The Moravian Church in the Southern Province has an educational wing that distributes weekly information to those who subscribe. I learned about this last year and started following it's publication.
Last Fall, they made a request for "blogs" from some of their readership. I bit.
Some of you familiar with me or my website posts know something of my Moravian upbringing. You may also recall Sara and I traveled to Europe to learn about the Roots of the Moravian Church. I occasionally post some of my art depicting scenes, real or imagined, inspired by our travels and teachings in the Czech Republic and Germany. I've concluded there is a story here to be told, and maybe the current social medium of "blogging" impressions with illustrations might be a way to tell it to Moravians, and others.
This month (January), my first blog will be published. 14 more blogs will follow throughout the year, all with related illustrations. Let me see how this starts, then I'll announce more details on my website or on email for anyone interested in following.
In the meantime, a sketch is attached to tease your interest: Greeting descendants of the Bohemian Brethren, formerly living in exile in Moravia, as they arrive in Herrnhut, Germany in 1722.
Happy New Year! Sara and I spent the holidays with her sister in "sunny" California. I decided to take a walk - a long walk - on New Year's Day to prepare mind, body and spirit for promises of 2020 and beyond.
Eddy and Tom live high on a cliff over looking Santa Catalina Island (yep, 26 miles away as in the old song) and Pacific Ocean beyond it. A virtual paradise.
As I began my walk along the ocean side, I approached a group of about 15 people standing in a circle around 2 chairs, one empty except for 2 fading photographs, and one filled by a older woman reading from a notebook. Behind the empty chair stood a two men, one holding a horned skeleton head and the other holding a black flag. Four other flags of different colors were positioned to mark boundaries of a circle. I stopped, removed my hat, and stood outside the circle until invited to step inside - despite being a total stranger to this Native American celebration of the life of a departed relative.
When reading ended, white doves were removed from a box. Each person who wished to participate were given a dove which, on cue, was released in a flurry to fly to a destination unseen.
I don't have words to express the meaning of that encounter for me. Perhaps this picture offers words for you. Happy New Year!
I have been given the opportunity to display my art at dk Gallery of Contemporary Art in downtown Marietta!
Anyone familiar with Donna and her exquisite taste will know what an honor this is. Only a couple of my original pieces are found there which, in a stretch, might be considered "contemporary". But at least I'm there!
Also, some of my impressionistic images from the Corners of Marietta Square can be found in sets of 6 notecards being offered exclusively at dk's for the holidays. Here's a sample - one of the Landmark images, The Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theater.
... finished the furry feet which attracted sand spurs when running on the dunes near the beach. She often groomed her feet after a long run around Kennesaw Battlefield, or after digging for chipmunks buried deep beneath vines of ivy bordering our driveway. She was part Border Collie, easily trained, preferring to run long distances but never beyond range of my voice to return upon my command. Take her to a farm and she would try to drive livestock into a group. Take her to the vet and she watched how the examination door opened, then often tried to escape. Fun memories.
Finished the drawing for Thanksgiving. Have a happy one, everyone! Here's wishing happy memories for you and your families.
This is a question often asked nearing the end of a drawing or painting. An artist can often "overwork" a piece, well after it is finished. I know from experience.
In this, I was just about to stop when I got Rosie's face pretty close to my satisfaction and the values suitable and the stroke of the hair following the direction I remembered. I thought I was finished.
Then, I decided to add detail to the deck floor on which she was sitting. Now I wonder if I need to do the feet? Will that take away from her face? Or, should I erase some of the detail of the deck and have the unfinished shape of her paws extend over an imaginary platform? What am I trying to say to convey feelings in this "portrait" of our special pet and not disrespect?
Time to step away from this piece and give it a break for a week or so - then come back to make adjustments.
I forgot what a treat it was to stroke Rosie's fine hair. Hope I can do it justice in this drawing. I've pretty well got the shapes, and most of the direction of hair. Now to begin working with blending eraser and layering the graphite to refine values.
Over the weekend, I accomplished more work on this sketch over than I expected. Despite football games and preparation for Winter weather outside, here's the latest progress report. Rain, then cold arrives soon so I'll probably move forward with this while confined inside, and another drawing in the wings.
This reference photo was taken sitting on a wooden porch. I originally thought I'd add porch rails and rocking chair, but Sara says it will distract. 'Afraid I agree. Hopefully I can erase my reference lines without marring a white background.
Some of you may remember Rosie, our dog that took up over 18 years of our life. Sara and I still miss her and talk about her when on walks, at meal time, and other times when she made her presence especially notable. She's been gone now for about 8 years.
Well, I'm finally getting around to drawing her picture from a photo. The sketch will be all graphite since she her rich black coat had an especially silky reflective quality. But her expressive brown eyes stood out from that patch of black, often speaking to us without words.
In drawing any portrait, I find I begin with the eyes. If I'm satisfied with the eyes, then I can continue. If not, I simply have to put the work down and come back when I'm ready to make another try. I wonder if that's how God does it.
Anyway, here is the beginning of my sketch of "the Rose".
This day, despite all the parties and secular celebration, is technically a "memorial day"... a preface to the day to remember all those people who have lived and left their mark upon this earth and its people.
Nearly 400 years ago, on the Square of Prague, around the corner from this Astronomical Clock, 27 noted leaders of the time were beheaded for their religious and political beliefs. The clock still operates with hourly gatherings of visitors to celebrate the progress of time. Around the corner, less conspicuous, are 27 crosses in the sidewalk memorializing these "saints".
This piece of art, inspired by our visit to Prague and learning about those "Bohemian Brethren" whose Church preceded the "reformation", is posted with that remembrance, in the midst of celebration today and tonight.
,I've never quite understood one of the "Beatitudes" from the Sermon on the Mount, describing the "meek" as being blessed. In retrospect, I've seem to have spent most of my life developing a degree of independence. With that I have become proud of my accomplishments - hardly qualifying as meek to have been blessed with a lifetime of good fortune and good health. Recently however, dealing with some medical issues associated with aging, I'm beginning to develop new insight into the words of this statement.
The term "meek" in this biblical context is not intended to convey shyness or cowering behavior; but rather behavior fitting a spirit of quiet and obedient service, like that seen in a powerful horse that has been broken in and rendered gentle and compliant to serve it's Master.
So, I'm naming this recently completed drawing, "The Meek", hoping the image of a team of well trained work-horses turning their strength to plough a straight furrow under the guidance of their master, might give the viewer pause, and consider Matthew 5:5.
Not particularly religious.
(back by request of those who twisted their neck to study image from the previous blog)