New Puppy, that was my work, and I just got off the phone with Frank. He said those eyes follow him no matter where he's looking at his father. He said I really captured him. That was nice of him to say so, because I told him I was always good at doing that with eyes, as if it were my specialty. I've had other artists tell me mouths are very difficult to capture, but what do I know?

    Thank you. I wish I had more in my arsenal, but I don't. I used to oil paint, too, but I gave them all away. One day, I'll go back to that. I always enjoyed it.

    November 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterNew Puppy

    I am a professional artist as well. Check out my web site at Carol I have been following your blog for a long time and have really respected your perspective. I am your neighbor in Winter Town... as I call it. You are a remarkable talent my friend. CB

    Hi, Carol, coming from you, that is a high caliber compliment, and I mean it! When I went to your site, "Woodwind" looked like music before I ever saw the name, and I saw a ship in "Offshore" before I saw that one. Those are my favorites, and you are an incredibly talented artist.

    Thank you for enjoying my blog and point of view. I hope we can one day meet.would hope that I would be a better writer than artist one day, but I think the two are so intertwined, there's no separating them. Oils! That's what I want to go back to.

    November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Bechtel

    Well Mr Knechel, you never cease to amaze me. I did see the sketch you made of Lois and know you made one of the young soldier who went off to war. I keep asking you to pick up the quill and apply it to the parchment. Now I am wondering if you should dig out the charcoals and a sketch pad. Your work shows a great talent lurks within. Bravo!

    Thank you, Snoopy. In my opinion, I think I did a better job on this one than I did with Lois. I think this one captured his spirit more than I did with her, although I have no idea why. Who knows, I may draw again one day soon, and words from you may egg me on.

    November 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    I agree Dave..The more we learn of your talents the more we are surprised. And you are indeed talented in many areas..I have a brother that is pretty well known in our area for his landscapes and he also does a lot of the furniture showrooms and murals on big buildings..If you would like to visit his site it's Phil Christman art..He actually got all the talent in our family..Lol. But the reason I needed to tell you that is he refuses to do portraits..He says they are the hardest thing to do and please the person you are painting..You have to not only capture the looks but some of the personality also...That is what you did manage to do in your art work. I can almost hear his big belly laugh now.

    Hope your health is maintaining...

    I once did an oil painting of my girlfriend, Lois. I don't know what ever happened to it, but I'm pretty sure her parents still have it. I also did one of my Uncle David when I was in high school. I went to your brother's site and saw his art. Yes, he is quite good. I used to do landscapes, but I was never as good as your brother. I don't think I ever tried to paint water. Your brother and I are opposites. I'd much rather tackle a portrait than a landscape. Interestingly, I never got any negative feedback from anyone, either. I guess they were happy with my work.

    Thank you for complimenting my work. I guess I did capture more than just his looks, because others have told me the same thing. By the way, he did have a big belly laugh. As for my health, I see a surgeon today about removing my gallbladder, and I managed to pick up a cold in NJ. Other than that, I'm hanging in there.

    Oh! And please give your brother my best. He is quite talented, for sure.

    November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGLENDA

    Dave, What an AWESOME job you did on that sketch. I am sure that his parents loved it as well as he does. What a great way to remember his parents. You are a man of many talents. You should do more sketches if you feel up to it. You do great work!

    Hi, Mary Jo! Yes, his parents really loved it. I drew it and gave it to Frank. He, in turn, gave it to them. Thanks for the compliment. One day... that's what I tell myself. One day, I'll try to do another portrait. Gee, I wonder who my next subject will be...

    November 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterMary Jo

    Dave: It was great catching up with you this weekend! This is a great picture of Mr.&Mrs. Foran, That smile of his always seemed so big, as he was! I remember seeing a lot of your art work during school, and thought it was great, I see now that years after school, it has gotten even better. Take care my friend.

