Singer Letters : Illuminated Letters
Letters from Arthur Singer
Arthur spent 1943 in Fort Meade in Maryland, and was determined to work on his art while he was in the Army. He often discussed his art with his wife Judy, and he sent home the paintings and sketches that he wanted to keep. He usually sketched on artist paper, but in 1943 he also was in the habit of sketching or painting directly into his letters to Judy. Most of these artworks were animal studies, in watercolor or ink.
These are the letters that Arthur wrote to Judy that featured his artwork. His letters to her were often romantic and longing, but we also get some wonderful insights into his interest in jazz music, life in the barracks, and the training that the unit was doing to prepare for Europe.
I got up late because of the party last night at Sherwood Forest. It is a very exclusive “hoity-toity” place if you know what I mean. I would be very curious to know how many Jews are allowed in. However, I did manage to have a good time. There were girls there, of course, and they were all quite young. I was fortunate in finding a girl who was a marvelous dancer and it really was a pleasure because she had a good sense of rhythm.read more
No Army vehicle, equipment, construction or even barracks can be shown in a photograph or drawing or printing. In the area where we work there is an old tree the likes of which I have never seen. It’s truly amazing and I wanted to paint it today but it was snowing here and I also had a ticket to the show Blithe Sprit so I didn’t paint today.read more
Monday, and I finished up a poster. All the artwork is now completed and we are all busying ourselves with reproducing the remaining ones. We worked at night Monday until 9 o’clock. This Monday and Tuesday we reproduced 17 posters!! Four of these were my own and boy did they turn out swell! I’m quite happy about them.read more
This morning as I walked around I observed a certain type of lizard that was running themselves throughout the area. A gorgeous and graceful little thing colored lemon yellow along the sides and turning into a gorgeous brown on top and the underparts were a beautiful pale grey blue. Along its sides were black strips – what a color combination!read more
You know that the place we moved into was previously inhabited by negroes. And the surrounding area is still full of them. You should have heard the howl that went up from all our “Southern Rebel Nigger haters” it was absolutely revolting to hear it. How is it possible to have a real democracy in this country with such bigoted people. You could never change their minds no matter what you would do.read more
Today was different. We went through the much publisized [sic] infiltration course today, you’ve heard about it, haven’t you? You crawl over the terrain with live machine gun fire twenty inches from the ground and charges of dynamite exploding around you. Sounds terrible doesn’t it. Well, I didn’t mind it at all, I almost liked it!read more
I haven’t had much of a chance to do any artwork this week, I may try to do some tonight. I must get a haircut and return a book so I may have to let it wait ‘til the weekend. I want to do some badly. Hapgood finally
told confirmed the story of the mural. It evidently isn’t coming about yet but I am on the list in the Adjutants office after certain men were already eliminated. I hope it comes true some day.
Well, I got my haircut tonight and have managed to knock off a little deer for you, I hope you’ll like it.read more
There isn’t much to do tonight so I’ll just take it easy and perhaps make plans for some kind of artwork. Sunday’s work was pretty successful, I hope you’ll like it, it’s different than a lot of my work. I like the color in it. It’s swell, at least, to be able to do some artwork here, it keeps me inspired and moving along.read more
I somehow don’t care to go out to Baltimore or Washington nights, even though it gets to be a bringdown staying in the barracks. About the least one can get away with spending is two dollars. One for carfare, another for a meal (can’t get a good one for less) and then it costs more if one wants to see a show, movie or go to a record store.read more