From the Vault: Old Glory

Every now and then, I like to pull pieces from my artistic vault (i.e., pieces I created more than 10 years ago).  I realize that my archived works in now way garner such excitement as when the Disney company pulls from their vault, but oh well!

This is “Old Glory,” created in September of 2001.  The story behind this piece (which is very tiny — 5″ X 7″ image) is that it is one of the first pieces I created in art school.  I was in Drawing 1, and during the first class after the WTC attack on September 11, 2001, our professor (who was the chair of the department), decided that the student gallery show that semester would be themed around patriotism and Americana, and challenged us to depict our representation of “Old Glory.”

I remember quite clearly what I was doing on Sept. 11, 2001. I was driving to class (I had an hour commute) and I remember my chest felt tight and anxious. It was extremely unsettling that there were not other cars anywhere on the major highway that I travelled to get to school. I didn’t pass a single car the entire day.  I got to campus and saw that all classes were cancelled, found out what had happened, and then had the terrifying journey of driving home for an hour, paranoid and watching the skies, not quite believeing what had happened.

When I went to create this piece (which is colored pencil on tissue paper over black cardstock), I wanted to think about what the flag was, and what it represents.  It represents our people, and it represents peace — a peace that comes from the hands of the people.   I also wanted to use lines to create the piece, because that way it represented that there were thousands of individual lines that work together to create the picture, just like there are thousands of people that work together to make our country who we are.  The only varying factors for the lines were the pressure and color used.

My tribute to America — “Old Glory.”  5″ X 7″, colored pencil (Prismacolor) on tissue paper, framed over black cardstock.

Technique: Lines and Seuss

I have loved the nonsensical world of Dr. Seuss since I was about the size of a Who. (“A person’s a person, no matter how small!”)  His linework is incredible, plus the sheer creativity in all of his works — the creatures, the landscapes, the representations of people — how can you not just sit in awe?

I always was intrigued that, for the majority of his work, he only used 3 or 4 main colors in the books.  Generally speaking, his works were black and white, with one or two accent colors. (Cat in the Hat? Blue, red, black, white.  The Sneetches? Yellow, turquoise, black, white.  Sam I Am? Orange, green, black, white.  Get the picture?)

This piece is a tribute to Dr. Seuss.  I am blatantly mimicking the composition off of an image I Googled.  I wanted to see if I could recreate the energy and vibrance of Dr. Seuss’ linework by close study of it and its color palatte.

I really enjoy this work.  It’s one of my favorites I’ve done, even though it is unfinished. I may leave it this way. I like the abstract edge that the unfinished areas add, plus it gives me a brief snapshot of how I work (from the inside out, apparently).