    It sure was, Maureen. I had a great time and everyone else did, too, so it seems. I think we have a unique class. I don't think any other year has the amount of gatecrashers as us. Thanks for complimenting the portrait of Mr. & Mrs. Foran. You know, I always called him Mr. Senator. He always told me to call him Walt, but I said Mr. Senator was a more fitting name worthy of my respect, like calling the president Mr. President. Too bad the old house is going to be put up for sale. I have a lot of fond memories and I don't know anyone who had a collection of elephants like him.

    Anyway, I'm surprised you remember my early work. I wish I had some of it, too, because most of it was given away. Thank you, and thank you for wishing me well. I seemed to have picked up a cold while there in NJ, but I'll get over it.

    November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

    Dave? You have me wondering.are you left handed? Sure seems like it with your many many artistic talents. I too feel like you captured something more in this photo than just their faces! I see love in their eyes! It's a real feel good portrait. I would want it hanging in my home too! Good work Dave!

    Hi, SageMom - Yes! Absolutely, I am left-handed. All my life. You know, I hadn't seen this work in many yers, so I was almost as surprised as everyone else who looked at it here. Thank you for enjoying it. I think you're right, it does seem to capture their emotions, and I would like to try my hand at it again. Hmmm... who will it be?

    November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSageMom

    You have a great talent! I am impressed. I am into art also, and love doing oil
    painting. It's a great hobby! mb

    Hi, Mary B. - Thank you. I never really looked at it as a talent, but at the same time, I thought I was good or I wouldn't have undertaken this kind of work. All the years I spent in the graphic arts industry, I had to have confidence in what I did or I wouldn't have been successful at it. Creating works of art is very satisfying. I'm glad you enjoy it. I imagine one of the reasons why I stopped had more to do with my jobs over the years than anything else. I worked in the art field and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was to sit at an art board or easel. That's going to change soon, because, even though writing is creative, it's not the same as drawing or painting. Keep up that hobby of yours! It's calming and rewarding.

    November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary B.

    What a warm feeling coming from this sketch, picture, portrait. Wow ! If you don't mind, I'd like to know why you quit sketching and painting? Was there no one to egg you on so you went looking for the goose that laid golden eggs......oh, that is really a poor joke. It's late. I really would like to know why you stopped sketching and painting.

    Thank you, Newbie! To be honest, I never stopped creating works of art, although I don't necessarily consider all of the ads and other works done in an ad agency setting works of art. But it was certainly creative. I would never stop sketching or painting because I still have a strong desire to continue. It's just that I never came home from my creative job to do more creative work later on. That's all different now, but for sure, I'd rather do it for enjoyment than for a commission. Well, I don't know that I'd necessarily turn it down, either. I just don't know, but I do know that I tend to put my heart into my work, and I don't consider writing and drawing to be the same thing. Yes, both are creative, but painting a story is a lot different from painting a portrait. With more time on my hands, you never know.

    November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNewbie

    You are so talented. What a gift.

    Thank you, Cindy. I never considered myself gifted, but it's a nice thing to hear from others. I am definitely aware that I do have an abstract kind of brain. Why? I don't know, but it is.

    November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Edenfield

    Dave, you also could do great as a courtroom sketch artists!!!

    I must have missed your need to have Gallbladder surgery. I thought you were through with all your tests and all was good. The newest procedure is done through a small insertion and very successful. My husband had that done when it was first introduced. He was one of the guinea pigs for it and did just fine. How ever you may have it done, I am sure you are somewhat anxious about it. We all have fear of any surgery procedure, rightfully so!

    Oh, I don't know, New Puppy. The way they jump around in courtrooms and make so many faces, it might be too tough for me. One has to be very quick to capture the raw emotions. I'd rather have someone sit and pose. Much more relaxing.

    This gallbladder thing has been been a thorn in my side for some time now. I did meet with my surgeon today, and I'll let you know what's up in an e-mail, but my surgery is set for next Friday morning. No big deal.

