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Painting with Words

January 19, 1945

watercolor portrait of the face of a man in uniform against floral wallpaper

Watercolor portrait of Sgt. Timberman

Jan 19, 1945

Dearest Love,

Bad news for us, we’ll get practically no mail at all for at least a week. There’s a big tieup somewhere and it’s going to be tough not getting those letters I look forward to so much. Maybe one may get through to me – I hope.

There isn’t much news for me to write. I got a package yesterday from my mother containing a pair of galoshes. These are a little different from the ones I was issued, for those my mother sent are all rubber. They are only a size 10 and the G.I. ones are size eleven but strangely enough they fit, over my G.I. shoes and leggins! [sic] I’ll be able to use them.

Last night I went to see a very corny movie, Sweet and Lowdown. The picture was mostly Benny Goodman and it was only saved because almost the whole picture is music. Goodman is far from being my great favorite but I must admit I sure got a kick out of listening to some of his old powerhouse swing. It’s been a long time. So I did enjoy it although I winced as I watched some parts of it.

I’ve always wanted to do a watercolor portrait of Sgt Timberman and I finally got to it last night. The lights went out before it was completed but I finished almost all of the head. It’s the best so far! You’ll see it soon. I enjoyed doing it very much.

Harry Gottesman so talked my ear off that I finally agreed to sell him the little sketch that I did this past Wednesday. On the condition that I either make a copy or do another from the scene itself – if I can get that free time. I want to do it on a larger scale so I’m going to take about six 9x12 Whatman sheets and tape them together on the backs It will fold up. I want to do this scene for it’s so good I intend to make a large wall decoration of it! I wish you could see it. At night when I got in bed I just couldn’t fall asleep. I had ideas for Christmas and Easter cards and ideas for an animal book. You remember the pages I had done years ago. Well, I started thinking, planning in my mind how to treat each animal, the design of the paper and also the technique to use. I know exactly what I want to do with each one, and how I want the type used and I even thought of a title “Hoofs and Horns, Paws and Claws” or is that corny? However I have visions of it in my brain constantly.

Another thing, Judy. Fred and I were talking yesterday about after the war. As I mentioned before he would like to collaborate with me on animal designs in plaster, painted plaster (and wood, perhaps). Well, we are strictly in earnest about it. Yesterday I mentioned the probability of turning out very smart beautiful Holiday cards in silk screen. He’s more than just interested and he says that with the source of distribution he’ll have available we could do quite a business. It sounds good to me – both the animal sculpture and the greeting card line. Also it would need no big outlay of cash – which we haven’t very much of, anyway.

Another of my endeavors these days, artistically concern – oh well, I’ll not say what it is until I can produce something that satisfies me. I’m sorry if I’m leaving you up in the air but you’ll see what I mean in my next package if what I have in mind turns out well.

Today hardly anything happened I can tell you about. The news of the Russian drives is absolutely terrific and I only hope they can keep up the excellent work. The German counterattack at us has cost them plenty and stuff that they can’t replace as early as we can. Almost all they gained was four weeks time for their losses were great enough to make them weaker. Now they have us coming down on them in new drives plus the terrible threat from the East. Still it won’t be any pushover, I don’t fool myself anymore, however the war could end early in ’45 (spring or summer) or late in ’45 (next winter). I hope to God it doesn’t last longer than that. Some guys from the ETO are getting furloughs – but these boys have been overseas 32 months or else have gained points through acquisition of different medals for fighting. So at that rate, you can see why I hope it’s over soon for we wouldn’t get anything like furloughs for a helluva long time.

So that’s the story, baby. My dear love, I love you so damned much. God bless you and the day that brought us together. What you mean to me could never be put into words. I adore you


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