I never realized how much I missed my grandfather until I came across artifacts from his life. I called him Dziedz and he a special person in my life. When my mom went to work at school (before I went to school), he would take care of me with my grandmother. He taught me about birdwatching and came up with drawing exercises that made me think.
He would draw a line with a dip in it. I would turn his line into a complete drawing. Dziedz was patient and gentle. He had cancer for a good part of my life and lost his eyesight over time. When he was blind, he would still examine my drawings and somehow managed to point out parts that he liked. Maybe he could sense the emotions that went into the piece.
He died of cancer my senior year of college, shortly after my mom was diagnosed with cancer. When he died, my mom gave me his SU sweatshirt. He wore it in support of the college that I attended. It is a comfortable zip-up hoodie. When I first received it, there were still tissues in the pocket. Remnants from his life. I wish that I had saved them sometimes.
Yesterday, I came across his pastels. My grandmother had given me some of his old canvases and drawing supplies. I have the crayons and markers from our childhood drawing exercises and the sketchbooks with the drawings in them. I don't want to throw any object away, even the smelly markers that no longer work.
When I found the pastels, I had been working on a drawing of a swan. Something told me that they would be just right. The price sticker was still on the box. He had purchased them from a small store in Rutland, probably 20-30 years ago. They were cheap by today's standards. I didn't think that he had used them. Then I picked up a stick and it had been sanded into a point. Several of the pastel sticks had been sanded in this way. They felt like heaven on my fingertips. Smooth, buttery, and warm. The energy of my grandfather was imprinted on each stick like a fingerprint. I felt content and connected to him. It is a way that I can continue to draw with him.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
My latest commissioned charcoal portrait features Che, an adorable mixed breed boy. Che is a sweet, older chap, who is quite tall. Reclining in the sun, he maintains a peaceful, thoughtful expression. He is drawn in black conte crayon on smooth vellum paper.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The production above is a simple slideshow that showcases my work in charcoal, set to the music of Led Zeppelin. I figured that it was only fair to showcase my work in charcoal, since there's already two slideshows with my pastel work.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A few days ago, I felt motivated to work on another wildlife drawing. I've been wanting to draw either a squirrel or chipmunk for a while. After digging through my photo reference files, I found a picture of an exotic chipmunk that lives in the "Mouse House" at a zoo. When I took the picture, he was darting up a tree in his little habitat. This little chap is a nocturnal animal, which is why the drawing is set at night.
The drawing was created with pastel pencils and is 8 x 10" in size. The blurriness of the picture is intentional, to show the motion of the animal.