    November 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterNew Puppy

    Dave, I have read that some of the talented writers, actors¸ musicians, and directors in the entertainment industry are artists. It seems the part of the brain used for writing is also used in music and the other arts. It seems you have inherited the right genes. Any way you are talented.

    Why, thank you, Rob. That's mighty fine of you to say so. I visited with my 92-year-old uncle on Sunday and we discussed writing. He was a well-known (at one time) science fiction writer. Earlier in his career, he was a pulp fiction illustrator, mostly for detective magazines, but early Sci-Fi, too. I guess we all do things differently, but he would generally outline his story before writing it. I never do. I just take a blank piece of paper, or in this case, computer screen, and start writing, not knowing where it's going to lead me except for a general idea of where I want to go. In my case, I can attribute some of it to my artistic style, where I never outline any of my work, like the drawing of the senator. I just pick up my pen or brush and go to town. Adding his wife was something that was never in my original plan, but I'm certainly glad I did because it helped make the sketch come alive.

    To be honest, I have no idea why I have always had an artistic streak, but I think you're right. There seems to be something to it; some sort of common thread. Now... just wait until I record my first song!

    Just kidding. Anyway, thank you very much. I do enjoy what I'm doing and it seems to show at times.

    November 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterRob

    Yes! yes! Dave, do write your first song, I bet you would be great with lyrics!

    With my pending operation, I guess that's one organ I'll never learn to play. I do have some ideas, but they are far from materializing. Besides, voice lessons are very expensive! Writing lyrics would be much easier.

    November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNew Puppy

    Dave~~ while you are lying on the operating table waiting to be put under, you can always sing, ♪♪♫ "All of me, why not take all of me...Can't you see I may get worse? Please be be nice, when you take that first slice, you are such a pretty nurse. Get your hand off my thigh, 'cause I'm really shy, my life has been in a rut. Snoopy told me today that I mustn't play and that my gall bladder is in my gut". ♫♪

    I see yer one o' them thar poettes that don't knowettes. I just hope my innie doesn't turn into an outie by the time she's done with it.

    November 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    All of Me

    And I'm a real Sinatra fan, too!

    November 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Hi Dave! What a talent you are! That is a truly lovely sketch. I hope all is well with you; and your health continues to improve. I see Snoopy here...HI Snoop! I rarely get around the blogs these just gets in the way!

    Be well Dave! Keep up your wonderful spirits!

    Hello, Andrea, and thank you! It's been many years since I've seen the sketch, so I didn't quite remember exactly what it looked like when the opportunity came up. It does seem to be pretty lifelike, doesn't it? I really do enjoy that sort of work, but it's been a long, long time since I've done any portraits.

    My health is up and down. Next Friday, my gallbladder is coming out. I've never rally had any kind of surgery, but it's a necessary thing. I really appreciate your concern. I don't know why my health took a nosedive, but I'm not upset. It is what it is, whatever "is" is. At least, it's not "was".

    I like your blog design and enjoyed your take on Mississippi's rejection of the Personhood/Anti-Abortion Initiative - no hasta la vista for the constitution, baby!

    By the way, your comment ended with, " just gets in the way!" It reminds me of one of John Lennon's lyrics from the song Beautiful Boy... "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

    November 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea OConnell

    Hello Andrea, nice to see you too. I am still plugging away on a few cases but things are quiet.

    Cheney Mason was rushed to hospital by ambulance... Sorry this is off topic but is news..

    No problem being off topic. Any news like this is important. I hope he's OK. I wish him no ill will whatsoever.

    November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterSnoopySleuth

    Brilliant Sketch Dave he looks like Alfred Hitchcock a bit.............

    Thank you, ecossie. I guess you're right about Hitchcock. Must be the extra weight. Walt was a big man. Tall, too. His nickname was Moose and he sure did have a commanding presence.

    November 11, 2011 | Registered Commenterecossie possie

    Beautiful. You have a good eye for detail. You really have a gift.

