Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Friends of Mine

Well, tonight I want to introduce you to some more people. Some of the pictures are of the actual person (or persons), while others are pictures of people who look like people I know or bring back memories! Now that I have you thoroughly confused, let's get started.

This first one actually does not fall into any of those categories! Sorry about that. It is, instead, a composite of several drawings put together in such a way so that it expresses something I wanted to say. It is entitled" "An African Grandmother" and was drawn during the International AIDS conference held in Toronto in 2006. Unique to that conference was the inclusion of a number of African grandmothers -- who have taken upon themselves the job of raising numerous grandchildren after the deaths of of their adult children from HIV/AIDS. So many grandchildren have been orphaned in Africa and the grandmothers, strong and honourable women, have stepped in to be a parent to all these kids.

This drawing also has some additional history. After that conference, a number of groups were founded in Canada which were called Mothers for African Grandmothers (I think they may be affiliated with the Stephen Lewis Foundation). One of the groups founded was spearheaded by some of the women living in my co-op. A few of them saw my drawing and asked to use it for their "official" note card. They also bought a number of packages of the cards and envelopes from me to sell. After selling quite a few, the demand has fallen off considerably but, maybe, there will be increased demand some time in the future.

This next drawing is of a young girl that I do not know, but she reminds me so very much of myself at that age -- especially me when faced with a similar situation.

When I was first working on the drawing, I used a working title of "Heart Palpitations" because I could remember so clearly how hard my heart would be beating whenever I was called to the front to do work on the blackboard! After the drawing was finished, I decided to call it: "2 x 6 + 1 = ?". Whenever I look at the card and the title, I always find myself adding a "Dear Lord, Please help me." silently just as I did as a young schoolgirl when faced with such a situation. At the time, it always seemed as though I had forgotten every single times table I had ever memorized!

Finally, I am showing you a drawing of an actual person. This is another grand-nephew of mine. He is a handsome little boy and I think he looks adorable with that slightly shy look that
very young children sometimes have. I call the drawing "Boy with a Pumpkin" in my usual clever fashion and it is the closest thing I have to a Halloween card should you be looking for one!

This next drawing of a father an son fishing is of people unknown. However, I was immediately attracted to the photo in a brochure because of the way the child is sitting in the arms of his father. It is entitled "Gone Fishing" and reminds me so much of a friend of mine who use to love taking his kids fishing with him -- even the girls!

The happy little family here on the left are also unknowns; however, they look like people I would really enjoy getting acquainted with.
I wonder how old the little baby is now...
I came across this photo in a magazine just at the time that young acquaintances of mine were getting ready to have their first baby and it gave me a lot of pleasure while working on the drawing to focus my thoughts and prayers on them as they went through this blessed and wonderful experience of bringing a new life into the world. The drawing is entitled: "And Baby Makes Three."
Here we have a young lady proudly holding up a fish she has apparently caught. The original photo reminded me of myself at that age. We were living in Sarasota, Florida and every day after work, my father would take me along and we would go fishing until almost dusk. An outing with my father was not something I found pleasurable, but I did get to where I was pretty good
at catching fish!

The drawing is entitled: "First Catch". Interestingly, I have never liked eating fish. Even after an evening of catching a "good mess of fish", I would still ask my mother to give me a hard boiled egg for supper while everyone else had fresh fish!

This next drawing is of a newly engaged couple somewhere in the world. As I occasionally get phone calls from friends telling me that another one of their grandchildren is getting married, I thought it would be nice to have a card with an appropriate drawing to send to the young people. Since the people in the drawing are not known to me, I simply called it "The Happy Couple."

This drawing of a child and a cat always give me a chuckle whenever I look at it. It is entitled "Practicing Feline Zen" and you can see the child trying to place his hands like the cat has placed her paws. The picture, itself, reminded me immediately of the way a friend looked years ago as a pre-schooler. He is now a man in his 30's but I still can recall so clearly how adorable he looked with his tousled, sun-blond hair

This next drawing was taken from a much larger newspaper photo of children at a day camp getting hands on experience with the natural world. When I spotted these two guys on one side of the photo, I knew right away that I wanted to draw them. They remind me of so many children I have known and they remind me of myself at that age -- I was a bit of a tomboy!
The working title was "Catching Bugs", however, I felt I should change it once I decided that the bug I would draw would be a bee. It is now named, "Be-e-e-e Careful!"

Now this drawing is of people known to me. I mean I haven't actually seen them in person, but the baby's fraternal grandmother is a very dear cousin of mine and she sent me the pictures after her first grandchild was born. The young woman holding the baby (girl) is the mother. The drawing is entitled: "Mother and Child".

"Brianna and Her Father"
This next drawing is not easy to figure out so I will explain it. The child's name is Brianna and she is holding onto her father's hand. In may ways it is a failure as a drawing since you have to work so hard trying to figure out what is happening; however, I was so taken with this section of the picture when I saw it in the newspaper that I tried to draw it anyway. At first I tried drawing the child and her father, but I was so dissatisfied by how much of the child's expression I lost in the smaller format. Finally I decided to do what you see here: a child holding tightly to her father's hand. Even though it is not a popular card, it gives me a great deal of pleasure each time I look at it. This is the kind of father I always dreamed of having.

Then there is this drawing. The model was a photo taken of someone I don't know, but someone who bears an uncanny resemblance to an acquaintance of mine who is always either riding her bike, tinkering with her bike or talking about her bike! I call this one "Being Green Ain't Easy" as my friend is always promoting bikes as the greenest solution to the problems of using a car. I tease her sometimes by asking her what kind of bike she would recommend for me!

And, speaking of me and the way I get from one place to another, I decided one day that I really should try to do a drawing of someone in a power wheelchair like mine. So, when I came across the photo that I could use as a model, I did just that. I ended up with what I feel to be a happy drawing of a mother in a wheelchair with her daughter and their little dog. I am not sure who will ever want this drawing on a greeting card or in a frame, but it makes me feel good when I look at it. It is entitled "Happy Threesome".

So, once I had done a drawing of someone in a power chair, I thought "well, why not some one in a manual chair?" Which I did! This drawing is entitled "Beautiful Ability".

Here is a drawing of another "real" person! This is the granddaughter of a dear friend of mine in Alabama. She is a beautiful child and my palette is too limited to capture the delightful colour of her hair and eyes, but I did my best. The drawing is called "Anaka".

The photo that inspired this next drawing was black and white and in a newspaper. I was immediately attracted to the look in her eyes as she held her sleeping son in what appears to be a room in a hospital or clinic. I ended up calling it: "A Mother's Prayer".

This next drawing is of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan. For me it is a commentary on the foolishness of the whole idea of war as a means to peace as well as a simple way of showing the kindness that can be expressed in even the most brutal settings. I called it "Afghan Kitty".

And, finally, I want to show you a drawing of a Native Canadian looking beautiful and proud as she should. I found her in a newspaper article and even though the photo was black and white, her elegant spirit still came shining through. I just had to draw her picture. I have never been able to come up with a title that satisfies me so if you have any good suggestions, please let me know.

So, we come to the end of another posting. I hope you were able to stay with me until the end. Tomorrow I want to show you what happened once when I went on a binge of drawing lighthouses and windmills. I have since tried to figure out what possessed me but that is something we can discuss tomorrow.
Now it is time for Goodnight and God bless.


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