Saturday, June 22, 2013

At First Glance #6

5" x 7" ink and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico rough paper
(Click to view a larger image.)

It's got to be said.  You can be strolling along, the warmth of the sun on your face, a soft breeze blowing - everything right with the world.  Then you can step into a hole and break your ankle.

We lack control in this world.  We cannot control our environment.  We cannot control others.  Sometimes we cannot even control ourselves.

So what's a person to do?

Here's what I think: 

First you experience the pain.  Fully.  Good or bad, it is part of your story. 

Next, you wander, and you wonder.  Allow yourself to drift to the next place, and wonder at what you will see along the way. 

And don't look back.

*  *  *

This is the sixth in my At First Glance series of ink and watercolor drawings of folks I spot in Miami.  The others in the series are here, here, here, here, and  here.

And here's what they look like as a group:

(Click to enlarge.)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crying Wolf, Laughing Man

10" x 10" Acrylic on canvas [Click to enlarge]

I painted this for my oldest son who has always liked wolves.  I hope he still does.

One honest fellow I showed this to expressed the opinion that he wouldn't want a wolf on his wall. And I guess those yellow eyes could be unnerving. I should've made them glow in the dark.

I've been told more than once that I should be a dog artist.  Folks have made statements like "Dogs are your talent."

But although I am taken each time by the depth of feeling the expression of a canine can show, and challenged each time by the nonhuman dimensions, I cannot limit myself.

One reason is my fascination with people, mostly the ordinary ones with everyday experiences. 

The other day I read a poem by Mark Strand, called "Not Dying" that began like this:

These wrinkles are nothing.
These gray hairs are nothing.
This stomach which sags
with old food, these bruised
and swollen ankles,
my darkening brain,
they are nothing.
I am the same boy
my mother used to kiss.

These lines blew me away!  As soon as I read them, I had to draw the old man:

8" x 10" Ink and watercolor on Daler-Rowney Langton Prestige NOT paper [Click to enlarge.]

I cannot begin to tell you how fun this was to do.   I was remembering the works of Wendy McNaughton, and thinking of Lisa Congdon and her Reconstructivist series that showcases amazing women.  With inspirations like these, and so many ways to draw and paint, how could I just paint dogs?