Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Marine Combat Artists

I don't recall exactly how I found Marine Combat Artist CWO Michael Fay's blog, Fire and Ice, but it was while he was in Iraq. He would post photographs and sketches along with commentary about his experiences. Somewhere along the line, his Blogger site got hijacked, but I did find him again after he'd been able to restore his site with a new Blogger address. At the time he was in Iraq, he was the Marine Corps' only combat artist. Now, CWO Fay is not alone. If I recall correctly, he recruited SGT Kris Battles to help share the load of recording the Marine Corps' history in the War on Terror through art.

CWO Fay posted an update Monday with a photo of his current work-in-progress sculpture, and a link to a story his local paper, The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, did about him and SGT Battles.

Fay and Sgt. Kristopher Battles, 39 and a Spotsylvania County resident, are part of a long tradition of military artists--fighting men who portray their war experiences in sketches, prints, watercolors and oils.

Both Fay and Battles are assigned to the National Museum of the Marine Corps' Combat Art Collection and tasked with going to war and making art.

When they're not traveling fully armed and ready to fight alongside their fellow Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, they work on the Quantico base.

Their studio is a cavernous World War II-era warehouse filled with the sounds of classical and rock music and the rattling of metal doors in wind.

If you have the time, check out both Fire and Ice and SGT Battles' Sketchpad Warrior to see some of their work. They are both very talented.

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