NUDOLPH – TOOLED LEATHER PORTRAIT (June 1995)
Artwork © 2010, Rick Grimes.
GRIMES: “This is the third of three such tooled leather ‘portraits’ I have done in my lifetime. The first was of a troll doll cowboy in front of a corral made when I was maybe eight or thereabouts. The idea for it was taken from some guy in one of my father’s leathercraft magazines, who had already done various similar images using trolls, then in their first mid ’60s heyday. But, I believe I did my own variation of it.
I still have it, tho it was beginning to get a bit mottled before I bagged it up some years ago.
The second portrait was ostensibly for the cover of Third Rail #2. An image, quite aptly enuff, of Leatherface, complete with logo, partly tooled on the day of a close friend’s death in 1982. I gave the original piece to [Ken] Feduniewicz, and tho’ I have the original pencil pattern and a xerox, have not posted it here, as there is still the possibility it might be published in our lifetimes. And I don’t want to reveal the little gag, (someone else’s), lest someone else use it.
Nudolph here, being all about flesh, was simply another logical choice for such a treatment. While such pics are not horribly difficult to do, I’m not a lover of such recalcitrant materials—wood, leather, stone, metal. Just leave me to my pencil. And, I scarcely know my way around any cow. My father is/was the leather man. Alone, I would not know which scrap of hide to use, except by sight, perhaps.
Unless I am ‘inspired’ again to beat out the rats to his scraps when he’s gone, there’s not likely to be any future pieces. Chew on that, starving pirate fans.
I sometimes have imagined the cow still walking about, not dead yet, the spot for a waving Nudolph already earmarked by fate riding along with it throo the pasture. In imaginary hyphens like those meat portion diagrams. Animals in the service of man. How wonderful for it that it could literally die for our specious amoosement.” — RG (November 8th, 2009).