Friday, June 27, 2008

Studies of my parents

...A couple portrait studies of my parents. Thought I'd try using a brush and ink instead of a dry medium for my mother's portrait. Though, there's a little bit of charcoal in there as well.

Dick Oden Artwork

(current FRB exhibit)

Since I'm on the topic of memorials, I thought I'd post some work of Dick Oden, who was the head of the Illustration Department at CSULB until his passing in '93. Some quotes from his obituary: "The figure is above all a way to not have to intellectualize a relationship with your work... It's sort of equivalent to just hugging somebody as opposed to talking to them." "My reason for making a living out of art is that you're free to just take your pencil and pad somewhere. You just don't need any other equipment. That freedom is wonderful." "I've also always thought I would never get a job where I had to wear socks."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Memorial for Barbara Bradley

A few photos from the memorial... Barbara was the mentor who challenged me to always push myself and helped me with some straight forward drawing technique advice. However, in her "technique" there was a melding of "content" as well. For her, I think the process of drawing people and appreciating people were one in the same. Her "opinion" about the model didn't necessarily have to be a grand narrative, but could be about visual design of their features and/or clothing. In drawing other people, I think she felt somehow it made the world a little better - taking time to look closely at other people suspends judgment for a moment. If you too quickly make an assumption about how a model appears, the drawing suffers from being too generalized. By overriding one's own conception of what the model should look like for a moment, and studying the other person, a certain level of connectedness occurs - in some cases, random models unknowingly being sketched sometimes become aware of their being observed. In an age when people interminably have their hands glued to their ears in phone conversations, a little less inwardness and a little more mindfulness of others couldn't be a bad thing. At any rate, after some successes working for WDFA and later teaching for the AAU, we were somewhat colleagues, but obviously she had the much greater well to draw from and was the "mother hen" as she was referred to.

Memorial Dance for Aunt Judy

Part of a dance performance for my Aunt Judy, who passed away recently. The dance was performed by Na Mamo No'eau, where Judy was taking hula lessons. She was a very vibrant person and made many friends, so the loss is all the more saddening.

If there's anything to be gained from losing her, it would be learning to notice when someone appears to be choking - ask them if they can breathe! Aunt Judy unfortunately was choking on a cough drop after walking out of a BART station where nobody knew what to do.

Choking Treatment Instructions

CPR Instructions

Memorial Week Sketches

In remembrance of Barbara Bradley (and Dick Oden ), I took some time to go out sketching people. Most of them were done at various airports, but some were sketched in SF, during the week of Barbara and my aunt's memorials; a wonderful week topped off with the passing of Sumo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sumo: 1994 - 2008

Rest in peace, Sumo...

He was a great, goofy dog (part Lab, part Shar-Pei) and made for some good times. A fondest recent memory was of Sumo holding onto a bone treat, walking around and wagging his tail for a several minutes as he was too giddy to sit down and actually eat it just yet. In his later years he took up so much of our schedules that it's really difficult to even get through part of the day without remembering him and all the goofiness that he added.