Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Road

My Mom came up for a visit this past weekend.  She is also artistically oriented, so whenever we’re together we seem to manage to talk about art and end up doing something creative.  However, the goings on in our home, and the demands associated with those goings on – five children, two of those being 9 month old twins – dictate the amount of time available for such artistic endeavors.  And so it was about 10 o’clock on Saturday evening when we finally settled in our studio (the dining room table).

“What are you gonna do?”, Mom asked.

“I’m not sure”, I replied.

“Me either”, she said, and we both looked at our materials for a while.

Thumbing through the camera roll on my cell phone, I came across this photo I took on the way home one afternoon.  I liked the sky, which is why I took the photo in the first place.

I exclaimed, “Found it!  I’m gonna paint this.”

Mom thumbed through her phone and found her inspiration as well… her father, who passed away last April.  She misses him immensely.  Grandpa was always there for us.  He came over and fixed the plumbing, mowed the grass, and other, innumerable around-the-house kinds of things.  He helped us financially when Mom, struggling to provide for two boys alone on one income, couldn’t quite make ends meet.  He took care of us.

He was living in an assisted living facility in Jacksonville when he died, surrounded by his family.  Mom went to see him every day without fail.  It was her turn to take care of him.  She took care of him like I would want to be taken care of by my children when I’m old and can’t take care of myself.  She was a saint and an angel for him, and I admire and respect her greatly for that.  After my brother died, Grandpa was all the family she had left in Jacksonville (I am in Atlanta, and her sister is in Birmingham), so you can imagine how much it must have hurt to lose him, even though he lived a full life of 96 years.  She sure did love her Daddy.

I should have taken a photo of the portrait she drew.  She wasn’t happy with it.  I mentioned that I was rarely ever happy with anything I’ve ever done (artistically speaking, of course), and that she shouldn’t beat herself up about it.  Heck, if a perfect representation is what’s needed, then why not simply look at the photo?  Right?  Anyway, since I don’t have a photo of the drawing, I’ll substitute with a photo.  Here’s Grandpa:

Grandpa - Jacksonville, Fl 2011

Grandpa – Jacksonville, Fl 2011

I miss him, too.  The older I get, the more people around me pass away, and the more I’m reminded of my own mortality.  It’s a gentle reminder, you know.  Live… live well.  And LOVE!  I am blessed to be surrounded by family, and believe me, these lessons aren’t lost on me in the least.

Oh, so here’s what I painted:

Road Scene:  Watercolor on 4"x6" paper

Road Scene: Watercolor on 4″x6″ paper

Funny, now that I look back on it.  The road could represent life.  This could be a snapshot of where I currently am on this particular road I’m traveling.  I can just see what’s ahead until it curves off.  What lies beyond, I cannot know.  I can only know that I am on a road, and moving forward.  Huh.  How ’bout that?

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Mr. Mayor

I got an email from the folks at sketchbookproject.com about a new project for the week: Challenge Accepted! – This week we ask you to share a little piece of home and draw a portrait of your town’s mayor.”

I didn’t even know who our Mayor was.  Isn’t that sad?  Well, I didn’t want to do a drawing of some boring looking politician, so I scoured his (turns out his name is Billy Copeland) Facebook page and found a photo of him in these wonderful shades.  The likeness isn’t all that great, but it was fun.  Thanks, and it was nice getting to “know” you, Mr. Mayor!

Billy Copeland, Mayor of McDonough, Georgia. Watercolor on 4"x6", 140 lb cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Billy Copeland, Mayor of McDonough, Georgia. Watercolor on 4″x6″, 140 lb cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Blessings Thrift Store

Thank God for sketchbooks, or I might not create at all.  I did this in the parking lot of a thrift store my wife and mother-in-law were browsing, while sitting in the van with the kids.  I didn’t have a lot of time – turns out there wasn’t much worth looking at in the store.

Anyway, I’ve been bouncing around an idea of adding a shopping cart to the page to allow folks to purchase some of my drawings/paintings, but just haven’t committed to it.  One, I have no idea how to set up an e-commerce function.  And two, I’m a bit frightened at the potential rejection (although, that isn’t really that much of a concern… I wouldn’t post if I cared deeply what others thought… OK, nevermind, but I’m leaving “two” there JIC).  If anyone who reads this has had luck with that, I’d love to chew the fat with you.

Blessings Thrift Shop. Watercolor & ink in Moleskine sketchbook.

Blessings Thrift Shop. Watercolor & ink in Moleskine sketchbook.

Funny Face

I wanted an interesting face to draw/paint, so I Googled “funny face”, and I was drawn to a certain black and white photo of a man contorting his face just so.  I thought, “That’ll do”, broke out a piece of ACEO and a brush pen, and went at it.  Of course black and white won’t do, so I added a touch of color.  Here he is:

Brush pen and watercolor on ACEO

Brush pen and watercolor on ACEO