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As stated in the post “Beautiful Aviation Art – Part Seven,” my original intent was to publish this series in six parts, but my good friend and fellow fighter pilot Yago F. de Bobadilla, Maj. Gen. SAF (ret), sent me additional examples of aviation art that deserve to be included. Text of the accompanying email follows:
I did mention that I had made a version 2.0 of my AVIATION ART – WW2 compilation, deleting some of the slides that didn’t quite meet my very exacting criteria, and adding others I had located through the web, striving all the time to avoid creating a ‘monster’ so large that my friends would be bored silly half way through the presentation.
So, as promised, I attach the PPS including only the handful of slides I have updated my presentation with; and I have also translated the captions into English. I’m pretty sure you will enjoy the crisp rendering of “Inspecting the Intrepid”, the drama and emotion behind “A Higher Call” and the incredible stroke of luck depicted in “Fastest Victory”.
I also wanted to include some artwork related to the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the ones that had the digital image quality I demand, lacked the required ‘artistic values’ for me to give them a passing grade, and viceversa.
So I selected “Battleship Row” even if I don’t quite like it as much as the rest. Since you’re quite familiar with the pixels-vs-quality problem, I include an image of a painting called “Pearl Harbor 0755” I would have much preferred, but did not pass the ‘image enlargement’ test.
As an example of the opposite side of the spectrum, I also include separately “The Retreat” that with a size of only 176 KB can be blown up to your heart’s content.
But you are probably wondering how come a retired fighter pilot (MajGen is only a rank, not a way of life!), that is still quite busy as a Beltway Bandit (sorry, change that to Parkway Patriot!! I like it better!!), dedicated time and effort to these endeavors.
Well, it started as a dare (as usual) from one of my AFA classmates. I’m from the Class of ’66 and, apart from the regular lunches of the Madrid Chapter, we organize an annual Xmas reunion and dinner with the spouses.
Customarily, as part of the celebrations, one of the class members is asked to take to the podium and deliver a speech or lecture, the only requirement being that is has to be entertaining, not too long, and related in some way to the Spanish Air Force or to aviation in general. Well, one thing led to another, and I was cajoled into walking up to the spotlight on the Xmas 2010 reunion, afraid of being boooed and bombarded with rotten tomatoes.
So, to wrap up my story, the slides were projected on a giant screen behind me with no captions, while I briefly (but quite persuasively) described the historical events depicted by the artists. Everybody was riveted, sitting on their tables around the dining room. I even thought they had all fallen asleep!!! But they gave me a standing ovation (mostly glad that it was over after almost 45 mins) and I immediately started getting requests for copies of my speech in the form of a powerpoint presentation. I no choice but to assemble it, add the captions, find a suitable background music, and pass it around to my Academy colleagues.
What I did not anticipate, Tosh, was that in less than a month it had circulated around the globe, and I was receiving feedback from people as far as Finland, Argentina, Japan, Pakistan and even our antipodes in New Zealand!! Even a couple of the artists themselves found a way to get in touch with me, grateful (surprisingly!) that I had included some of their works alongside some of their most admired and revered aviation artists. I was awestruck, actually expecting a slap in the wrist for not having asked for permission!
Okay, so now you know the background story, and the living proof is that somebody, through that incredible network that is the World Wide Web, sent you my work and started the ball rolling for us to get back in touch after all these years.
Good night, my friend. It is 02:45 am in Spain and I am about to fall asleep on my keyboard.
Hasta la vista!
Here is the slideshow version of Beautiful Aviation Art – Part Seven