Monday, September 21, 2009

#37 Draw Some Keys

Here are my keys for challenge 37. Keeping in theme with all things Mustang, my keys are on a key ring I bought after I brought my Mustang home. It's the same icon that Ford has used ever since the beginning, the running pony. I plopped it down on my drawing table and left it there for 3 days while I drew it, in between doing household chores and making meals. An improvement in my time management. My family laughs at me and they are always talking about how many keys I have on my ring, but really it's not that many. The key to my husband's Nissan Sentra, one to my daily driver which is my 13 year old Toyota station wagon (still going strong!), the house key, and the three to the Mustang; doors, ignition and trunk. The little clip I use to clip my keys to my purse strap so that I don't need to do any digging. Done in my moleskine with 2B pencil.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Doodle & Migration

Two more doodle exercises that I did. I really enjoy working on the doodles; they are so relaxing. The first one is just silhouettes of various household appliances. Forgive my typo at the top of the page. I was so focussed on the doodle itself and filling in the letters that I completely lost it on the spelling. The second one is of migration and I would like to do more of these. I kept thinking about MC Escher when I was doing this one. I don't remember how long ago, but I was actually able to attend an exhibit of MC Escher's work at York College in York, Pennsylvania where I lived at the time. He did amazing things with his artwork and lots of it was based on geometry. I would never be able to do the things Mr. Escher did, but my fish made me think about him. If you have time, you should browse through his works. You will be amazed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Noses 16-18

Here are 3 more nose studies that I did oh so long ago. I still have 13 more to post. So, as you will see, I tried to spice it up a bit by making my kids pose with their noses pressed against the window for something entirely different. The third one is my husband's nose which is very interesting and was fun to sketch. Even after all this time, the sketching really helped me to become familiar with the nose to the point that I can draw them really well again. Off to work on the piece I'm hoping to finish by Saturday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze Died today

Patrick Swayze lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today. I usually don't do portraits of celebrities, but, I will make an exception in this case. Because Patrick Swayze was more than a celebrity. He was an honest-to-goodness movie star in the most traditional sense. He wasn't flamboyant and wasn't constantly chasing the limelight like some bigger, but less talented actors. Now, that's just my opinion. He was married to his wife for 34 years! That says a lot about his character, especially from someone living the Hollywood life. Rest in peace, Patrick. May your spirit soar! I did this in 2B pencil in my moleskine.

Natural Science Center & misc. sketches

Here are some more sketches I did over the past year. I was giving a friend's child art lessons in exchange for her teaching my son Japanese for his foreign language requirement. We spent one beautiful spring day at the Natural Science Center in Greensboro. This museum is really a great place to visit. Both of my sons have volunteered there for the past 4 years. My oldest son was even nominated for volunteer of the week and had an article written about him published in the local newspaper along with a picture of him feeding one of the wallabies. The NSC's small zoo is called Animal Discovery and they have smaller versions of the animals that are in the bigger zoos. Instead of Kangaroos, they have Wallabies, and they have Alpacas instead of Llamas. You get the idea. The centerpiece of AD is the tigers. They are young siblings, a male (Axel) and a female (Keisa) who were confiscated from a private citizen that had raised them from cubs and was keeping them as pets in an apartment. To feed the tigers, the owner would put raw meat in a baby stroller and pull it around the apartment, letting the tigers chase after it to catch their prey. The tigers are big now even though they are only about 6 years old. They play like little kittens and unfortunately they move too fast to get any good sketches of them. I need to catch them on a hot day when they are just lounging around. But, we sketched the Meerkats, which are one of my favorite animals. I had to be really quick with these guys, too, because they don't sit still very much. Sketched a little boy who was excited to see the Meerkats and I sketched my student, Kaleigh who was sketching the cute, little buggers. Next, we went into the Discovery House and sketched some of the more protected animals. There are 3 little Screech Owls who live here and all three have been injured in some way and are being cared for at the NSC. Pigwidgeon, the first one had a run-in with a car and the car won. His right wing had to be amputated. One has a detached retina and the other one has lost his left eye. All are given excellent care by the handlers at NSC. Box turtles are not endangered, but they are protected. You're not allowed to find one in the wild and take it home to keep as a pet. We see them all the time in our yard and even help them cross the road. The very light one is a domestic rabbit who is very shy. The statue of the little boy is a very moving story. It was built to honor Robert Marshall, a small boy who loved to visit the NSC. His mother took him often and everyone who worked or volunteered there knew him. One day while driving along rt. 29, they got a flat tire. His mother pulled off the highway onto the shoulder of the road as far as she could. She was standing outside the car getting ready to change the tire when a tractor trailer swerved off the highway and hit their car. Robert's mother was thrown clear and survived, but little Robert, strapped into his car seat in the car, where it was thought he would be safer, did not survive the crash. The monument to Robert began as a plaque, but snowballed into this statue and wishing pond. People can buy a brick and have a loved one's name engraved. There are lots of touching sayings and charming things engraved in the bricks surrounding the pond. And the next sketch is of a grouping of bird feeders that I was using to teach scale and measurement. The last two sketches are a couple of unfinished street scenes that I started while waiting for my youngest son to finish his Spanish lesson.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Floral Doodles

