Friday, October 14, 2011

song of myself

I never take birthdays for granted, mine or anyone else's. As Mel Robbins said recently on Ted, the odds of our birth is a 1 in 400 trillion chance of fate. Now that I have passed safely into middle age, I seem to have more blessings than I can count. I'll start with the above, a handmade birthday card from my beloved, who so graphically captured my love of dots and red and ME.

I also got this original portrait from the inimitable Kathy Mahoney, who I miss terribly since she moved from New England.

I have quite a collection of portraits that capture certain pages of my life in indelible ways.

I did this one in a brush and ink class with Victor Johnson during my junior year at RISD.

 It was the first class in which I was encouraged to let loose.

Did this one senior year. Learning about light and form with charcoal, gouache, and pastel.

Trying to remember what a senior illustration major is thinking here, now that I am sharing a classroom with a dozen of them at Maine College of Art. I consider my role as a teacher an exchange of perspectives. I may possess more perspective, being older, but theirs is fresh. We can learn from each other.

They know I'm a big advocate of observational drawing, and we sometimes draw from the model. And when the model is missing, we draw each other. In this case, we threw in some props, like a cowboy hat, which adds a narrative of sorts. I'll model, too, to break the ice. This is Zoe's drawing of me.

Her classmate, Austin, observes something totally different.

 Found this blast from the past, by Paul Baldessari, done for Stuff Magazine in the early 80's.
Life was in the nail-biting fast lane then.

Flash forward to 2001, when I drew this sober look for the contributors page for Attache Magazine.

The good news is that the last 10 years have been pretty darn sweet.  I can still get excited about unwrapping a new box of Prismacolor pencils! And I am still illustrating, another blessing, of persistence in a fickle field.

I spent some of my birthday sketching for a project for Storey. These are a good warm-up for illustrations about cast on techniques. Feeling fuzzy already.

My daughter posed for this one, with a pair of antlers found near the compost pile a few years ago.

Today the weather is way too wet for mittens. But perfect for drawing inside, and counting blessings.

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