Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Here Come the Humpbacks, Illustration | 1 comment

With Memorial Day just passed, my thoughts are thrown back to another era. I visited my Uncle Roley last week, now living in an assisted living facility in New Hampshire. He asked me to help clear out his studio, over the garage, where I found objects and ephemera from a lifetime. Roland B. Hogan, Jr. followed in his father’s artistic footsteps, becoming a commercial artist in the early 50’s.


He was the middle son, between my Aunt Eleanor and my father, William, the baby below.


Roley has outlived them both by decades. I encountered sweet moments dismantling his keepsakes.


To say he didn’t throw much away is an understatement.


He took after his father, Roland Bell Hogan, Sr., also an artist, who worked for the Boston & Maine Railroad. This illustration by my grandfather hangs at a nearby restaurant called the Station.


Roley’s daugther, Peg, wants to keep his art work, of course. But I was happy to find a few early spot illustrations from his days as a commercial artist, living on Boylston Street in Boston.


I also found lots of old art supplies and unused sketchpads and tracing paper.


Quite a treasured haul of vintage ephemera, too.


From sports programs to show card techniques, there’s much to love.


Both my dad and Roley were Shriners, wonder if one of these was my dad’s.


I found quite a variety of instruments.


Roley used to have an act, called The Whistler, in which he painted his stomach and well…I never saw it, but it’s family legend.


Uncle Roley has been an inspiration and role model all my life. As an artist, an illustrator, and selfless giver. Very early in my illustration career, I drew him for this piece for the Boston Globe. Can’t remember the purpose.


I managed to score this carving by Roley. Love!


I gave a copy of Here Come the Humpbacks to Roley. After all, he sent me photos of a whale watch trip he took in Nova Scotia years ago. They provided reference for this illustration.


I’m getting excited about my book launch for this book…THIS SATURDAY! I’m super pleased that Odyssey Whale Watch will be donating a family trip. So come and win a chance for a whale watch of your own!

I know Roley will be there in spirit.



One Comment

  1. What a happy assignment from him to you and for those of us who enjoy sharing your experience.

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