I told y'all I'd be back. *smile* I really did scan the sketches I've accumulated while I've been away, and over the next week I'll post them all. Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have a new finished piece for y'all to critique.

I feel I should tell you what I've been doing since I've been MIA from EDM. I will be participating fully now so you should see me popping up on your blogs and commenting on your work. It's not that I haven't been doing anything creative all this time, it's just that my focus has shifted. A little over a year ago a friend and I signed up for a class on writing children's picture books. I wrote four books and I'm shopping them around the publishing houses and working on the illustrations. I don't want to post the illustrations just yet. If I get any takers, then I'll show them off, but right now I have to keep them under wraps. But, trust me, they're cute! One of the assignments was to write a story about an urban legend or folk tale and update it. Well, that's the reason I've been gone so long. My assignment started out as a children's book and then snowballed into a short story for pre-teens. I'm over 24 pages and going strong. My wonderful husband calls it a book, but it's a short story, ok? *laughing* Calling it a book intimidates me. The storyline is great according to my fellow writers in our local group, so I hope they're right and that there is a publisher out there for it.

Another interest that has snowballed is my love of the classic Mustang. Some of you may recall that I started searching for one a while ago. Well, I found one, in very, very good condition for a very, very good price. *grin* It's about 90% restored, so there's not much left to do, but with a vintage car, there's always going to be something that needs to be fixed, tinkered or fiddled with. But, that's ok; that's why they call it a hobby. It's not exactly what I was looking for, but then, I found out that my original criteria turned out to be very, very expensive. I figured if it was supposed to happen, it would. I found an ad and went to look at it, not getting my hopes up, but when I started it, I was sold. It's a beautiful 1966 Ford Mustang with a rebuilt 289 (less than 10K miles when I bought it), cam and headers. She's white with black interior. I've got some sketches, so you'll be seeing her soon enough.

So, now that you know what I've been up to, back to art! These are some doodles I started from the Keys to Drawing With Imagination. I have others farther in my moleskine, but I'm posting them in the order I did them. So, these were just simple florals. Either tomorrow or the next day, I'll post some sketches from around town that I did.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Project 2996: 9/11 Tribute Harry Glenn

