Sticks and stones
Build your words
When it falls
Bones may break
But the words
The two portraits below are of the same subject. The first uses setting, composition, and lighting to convey the subject’s personality. She is a quirky artistic type with hippie, as opposed to hipster, sensibilities and a great, snarky sense of humor. Photography is an excellent medium for portraiture because the subject can be directly involved in communicating how she/he sees herself/himself to the world. However, as in personality testing, this can also be a limitation. Honesty can easily become clouded by preconception.
The second portrait is a drawing of the same subject dancing. It was executed quickly, solely from memory. Both she and I were startled by the resulting resemblance. “Creepy,” she called it. And yes, the attitude and posture was eerily spot on. It’s a big risk to allow yourself to be seen through someone else’s eyes, and the results may surprise you, creepy or not. I invite you to try this exercise with someone you know. In our age of careful personal branding, there is an urgent need for the honesty of a pen, some colouring pencils, and a personal connection only art can prove.
When you make your own cards, topping last year’s is always the challenge. My father, a Canadian artist/inventor/philosopher, is the first Jack of all trades (since ol’ Leo) to have mastered them all. For this Fathers Day, I took inspiration from another master, then added a touch of glitter glue and an inside joke. It would take a long essay, for which neither you nor I have the patience for, to explain the layers of meaning in this seemingly (not to give myself too much credit or anything~wink) simplistic artwork. But I will say one thing: notice the eerie similarity in the eyes of the two men, made infinitely more eerie by the fact I only referenced the original at the colouring stage. Soon, the world will recognize my father, but until then, a little glitter glue goes a long way.
Wondering about Mothers Day?
Start by finding an image off the net that makes you think about that special someone. Print the image onto the lower left corner of a piece of cardstock, don’t forget to add a caption on the right. I used “the magic is what you dream outside the picture”, but you can try “beyond the borders”, “outside the box” or your own variation. Fold and cut the card, then begin to extend the picture with pencil crayons. Let your creativity run wild as you get further away from the photo. Have fun!
From as far back as I can remember, which is just about the time crayons and I moved to a less mutually destructive phase in our relationship, my family has made our own holiday cards. That’s approximatly two decades of birthday/Christmas/mothers day/fathers day/Easter (yes even Easter)/and valentines day cards, all featuring carefully thought out (and witty, if I do say so myself) illustrations and captions. As you can imagine, there are times when one must reach very deep into some very strange places for a new idea. This Fathers Day was one of those times. The result is above, and it’s turned out to be one of my favorites. The caption? When their eyes met…something something…shared magic of fatherhood. Think you can come up with a better one?