Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walking Point 1966 Vietnam - No. 1

Walking Point 1966 Vietnam - No. 1 5 1/4 x 15 5/8 Oil on Masonite.

"Vietnam… A Marine walking point for his unit during Operation Macon, a marine moves slowly, cautious of enemy pitfalls…"
By an unknown photographer, 1966
National Archives, Records of the United States Marine Corps

In modern military parlance, to take point, walk point, be on point, or be a point man means to assume the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation, that is, the lead soldier/unit advancing through hostile or unsecured territory.

5/13/2009 - Updated the photo after "touching up" the painting here & there. I'll leave it for a while. It's probably as "finished" as it needs to be! :-)

I was looking at photos in the National Archives, trying to find inspiration to make a painting when I came upon a 1966 photograph of a Marine "Walking Point". It struck a chord in me because some things happened to me this weekend and then yesterday.

Saturday I was at a neighbor's party for their daughter's first birthday and some of us "old folks" were talking. One of the ladies got nostalgic and remembered how much fun and happiness there was "in the sixties." I was a little surprised, I guess, because I was in the Air Force during the sixties and it wasn't particularly fun nor happy if you were in any of the branches of the military. It's all in your point of view, isn't it? Anyhowwwww . . . .

In the N.A. website I saw two photos that "rang my bell" and I prepared to make paintings from the photos. As I was making the drawing on my Masonite, I took a break & looked at the list of visitors to my blog and imagine my astonishment to see that my blog had been visited by a person in Hanoi, Vietnam. Totally weird!
There's an answer here but I don't know what the question is.

OK. Enough of that!

Except for the Marine, the painting is done with Gamblin's Torrit Grey and Winton's Titanium White. The Marine is painted by mixing a Green, a Yellow, Torrit Grey and White. The reddish tone is the tinted Masonite. I'm not sure what to call the color - I add colors of acrylic to the white gesso until I get a color that pleases me at the moment. The size of this painting is a little weird, I guess. Another scrap of Masonite put to good use!

The next painting will be 24x30.


  1. Hi Ken!
    I think nothing happens by chance, especially the good things...
    War is not my favorite theme, but things don't have to be forgotten, that is also true.
    Having said that, I agree with you, good way to take advantage of a piece of masonite :)

  2. Hi Carolina! It's "funny" how things and memories change with time. Forty years ago! You weren't even born yet!! Wow, am I OLD or what?

    Call me cheap (I call it thrifty) but wasting a nice piece of Masonite . . . . I'll sign it and put it with the other paintings. :-)

    Thanks for checking in on me.
    Warm regards, Ken B.


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