"The Summer Before The War" by Bruce Brown

The Summer Before The War #6

Digital paintings by Bruce Brown

"August, August 13, 2002" by Bruce Brown, form "The Summer Before The War" (2002)

August 13, 2002

Artist's Note: I created "The Summer Before The War" series during the summer of 2002, when it became apparent that George W. Bush was "hell bent" on war with Iraq.

As I travelled through America that summer and fall, I was frequently struck by the almost etherial, out-of-time beauty that I encountered from the shores of the Pacific to the high mountains of the West. It was as if there was a rare, quivering poignancy in the air as America's mass media and its dumb-think President were beating the drums of war up to a frenzied pitch. (On the eve of the American invasion of Iraq, supposedly independent, non-corporate NPR actually claimed Saddam Hussein drank human blood.)

At the time, it made me think of stories I'd heard from my parents of the summer of 1942 -- and seen depicted in the film The Summer of '42 -- a halcyon, almost innocent time before the world changed forever. So here's a look back at America as it was in the summer of 2002, "The Summer Before The War."

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The images in this series began as photographs, were rendered with a combination of artistic brushes in Photoshop 5, and finally hand painted with a Wacom Intuos stylus.

-- Bruce Brown
July 4, 2008

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