Thursday, February 9, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as Himself

Here you see Jim Franklin, a remarkable artist and an Austin legend. The whole concept of the armadillo as a cultural icon came from him. (As did "Long Live Longnecks." And see below for the official designation.) I interviewed him for my West Austin News column and visited in his studio recently. The painting in this photo is of himself -- he drew the original outline for it with his eyes closed. The resulting perspective-bending take is remarkable. I swear that Jim doesn't look like he's aged all that much in the last forty years. He still toils in relative obscurity in a small studio off a side street near a barbecue joint in downtown Austin.

Oh, by the way, here it is in official language --
RESOLVED, That the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the longhorn the official Large State Mammal of Texas and the armadillo the official Small State Mammal of Texas.

1 comment:

  1. "Onward! Through the fog!"
    I am very heartened to see that Jim Franklin is still alive and kicking.