What a whirlwind this year has been for our family! In the past year, we have been through selling a home, building a new home for our spankin’ newly blended family, a honeymoon, a familymoon, and some unforeseen surgeries following miscarriages. In an attempt to navigate through my grief and mend my broken heart, I began to nurture my love for the sketchpad…
In an earlier post, I described The Carousel Project that I have conceptualized for years. This project is becoming a healing balm for me now… As I blend my love for whimsical carousel characters with my desire to bring light into my painful loss, I have sketched a Christmas reindeer character for our first son, Nicholas.
Later in the summer, we learned that my father was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. During some of my prayer time, I was inspired to create a special sketch as a gift. His wife is Vietnamese and his life has been heavily influenced by Asian cultures. I chose to sketch a Vietnamese dragon grasping a pearl, as in the Eastern tradition, a symbol of protective strength and healing from Heaven. He was also raised Catholic, and I felt strongly that the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus should be represented within the pearl… a deeply soulful prayer for not only holistic, but also soul-istic, protection and healing. Embedded within the border is a scripture I felt led to include. It is a passage that speaks to our faith from John 11:25-26, translated from a Vietnamese bible…
Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life:
he that believes in Me, although he be dead, shall live,
and every one that lives and believes in Me shall not die for ever…
This is my first drawing that I have ever colored, so I wanted to extend the symbolism through the Heavenly blues and purples in the dragon against the background sunrise of hope… It is my prayer filled healing sketch on its way to Georgia.
Cotton application of ink onto newsprint
was the method of shading used in this studio art project.
Now that I have finally made it to the end of this summer semester, it is time to return to my domestic responsibilities in full force. Our garage is still stacked high with boxes from our recent move and my [somewhat] freshly painted studio is buried in the basement by bins filled with supplies begging to be organized. Do you ever find yourself vowing to purge stored forgotten treasures only to become entranced by volumes of unboxed memories? Well, as I meandered through this maze of sketch pads and easels, I came across my cardboard, poorly duct taped college art portfolio from a time that predates vector graphics – at least before they were commercialized to the general public. Yes, I realize that maps my post secondary education on a timeline, but it also serves as a disclaimer for coloring outside of the lines in these projects… in the spirit of ‘We just didn’t know any better’… That was the season when “Def Leppard” played in the Ratskellar, Dana Carvey & Mike Myers were dabombdiggity on “Saturday Night Live” and cell phones looked more like walkie talkies… Good times, good times… So just for the fun of it, I thought I would post a few of my earlier projects that I unearthed in the process of declutterization… okay, who am I kidding… this is just a great excuse to get out of that mess downstairs! Enjoy!…
An early ink graphic designed for my studio art class at the university.
This design was created with cut Canson paper.
The visual transformation of a sketch into an abstracted non-objective rendering.
As a child, I always marveled at the colors and designs that could be contrived by the simple rotation of a kaleidoscope. Olafur Eliasson brings all that childhood wonderment of color spectra into the adult cognition through his works. His studio has been in operation since 1995 in Berlin, Germany, however, his exhibits have traveled worldwide. His manipulation of light through prisms, reflective and refractive surfaces is combined with elaborate geometric constructs creating visually scintillating effects. Visitors are captivated by the play of light through his exhibits which seem to generate their own unique experience depending on the perception of each individual at any given moment or position. One such exhibit that ran in 2008 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York can still be viewed online by clicking the museum link.
Beyond his innovative style of art, I am equally impressed by his attention to the needs of under privileged communities. His efforts as a philanthropist have channeled his talent and resources to create a product called “Little Sun.” Five hours of natural sunlight charges this safe portable lantern to provide five hours of light that would otherwise be unavailable. We so frequently take for granted our use of electricity until we are temporarily forced to endure without it during storms and other sources of power outages. Heaven help our family when we lose power for one day… and you would think the apocalypse was nearing if BGE tarried beyond the 36 hour margin! Yet this is a lifestyle to so many countries that we can easily forget about in our daily to’s-and-fro’s. I remember once hearing about the conditions in a Haitian village where children were not able to get effective time in the classroom because the school did not have adequate light, even during the daytime hours. Then in the evenings they were only able to access a limited and rationed supply of electricity in one centralized building. Communities such as these would be so grateful to have something so simple yet so functional in their homes. Learning about this project, brought new meaning to a quote I heard in an earlier interview by Eliasson when he stated,
“I would like to make sense of the world by sensing the world.”
“Your Spiral View” by Olafur Eliasson (2002)