Austerlitz

 


I don't understand why this wouldn't be in a museum rather than in the hands of a private collector:

Napoleon Bonaparte’s account of his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, dictated and annotated during his exile on the island of St Helena, has gone on sale in Paris for €1m (£880,000).

The description of the battle, the strategy behind which is still taught in military schools, is viewed by historians as evidence of Napoleon’s desire to record his hour of glory for posterity after his 1815 humiliation at Waterloo and subsequent capture by the British.

It was dictated to his loyal aide-de-camp Gen Henri-Gatien Bertrand, who remained with him in exile on the volcanic island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.

Densely written over 74 pages, the manuscript recounts the December 1805 “day of the three emperors” clash with Russo-Austrian forces, which is considered the Napolean’s greatest military victory. It takes readers through preparations for battle and the fighting itself, and is completed by a battle plan drawn on tracing paper by Bertrand.

You could put it in a display about megalomania or revisionist history. 

Bimbling

 


In another universe, I'm trying to do what Iain Welch does without hesitation. Every day, he puts out something amazing.

The Milam Building

 


At one time, this was one of the few air conditioned office buildings in the whole country. I can't believe I used to walk by the Milam Building every day.

It's true, I never went in.

Graveyard of Old Broken Bottles


 Oh, sure. It looks like a fun lake. I'm telling you, it's a graveyard for broken bottles and old tires.

The Beauty of Thinking About Other Things

 


See how it is when you can finally have nice things again?

Each one of the world’s 317 land borders is defined and agreed to, formalized as a result of agreements between those countries that abut each other, as neighbors; and each has been surveyed with, in most cases, a mutually agreed level of precision. To read a table of these boundaries and their history is to learn much, in the same way that stamp collecting, now in popular disfavor, used to teach much about the world’s historical geography.

One can derive great pleasure in picking at random from the United Nations list: learning of how, for instance, the Albanian border with Montenegro was first agreed to by a delegation of Turkish pashas who went to Germany and signed the Treaty of Berlin in 1878; that the northwestern border of Myanmar, separating it from the Indian state of Manipur, was the result of a victory over the Arakanese by the Burmese army back in 1558; that in 1821 an entity called the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves annexed a free-spirited confection of small states gathered around the Río de la Plata’s estuary and known at the time as the Liga Federal, and in doing so set up a line still recognized today as the border between the modern countries of Argentina and Uruguay; and that the border between Ireland and Britain came about in 1921 when the 26 southern counties of the Irish Republic, all with a majority population of Roman Catholics, declared an independence from Britain which the six mostly Protestant-majority counties of the northeast of the island could not and would not accept, and who thus remained loyal, if troubled, and protected behind what would become a highly militarized border, for much of the century beyond.

The luxury of being able to distract yourself with things like this is a welcome relief from four years of outrage and terror.

Abstract Painting, End of 2020

 


Throughout the end of 2020, I went through a brief period of creating abstracts and landscapes, bouncing back and forth between tempera paints and watercolors and not really coming up with much in terms of inspiration. Too much discord, too much strife, whatever you want to call it. Never really settled, never really into a groove.

This one turned out okay, so here it is. I might get to a better scan of this or a better appraisal of last year's work, but very little of it seems to have jumped out at me. I did a far better job cartooning, and supporting the Combined Federal Campaign.

Landscape Watercolor December 2020

 


Slightly retouched for color:


Not much else turned out. I guess I wasn't feeling it. The watercolor pens are a great idea, and that's mainly what went into this attempt.