Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Notes on "For My Friend"

"For My Friend" is unique for several reasons. This was my first serious color pencil drawing in years. A couple of months ago, I spent all of my fun money on art supplies. I have enjoyed the hobby, and it is still less expensive than eating out all the time. My thighs thank me.

A rare event, I drew a picture with something specific in mind from the beginning. It is not normal at all for me to be very specific when I draw. Usually, I draw because I feel a certain way. Or I draw a certain way because I feel. Sometimes I just color on the paper to see the hues. But most of the time if I intend to draw something, I cannot get it right. Then it becomes something else, or I throw it away.

That is not to say that I knew every detail before I drew this one. That is not the case at all. The idea was solitude. Of course, I had to begin with a house. I wanted the house to be small, blend in, almost invisible. The earth underneath is extra security.

I knew that I wanted colors, but I also wanted a feeling of tranquility to exude from the drawing, as if being lifted from the stresses of work, bills, life in general, to somewhere serene, like an ocean paradise.

The yellow ribbon pulled my hand along its path as if it were the Pied Piper playing a hypnotic tune. He led me around and around. The rainbow began to grow, and it had a cupped shape from the beginning. I wanted to make it seem like a cupped hand lifting the house and the solid ground. A hand is more substantial than a rainbow, but not very magical without a rainbow. The two work well together.

The house had to be lifted from somewhere. The smaller buildings were purposeful, but the large building was a very nice and interesting surprise. All but two of the windows are somber. One has a yellow shade and the other a red shade for the people who manage to find happiness in everyday life. Most people are stressed.

The tunnel was not planned, but I thought to draw it next to the smaller buildings. I thought to go from arches to waves seemed a natural progression. But I wanted a sunset, too. I drew it.

I wasn't sure what to do with the large building once I had it drawn. Oh, I meant to twist it as I had the tunnel, but I wanted to make it (the building and the rest of civilization) disappear. A mega tidal wave made absolutely perfect sense.

So I drew sand in front of the building and then began to draw the big colorful waves. I did not like the blue pencil waves. I knew that I would not like the pencil foam. I used pastels for the bright blue wave with foam that is headed straight for the warped building. I thought it turned out great. Besides washing away the stresses, the waves are pushing up the rainbow cup to make it move faster.

Brown in the bottom corners and in part of the big wave symbolizes security-- even though some of the brown is a wave. There is security in being protected. The whole drawing is about shielding our loved ones and lifting them up when they need it.

Click here to view For My Friend.


  1. The world has the colors and textures of who observes it. You capture it beautifully obeying the filter of your sensibility. The world, this way, appears sifted and beautified when passing through your eyes

  2. Sometimes, I, too need solitude. I did last night.