In the fall of 2016 I posted about Jon Balderston, whom I called “Quirky Berkelety Royalty.”
In the fall of 2017, I posted about a visit to the Alameda Point Flea Market
Maracia Donahue and Jon Balderston walked me around. Those, my dear friend, are two absolute quirky powerhouses.
Jon has been through the wringer with a health issue but he surely seems to be in a good place now. In my new project of looking at and photographing and posting QB artist sketchbooks, I chose Balderston to follow my brilliant post about the brilliant artist Susan Brooks.
Here he is –
Tell me he doesn’t look like a million dollars, if, perhaps, it is in a badger sort of way.
When I visited Bladerston in 2016, his good dog Joey was alive and well. Now he is neither. He was a good dog.
This is Jacques, who is a good cat. Ballderston has a lead-up to the wonderful pun “a chat in the dark” but I don’t remember it.
Thoe who know me know that I don’t know when to stop with cats and I end up getting scratched and/or bitten. (That is a lot of know’s in a row, isn’t it?)
‘Twas ever thus with Jacques.
In the interest of up-to-date news, there is a new puppy in the family.
Anyway, I asked to see Balderston’s sketches and he took us out to the Hodge Podge Lodge behind his house and brought out his sketch books. We focused on the sketches he started after a visit to Toronto in July, 2018.
Before the new man with no name there was this man who also had no name. They appear to share common ancestors.
More drawings of the new man:
Balderston sketched the man illustrating a number of idioms.
There are several autobiographical sketches.
One day Jon’s wife Linda was a little grumpy.
Jon drew Linda with the man with no man. It cheered her up.
Here Balderston took the man with no name into three dimensions. Who knew?
here are many other drawings, not of the new man and not of idioms.
This is the ship of fool. Singular. Not ship of fools.
You can see with the watercolor the intimations of painting.Quirky Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. on May 14th, 2019.
This sketch made it all the way to painting:
Here are several other new paintings:
A new collage:
And a series of geometry photos:
What next with the drawings?
Balderston’s nephew Benjy Brooke is an animator. He and Balderston have discussed making an animated version of Mozart’s Magic Flute, libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. That would be really really something.
Balderston also showed us new acquisitions to his upstairs room.
The vintage laundry soap boxes are new.
A very creepy hand, no?
Razor blade displays – who knew how cool they could be?
Cascade Ginger Ale is made and sold in Australia. Cascade Beverages was established in 1886 as part of the Cascade Brewery in Tasmania. It became part of the Coca-Cola Amatil business in 2013 and continues to made in Australia with majority Australian ingredients.
New paper. Lots of new paper.
The ceramic shoes are new collection.
The candy bar boxes are another new interest.
There is a drawing table near the outside door of the Hodge Podge Lodge.
On the way to the front door are the dining room and living room. I posted before photos of the furniture he made. Two have new accessories, a globe and a samovar.
The globe was a birthday present. I missed the party and regret it. On further examination I see that the samovar is not new. I like the word and I like the idea and i reminds me of the Philadelphia winter of my senior year of high school when I discovered and immersed myself in Russian short stories – so it stays.
In August and September, Balderston’s work will be shown at Julie’s Tea and Coffee Garden at 1223 Park Street Alameda. Worry not, I will remind you when it gets closer.
I asked my friend to look through this post. He is fond of Balderston’s work and Balderston and smiled as he scrolled through the sketch photos. He hand me a photo and said he’d explain when he was done with the post.
When he finished the post he looked up. I said, “And?”
“The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience in Canon City, Colorado. In March 2018 there was an unfortunate electrical issue with the T Rex. That’s quite a fire.”
I agree and asked for his judgment on the post.