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.)

37 comments:

  1. You certainly manage to capture a great sketch in one glance. Love your series.

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    1. Thank you! It's the impression from a glance at an individual I am looking for. I feel like I know each and every one of them (even if I don't).

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  2. Great series. And a lesson for me to stop walking and reading my novel on the streets of NYC.

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    1. Thank you. I used to never go anywhere without a novel. I read all of the time. When I took up art I found that if I had a book and a sketchbook with me, I would read. So I ditched the book. Now I read much, much less. Is that a good thing? Not really - but it is good for my art.

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  3. Oh poor lady.. I've never broken a leg, but did break an arm and I remember how much it hurt. Your series of people is delightful.

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  4. Hello Dan,
    I really hope you keep going with this series. This is another wonderful look at life and ourselves.
    The photo of them all together is great. They look superb as a collection.
    Hope you're OK mate - Take care.
    Stew.
    stewcrowther.wordpress.com
    _____________________________

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    1. You see through me, Stew. It's been a tough time but it can't compare to what you are experiencing. I am amazed that you have empathy to spare. Stay strong - I look forward to seeing a lot more of your art. And I want to see the completion of that strong woman and her rabbit!

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  5. So true, so true... but some days (or at least here at my end) it feels like there is only holes in my path and I just have to be thankful that I have the ability to jump... and fingers crossed I dont fall and break my ankle... That looks like it would hurt bad. What a great collection, and they look fantastic together lined up next to each other. Im with Stew, I hope you keep this series up.

    All the best from the far north : ) Glad to see that you're still drawing away even with being busy with work (thanks for the comment earlier) Have a great weekend!!

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    1. Thank you, Mari! Things have changed, rather dramatically. Actually, strike "rather". I am, though, thrilled that I still retain the ability to jump too. I will (and am) keeping the series up. There is something about it that keeps drawing me back. I'm working on another now.

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  6. did you interview her to find out the source of her injury? It could be a bunion repair! lol! seriously--! I do agree, however, with all that you wrote. There are the things we have control over....and then there are the things we don't! I really love this new painting and how the entire series looks together. Will you do more? I hope so!

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    1. No. I am sneaky and shy. A dreadful combination. But I hear that bunions are painful and I still feel sorry for her. I saw her at a store, her family rushing in and leaving her at the door to fend for herself. I admired her determination to get out and about despite her "bunion" - lol.

      Control - an illusion I have recently learned an important lesson about. I will definitely do more.

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  7. I'm a HUGE fan of this series Dan. And I can tell (I think) that you are invested in it. You seem to enjoy contemplating the story behind the character and that connects the work.
    I liked what you were saying about control- I would have enjoyed reading more. Hint hint.

    You are really talented Dan. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your art.

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    1. Thank you Pamo. I think maybe I am using too much of my right brain or something and the writing has been a bit sparse, agreed. Thank you for the compliment, Pamo - it means a lot coming from you especially. I admire all you do.

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  8. I have spent my life drifting--wandering and wondering. I wonder what I should have done...

    This is a great group or series; I look forward to more.

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    1. I have generally not spent enough time wandering - plenty of time wondering though. As a child my mom called me the "absent-minded professor", and some things don't change. Now I am wandering, for sure. I'm glad you like the series - more on the way!

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  9. I love the way these look in a group!

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    1. Thanks! It was fun to see them together.

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  10. Dan - I missed a few of these so I went back and read the posts. Loved your premise and also the Ann Cuddy TED talk. Picture me in the Wonder Woman pose!!! I love your work and I love people - so I get it!!!

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    1. Beth, I always picture you in the Wonder Woman pose!! Thank you!

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  11. Yes, life happens and we have little control. Just enough to start fooling ourselves we've got it and then wham! Almost a year ago now my athletic, surfing, dancing, volleyball playing son shattered his foot playing a game of basketball on his sister's driveway. I mean, how mundane an accident is that? Why not get bitten by a shark out surfing (he's surfed with dolphins) or fall after a great effort of a shot during volleyball in the beach sand but no, a quick family game is what took him down and he still isn't surfing or playing volleyball but has done a tiny bit of dancing (and then paying for it with a few days of a sore foot). Oh yes, life gets us. But we have to remember the good things even though that is harder than remembering what causes pain (it's hard wired into us so humans would survive). Like the fact that my son had had a great day being with all the family at his nephew's 18th birthday party and could be still so fit and able to play at 38, almost 39 (his dad had his first heart attack at 42).

    But that is all just comments on how life trips us up, literally! Your drawing and painting is great. You've improved since I was here last and you were good then! You just made lemonade out of this unfortunate woman's lemon experience!

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    1. I am so glad my post brought up all of these more general thoughts about how life trips us up (as unpleasant as they are), because that was my intent. It is amazing how despite our best efforts, things happen. It is our response to it that defines us, I guess.

      I am so glad you say I've improved! I love that. Thank you! I try and try.

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  12. You are creating a treasure! The glimpses into peoples lives is so thoughtful.

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    1. Thank you Sandra. The treasure is in the creation. I feel privileged that I have this outlet.

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  13. Pefect advice for me at the moment Dan.
    Great painting

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    1. Sue, I know things are so hard right now. I am glad to have been of help. And great drawing to you!

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  14. Hi Dan,
    I broke my ankle a little over two years ago, its weird how one moment you're up and OK fine, the next moment you're not. I had the same kind of cast as your painting.

    I am impressed at your dedication to your "At First Glance" series; wonderful! It's interesting to see where you're going and what you're doing with the series.

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    1. Hah! I am glad I got the cast right! I am glad you like the series.

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  15. I love that most of these comments are about the subject you painted, and not how you painted it. Great art draws us into the story and you have done that! I find myself remembering my broken ankle and all the changes it brought to my life. Thank you for sharing your artwork.

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    1. What a lovely comment - I am pleased I could draw you in. (I don't usually use words like "lovely", but - hey, where the shoe fits!)

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    1. Thanks Barbara! And thanks for visiting!

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  17. Your paintings look great together...how about putting them in frames?
    It's important to keep on walking.

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    1. I intend to. But when I finally feel done. I am doing more, and want to frame each one the same.

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  18. Great glance and, I agree with Cathy, what a wonderful series. (Although I have many still waiting for frames)

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    1. I am so glad you like the series! Most of my stuff is unframed. Sigh.

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  19. Such a priceless series! :) When combined they do look like a band or some sort. That's pretty amazing!

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  20. A Band! I like it. Like the Rockbottom Remainders. Disparate individuals brought together..what do they have in common? Who knows? Thanks for the words "priceless" and "amazing" - I will keep them.

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