Art by the Late Rob Sprattler

Art by the Late Rob Sprattler

In the art game, innovation is the byword. Artists strive for the original idea, the innovative, creative approach and result. However, the most innovative act I have ever been a part of was not in art, but in police work.

My friends all know that I was a Los Angeles County Reserve Deputy Sheriff for 25 years. In 1972, a Deputy Sheriff, Harry Hansen, and I started the only law enforcement documentary art program in the world. I was president of the LA Society of Illustrators and they did documentary art, paintings and drawings, based on the Air Force Documentary Art Program the society had been involved in for many years.

The Sheriff loved the program, but said that a civilian could not run it. A Deputy Sheriff had to operate from the Sheriff’s department. I asked, “Who do you have whose qualified? He pointed at me and said, “You!” I was in the Sheriff’s Academy and before I knew it, I became a police officer in the state of California and a Reserve Deputy Sheriff.

My Reserve Partner Steve Pair and Me With a West Hollywood Customer

My Reserve Partner Steve Pair and Me With a West Hollywood Customer

I was assigned to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station. That is where the “innovative” event happened. Usually, I had a reserve partner, but I was in a patrol car one night in the late 70s, with a regular Deputy.

I can’t remember the Deputies’ name. On the radio we received a call involving an elderly person with serious mental problems. We arrived at the location and found a frantic, near hysterical, elderly woman screaming that the little people were back and were all over the apartment. We got her calmed down so that she could describe the little beings that were terrorizing her.

We had recently been issued the PR24 Side Handle Baton that replaced the straight nightstick, and the deputy drew it from the metal ring on his belt. He told me to do the same. I was sure we weren’t going to beat her to death, but I was a bit confused. He showed the baton to the trembling woman and said, “You are really in luck. We were just issued these batons, and we are going to use them to get rid of these terrible little monsters.”

We held the side handle and pointed the baton into every shelf, drawer, piece of furniture, closet, and every corner of the apartment. In other words, every nook and cranny. It must have taken a half hour to finish.

When we were done he held her hand and said, “They are all gone, and they will never come back.” We walked through the apartment with her, and she was so relieved and endlessly appreciative.

We got back into the patrol car, got on the radio and went ten-eight (call finished). I told the deputy, “That was the kindest, most innovative event I have ever been involved in. I bet those little guys will never be back in her apartment.”

As you can imagine, many things happened on patrol during those 25 years, good and bad, boring and exciting, funny and tragic. I just thought I’d tell you about one night in a patrol car with a great Deputy Sheriff.

…thanks for visiting me.


P. S. I will be doing a paper sculpture demonstration at the Grovewood Gallery on Sat., October 22nd. For those of you on Facebook, here is the event:  I’ll be there from 11am to 4pm. There will also be some new artwork on display, including a white bison.

P. P. S. The Weaverville Art Safari will be the last weekend in October. I am number 27. Click here for my artist listing. Tell your friends. I need all the fans I can get.

Serendipity = Happy Accidents … 1st iTunes Podcast & Last Week of “Shadow & Color”

You never know who you will meet during an exhibition, an open studio tour, at the taco truck, or in a class.

One of my artist students, Meredith Adler, recently launched a podcast, and it has been wonderful to be part of the launch.

I heard she needed a logo for her website and iTunes so I did some rough sketches and sent them off to my design partner and friend from Chouinard, John Otto. With lighting speed, John created something unique.

The podcast experience, which was a first for me, was illuminating. Meredith came by with two associates, and the four of us sat around with two of us hooked up to mics. It was fun and you know what I say, “If it’s not fun or funny, I don’t do it!” I was able to do a lot of exaggerating because I’ve forgotten so many details.

It was fun to sketch the LOCAL HEARTED logo, and it reminds me of how much I enjoy collaborating on that process. John Otto is one terrific designer.

Do check out Meredith’s LOCAL HEARTED podcast launch. She put a lot of diligent effort into creating a high-quality product. She even included a link to the website of my friend and business partner, Murray Garrett. This is a quote from his website, “Garrett worked with and personally interacted with celebrities in the worlds of show business, sports, politics, the arts and sciences…a list of which would even turn fellow Brooklynite Larry King green with envy.”

A note about the LOCAL HEARTED podcast: you can subscribe to it through the iTunes Podcasts app.

I mentioned earlier that Meredith is an artist. She works in Oil Pastel with Gouache. You can see her work at her blog, Paint Like Nobody’s Watching.

Here is a special reminder to local friends who enjoy the Arboretum. This is the last week of the “Shadows and Color” exhibit. It is in the Education Center. I’ve spent quite a few Saturdays there, and met all kinds of people. This past Saturday, a young admirer told me my work was “not bad.” Guess I’ll keep at it. So it’s on to the next project. I am doing some white-on-white work.

Click here to read an article in The Laurel about the exhibit at the Arboretum, then put it on your calendar for this weekend! Maybe I’ll see you there on Saturday. Here is a photo of one of the $300 11x 14 sculptures in the exhibit. It’s called “Found at Washita.”

Found at Washita, 11 x 14, $300

Found at Washita, 11 x 14, $300

Serendipity: “Luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.”

…thanks for visiting me.