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The origin of 'Tanks' 

"By now you should have figured out that all my images have little stories about them. The images have human characteristics with morals, history, and even aspirations. What do I mean by history? The 'Tank' is reflective of my uncle Sid, who was in the Tank Corps in North Africa. The 'Gunboat' represents my father who was in the Navy during W.W.II, and 'Bad Jet' comes from my time with the USMC at OCS in Quintano. 

Sometimes I find the story is such a part of the painting I can't separate the two. My mother's older Brother, Sid, was blown up in his tank while fighting Ramel, in N. Africa. When I was little, I would put my head in his concave chest and he would tell me the stories of the tanks. 

The tank only does three things; he fires - with intent to kill, he moves to fire, and he waits to fire. When your goal in life is to shoot, and keep shooting, you become so involved in the battle that you don't have time to fear. Your are so strong-willed, that with fire and explosions, death and despair all around you, you keep on moving and shooting. When you are blown up, you sit and wait. 

Sid was blown up, and he often told me of how the head of the man sitting in front of him was blown into his chest, along with metal from the explosion. Even then, years after the war, he would have metal shavings working their way out of his scarred body. I love him dearly. 

My tanks fire, move to fire and wait to fire. They are strong-headed, determined, and refuse to retreat. At time, we men can be so determined that we refuse to fail. It is one of our characteristics. - The Tank." 
Robin VanArsdol, 1998