The date of September 11 fills me with anxiety each year it comes around. I was watching CNN that morning and saw the planes hit the towers. As the first one crashed into the tower, I was surprised, dismayed and needless to say, shocked. I went into our bedroom where my husband was packing to go on a guy weekend with his best friend and said I thought planes weren't allowed to fly in NY. He didn't even look up, just said they're not. I told him what was happening and he followed me back into the living room where we were in time to see the next plane hit the other tower. Then dread filled my stomach as the realization dawned on me that this was a terrorist attack. You probably went through all those same emotions, too. I've heard some say that 9/11 is our generation's Pearl Harbor and that sentiment is most likely true. I haven't been able to watch any of the documentaries about it or read any books about it. It just hurts. Too. Much. I'm not a very social person; shy and uncomfortable in groups. But, I'm not anti-social either. The sights and sounds of that day will never leave me. I have searched each year for something to do that would make me feel better. This year I think I finally found it. Project 2996 They were looking for volunteers to write tributes for each of the victims of 9/11 to celebrate their lives and remember them. I didn't find their site until last week and wasn't notified until the beginning of this one, so I didn't get to do as much research as I would've liked to give Harry Glenn the tribute he deserves. I did a quick sketch (10 minutes) but I couldn't find a good clear picture and since I'm used to working from my own photographs or a live model, the sketch just doesn't do Mr. Glenn justice. But, next year will be different since I know where Project 2996 resides now. I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to please go to the Project 2996 site and please volunteer to write a tribute and post it on your blog next year. It's for a very good cause. And now, without further adieu, let me introduce Harry Glenn.

Harry Glenn

I did not know Harry Glenn personally, but after all my research, I wish I had. He seems to be a great guy. There are tribute pages all over the internet for Harry and I got lost reading the posts from people who obviously loved him and miss him terribly. But, this tribute is not about sadness or the loss of Harry. It's a celebration of his life and he lived it to the fullest.

Harry was a driven young man and I say that because he grew up in Harlem and lots of people didn't think he could come from there and go on to succeed in life as well as he did. His father, Roosevelt, tells the story of how Harry said he wanted to go to college and learn everything he could about computers, and he did. He set a goal and worked toward it and he achieved it.

Harry was the fourth of five boys and the pride of his family. He graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham where he met his wife Sharon. Both of them graduated with degrees in business administration. After graduation, Harry and Sharon moved to Piscataway New Jersey and for the next 14 years he worked for AT&T earning senior management positions. He then took a position at Bankers Trust eventually moving on to consult for Sapient Corporation before working for Marsh & McLennan at the World Trade Center. He was assistant vice president in the global technology department.

But, Harry wasn't all work and no play. His wife, Sharon, says he wasn't just a good father to his own son, but a father figure to other children in the neighborhood.

This comment from Susan Burwell, who lived next to the Glenns for seven years is indicative of Harry's relationship with people. “He was a good person to everybody. He spoke to everybody, he was a very warm person.”

Harry Glenn cared about people, that's obvious. While at AT&T he volunteered in a black leadership mentoring program and participated in other mentoring programs throughout his career.

When I read that it took Harry's wife, Sharon, a week to tell their seven year old son, Jalen, that his father had passed away, it brought tears to my eyes. She had told him for several days that his father had been hurt very badly and that they needed to pray.

“God only takes angels,” she said of her 38 year old husband. “He was my hero and an angel... He was my best friend, my husband, my confidant, a great father.”

Because Harry was such a great father, Sharon knows that their son will have good memories for the rest of his life. She said Harry made sure that they did family things together.

Mr. Harry Glenn was survived by his parents, Birdie and Roosevelt Glenn Sr.; four brothers, James Glenn, Franklin Murray, Roosevelt Glenn Jr. and Donald Glenn; his paternal grandmother, Fannie Glenn Trapp of the Bronx, and his maternal grandmother, Bertha Murray. All of his family resides in NYC.

Harry had a full life, tragically cut short September 11, 2001. But, his family and friends will keep his memory alive. And so will some of us in the blogosphere, because Harry and all the other victims of September 11th should never be forgotten. We should remember them and celebrate their lives so their spirits will live on forever. God bless you, Harry, and keep you safe and warm.

Most of my information about Harry Glenn was gathered from previous tributes posted around the internet and the site Remember September 11, 2001, written by Alicia Grey.