Mines of Kinds acrylic and graphite on panel with drilled holes 34×42 SOLD
This is a mashup of a “disrupt” minefield pattern (drilled into the panel) and a field of geologic unconformities (the paint and graphite bits). A little tribute to my active duty days at the National Training Center in California.
Unconformities are tricky little buggars found in the rock record. They are the planes that separate rock masses when sediment deposition is not continuous, usually due to a period of erosion before the sediment deposition picked back up. I say they’re tricky because they denote a loss in recorded time. It’s tough to know what actually happened when you’ve lost time. Disrupt minefields are also tricky little buggars. They are meant to disrupt an enemy’s plans, causing them to panic and lose precious moments. Warfare and geology are gritty businesses not for the faint of heart.
The last time I was part of an emplacement crew was in 2000 or so, training in the Mojave Desert as a wiry 21-year-old army combat engineer dude. My comrades and I were in this low area at the foot of a small mountain and the sun was just calling it a quits for the night. Below our feet was a mixture of big rocks and little rocks with a light dusting of sand on top to conceal the chaos below. The mines (inert) weren’t too bad to put in, but the razor-wire frat fence around it was the real challenge. We spent hours pounding those pickets into the red rocky ground. Half the time the pickets would just bounce off a rock just below the surface, sending vibrating shocks into our hands and arms with each “Pang!” of the heavy, black picket-pounder. Sometimes we could find a crack in the rock to work with, but other times we’d have to find a softer spot to the right or the left, making for a wavy edge along our fence. Fortunately, I can’t quite picture the fruits of our labor. The mental image is all but gone. Maybe it was dark by then, but I’ll bet it was one of the roughest looking minefields we ever put in – haha! Needless to say, I enjoyed putting this painting’s minefield a lot more.