    Wow! Thank you, Johnsy. I wonder if I still have it. I must admit, it was good work back then.

    November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohnsy

    Veteran's Day, My thanks to the men and women who have served and fought for our country. I appreciate you, though it may not always seem so, I wish to be a compliment to your generous service from which we benefit.

    Very nice, New Puppy. I should have put something up in honor of our gallant men and women of the Armed Forces. Thank you.

    November 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterNew Puppy

    Wow Dave that is awesome~the multi-talented Dave :) I can't draw a straight line, It really is great!

    Thank you, Pam. It was such a long time ago that I drew this and last saw it, I didn't remember what it looked like. It was a surprise to me, too, because it is pretty good.

    November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam2u4u

    Although I've certainly never met these lovely people I feel from reading your post and having read the previous one about him and your connections you clearly have "gotten" them in this!

    Thank you, Karen. Whenever I tackle a subject, I throw my heart and soul into the mix. My main goal is to capture their personalities and, in this case, I guess I've succeeded. That is very kind of you to say so because it's very encouraging. I may pick up a pencil and do it again!

    November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterKaren C.

    Hi Dave

    You should be very proud of this. What an amazing sketch! I was drawn, no pun intended, to your site through the Anthony case. Truth be told Dave, as grateful as I am for your commentary during that time I think your latest blogs are even better.

    Snoopy, thanks for posting about Cheney Mason. I hope he will be ok.

    Hi Tiffany -

    I guess I am proud of it, actually, because I had forgotten what it looked like after so many years, and I was a bit surprised when I got to see it again. I'm glad you were "drawn" to my site because of the Anthony coverage, and I'm even happier that you feel my latest posts are better, although I haven't written much. Thank you, you are a very kind person and I sure do appreciate it.

    November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany (Australia)

    Most people would be happy to have one talent, some talent, any talent. You Dave have so much. And in immense amounts. I was very excited for you watching you hone your journalistic skills during the Anthony trial, it was a challenge I knew you'd rise to and you certainly didn't disappoint. Whilst your writing has been more infrequent of late, for a myriad of reasons, I enjoy the light hearted content as a contrast to the Anthony case. Mixes it up a bit. Gives me the reader a spell from heavy reading til the next big story comes along. Keeps your work fresh. Plus it astounds me, is there anything you can't do?

    You're way too kind, Tiffany! I've always artistic, so that's the only reason why I am able to create in art and writing. But on the other hand, I'd make a lousy scientist, despite the fascination I have with it, like astronomy. I could never be a doctor, either, and that's a wonderful profession because it's intended to save lives.

    One thing I do wish is that I would have started writing at a much younger age. By now, I would have honed my skills, but at the same time, I think it comes naturally. Basically, when I write, it's pretty much the way I talk to people, and I am very much a friendly, outgoing guy. I think with the Anthony case, it was an ideal situation. I could collect all of the information about it and write about it in a language everyone could understand. Living right here in Orlando was a real benefit, too, because I could work my way through the halls of justice. I had an opportunity to talk to key people. Right now, I'm searching for a new challenge. The Penn State story intrigues me, and I want to talk to people familiar with that university before I dig into it. I do have someone in mind, perhaps two.

    I still have plenty of human interest stories to publish. Many were written when my blog was quite young and my writing has improved, so I may bring them back tto life. The Anthony case certaainly brought a new audience unfamilair with my earlier work, but first things first. I need to get my health in order. That weighs heavily on my mind. Anyway, thank you for your confidence in me. Yes, there are plenty of things I can't do, and I am in awe of those who can.

    November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany (Australia)

    WOW that is good are there any more?

    Thank you, charlee! That's very kind of you. There's another one down on the left sidebar of my old girlfriend, Lois. The images keep changing, but that's the way you'll find it. You can also look at it HERE. Lois was done in 1974 or 75. I forget.

    December 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercharlee

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