The Setting for “A Song in the Park”

Almost as if it’s one of the characters, Big Bend country in far west Texas is the setting in my novel “A Song in the Park“.  I’ve been there many times. To me it’s one of the most romantic places on earth with its high-country fresh dry air, crystalline skies and captivating sunsets.  They say it’s where the desert and mountains meet the sky, not to mention the mysterious Rio Grande that flows through desert grasslands, breathtaking canyons and creates the  border between Mexico and the United States.

This (above) is Farm to Market Road 170, west of the park, which passes through some of the country’s most incredible scenery as it winds it’s way to Presidio.  Here you can see a glimpse of the Rio Grande to the left of the road.

It’s in country like this Michael Anderson, a California surgeon, and Justin Brooks, a park ranger, meet, form a friendship and ultimately build their future together.

This is the horizon (above), the view from behind Justin’s remote ranch house, where he and Michael spend many of their evenings sipping coffee and contemplating the small gifts in life.

This location (above) is similar to that just south of Justin’s house. The first day they spend skinny-dipping here is the day they realize there may be more than simple friendship between them.

A view like this (above) is typical of many seen when crossing through the park’s southern terrain on a rutted, sixty mile long goat-path called the River Road. It’s this road Justin patrols when he’s wearing his park service uniform.

Stanta Elena Canyon, (above) 2000 foot cliffs cut from the limestone over eons by the Rio Grande. Can you imagine what’s it like to canoe through here?

One of many cliffs along the Rio Grande (above).

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The Impressionist Art of Steven Clayton Corry

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Steven Clayton Corry is a 59 years old erotic artist from Valencia, California.

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“I am not old, I am just vintage …  Full-time gay impressionist painter, pacifist, pot head, atheist, gardener, lover of dogs, trees, flowers, water, Trader Joes, cats that live at other homes, Pro-choice, feminist, ex-postal clerk that went postal, Democrat, anti-war, anti-hate, anti-trash, anti-christian hate, pro – animals, clean air, mountains, beaches, warmth, Spring, nice people…”

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More of his enormous collection here.

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James Michael McCracken’s Men

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Formally educated, and intrigued with the very nature of life itself, J. Michael plays in many pure forms of paint medium. Currently studying Oils on flat board and prepared paper, with a textural component, which maintains his original artistic style.

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J. Michael McCracken has been painting full time for five years. As a hobby he enters at least one juried competition a month, many of which are International and placed within the top three. These awards accompany each painting on the artist’s deviantART. J. Michael has been featured as both writer and artist in articles and publications online and in print.

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Though I have focused on the work he’s done with the male form, McCracken is about a lot more than painting men. See more of his work here.

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William Bouguereau

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Biography written by Brian Yoder.

As a young man, Bouguereau put himself through the Ecole des Beaux-Arts by keeping books for a wine merchant and coloring lithographic labels for a local grocer. In his spare time, late in the evening, he created drawings from memory. This diligence and discipline resulted in an extraordinarily productive artistic life. Bouguereau produced more than seven hundred finished works and achieved a remarkable level of public acclaim and financial success. He never forgot his difficult early days, however; working secretly, he assisted young artists who were struggling as he had to pursue an artistic career in the face of financial difficulties.

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Like many painters of the second half of the 19th century, Bouguereau made a careful study of form and technique and steeped himself in classical sculpture and painting. True to his serious and industrious nature, he worked deliberately and industriously: before beginning a painting he would master the history of his subject and complete numerous sketches.

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The tenderness with which he portrayed children and domestic scenes, his technical skill and passion for the classics, and his love of rich color are hallmarks of Bouguereau’s exquisite paintings.

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There can be little doubt that Bouguereau was one of the most talented painters of his time, but it is a shame that he has fallen into obscurity with museum curators and those supposedly sophisticated about art who think that ugliness and lack of content imply depth and talent.

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The Bathers

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Body Art by Dmitry Dmitriev

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If you haven’t already guessed, Dmitry is Russian.  And Russia is famous for beautiful men.  Whether it’s winning a war against impossible odds, the arts, or human sensuality, the Russians are second fiddle to no one.  I got my first taste of Russian talent during the Communists era, when I was fortunate enough to have very good seats at a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet.  Of the many Ballets I have seen in my lifetime, the Bolshoi was by far the most breathtaking.  To see more of Dmitry’s work, use the link below.

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If anything defines Dmitry’s work, it is the diversity and profusion of techniques and disciplines used to express, from photography, to body-painting, to drawing and painting, all done with incredible artistic skill.

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Dmitry has published his work in several magazines, and has held two exhibitions in Moscow (Hometown): “Naked World” in May 2008 and “Necropolis” in October 2008 and has also participated with great success (third place) in the body painting contest conducted within the International Beauty Festival Costa in Moscow, March 2008.  Simply put: Dmitry Dmitriev is the John Lennon of the art world.

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Dmitry also creates custom work, and sells his work primarily through his web page http://dmitry-art.narod.ru/english.html

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