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)
When I've been asked to display my art, I have usually been expected to offer a statement about myself, as an "artist". Many who follow my blog know this is an unexpected title I've been given.
Yesterday, while looking through some old files, I found a "report card" from Akron Public Schools, where I attended kindergarten and early years of elementary school during WWII. Here's evidence I passed the second grade in 1947.
But, what I found especially surprising was an image drawn on the report card envelope. An early sketch by this 7 year old, sitting in church, sandwiched with feet dangling, between my parents, bored by the endless sermon. To keep me from fidgeting Mom or Pop probably gave me a pencil and paper, this envelope, to scribble on. So, here's my first plein air sketch of the preacher preaching from his pulpit! (you have to turn the envelope sideways to see the image, but it's there!)
This "natural" talent obviously took quite a long time to bubble to the surface. Thought you'd like for me to share this with you.
We had a thunderstorm last night, while attending GSO (Georgia Symphony Orchestra) premier of their 69th season. Dvorak's "New World Symphony" seemed to fit the rain and thunder outside, giving new life to our earth, animals and plants that seem to have been scorched from relentless draught and heat.
So, in celebration, I'm introducing one of a few "small" sketches I have been trying to refine. 'Not quite there yet, but here's a practice sketch in gratitude for the life-giving moisture.
Another day with no rain and 90+ degrees! The deer no longer have food on Kennesaw Mountain so they migrate to forage in our neighborhood gardens. The AC in my studio can just keep ahead of my tolerance for the heat wave.
So, I attempted something different this afternoon to remind myself of days when snow and skiing was part of my life. I don't know where I found this scene but this is done entirely with Tombow ink brush. Still a little more work to do, but perhaps not much more for fear of reverting to my tight draftsman pen might ruin the looseness of this attempt.
Does it cool you down?
This is the title I think I'll give this new piece. An ink drawing composed mostly of vertical ink lines in the background, ink brush plus pen on the middle ground (bridge), and horizontal ink lines to tie the water the foreground to the background.
'Thought I'd share this while working on the values. I'm being torn between working on this in my studio or working outside in such beautiful weather. The outdoors beckons... I MUST answer!
An eclectic mixture of my art is now being displayed at Smyrna Library. Nearly 30 pieces!
The Biltmore Estate is awesome - a "Disney World" for adults in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where old-timey castles are at a minimum. So cool. Such history. Fantastic getaway.
I carried my sketchbook, of course, and nourished by a hot dog and a beer just off the meticulous stables, began capturing this scene that surrounds the courtyard. Ah, to be rich one day...