Saturday, March 29, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day eighty-eight

On my mind all the time.  Not going to be complete before the end of the month and I am okay with that.  I still see things I want to correct.  I am only afforded small bits of time lately.  Houd and Coyote are going on a little vacation with us soon.  Love cannot be hasty, we will get back to our portrait soon enough.....then our adventure will be done for awhile.  I have a full year of beautiful souls still waiting for us.......

Friday, March 28, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day eighty-six

I heard the whisper.  Life has been busy and I knew I had to make the time for Houd.  I am nearly finished.  I see more things that need corrected first, but I think I captured the thought in his head at that moment.  Tell me, do you see it? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day seventy-seven

Still have more shading and darkening to do, but I love it so far.  Love, love, love.  It's him.

My heart and mind will forever remember him.  I haven't forgotten about my friend, Russ that committed suicide 20 years ago and I won't forget Houd either.  To lose a loved one is sad, but to lose a loved one by their own hand is even sadder.  Every time I go to the library I think of my friend Russ.  Every time I go camping I will think of my friend Houd.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day seventy-one

I am so sorry.  This is the most difficult thing to do right now.  I love memorializing my dear friend, but honestly it fills me with sadness and love that is often overwhelming.  I know he is in a good place and it feels selfish at times, but I would rather have him here.  I am finding I need more breaks than I did with my last portrait.  Death is still fresh and the wound is still open and sore.  Being so far away from his home and our chosen family, it is apparent that I still have much grieving to do.  I can't just go visit his camp site or sit down for a talk with his mother or girlfriend.  I am sorry that I am not strong enough to work on his portrait every single day.  And mostly I apologize to Houd, but you all should know too. 

The damage done by taking your own life is like a ripple in water and it carries farther than anyone could ever know.

365 days of drawing ~ day seventy

Getting it done, day eight of this portrait and I am pretty pleased.  I still have shading, darkening and minor fixes to work on before the end is in sight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-eight

I got nothing today.

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-seven

It was such an enlightening, sad, full of love, type of day.  I attended poetry readings in remembrance of beloved babies, met the heart of Still Playing School, soul of Sweet Pea project, spent the night having a wonderful conversation about spirituality and remembering Houd.

The poetry readings at the book signing was so beautiful, the raw emotion these strong women spoke directly from their hearts was so powerful.  I got there late and when it was over I just didn't want to leave.  The love and energy in that place was so amazing.  I approached the candles lit in memory of precious babies gone too soon and read their names and said prayers over them.  I lingered where the quiet sadness filled with overwhelming love hung in the room.  It felt comfortable for me to be in the presence of others grieving for their loved ones.

Later that night as I prepared to draw, my husband and I had a great conversation about spirituality which led to remembering Houd.  I remembered his ability to seek me out at just the right times.  So many times I have found myself standing alone just long enough to cue Houd.  He would keep me company, talking about his latest adventure or filling my mind with endless jokes and hilarious stories.  Other times we would have deep conversations about whatever was troubling us.  Either way, in the short time I knew him - he was there for me more than other people claiming to care about me.

As my husband and I sadly but lovingly remembered Houd, I shaded and worked diligently on his portrait.  I knew that it would be difficult to work on this portrait and I was not prepared to experience grief every day all over again as fresh as the first day.  A quiet sadness filled with love is the best way to describe it.  I believe I once described it as a peaceful sadness, but really there is nothing peaceful about this sadness at all.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-six

Shading, facial hair and trying to get the facial expression to my liking. Still not quite right, but I still have a ways to go --- long ways.  I can't wait to have this print on my wall....

I also will be making extra prints to list for sale in my Etsy shop.  If you are interested, let me know and I will be sure to have one reserved for you.

Sorry about the lighting, I am not a professional photographer (I pay people for that talent) and I take what I can get. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-four

It is truly amazing the connections made just through my art.  Connections with strangers, loved ones, friends, far this year has been so special.  

I love being able to connect with people, today I went to Office Max print center to have angel Leigh's portrait scanned, put on disk and have prints made.  One of the employees asked me if this was my artwork which led to a nice conversation where he mentioned he was also an artist.  And that there were other artists that also worked at Office Max!  Then he went on to say he used to be an art teacher but had been laid off due to budget cuts.  Immediately tears filled my eyes as I felt sad for him as well as all the students who may have crossed his path if he had kept teaching.  I thought of my very own high school art teacher that touched my life.  School was a difficult time for me and art was my outlet.  It was the only reason I made it out alive.  Houd and I have quite a few things in common with our childhoods.

I am a self taught artist and never had any formal training other than what my high school art teacher Mr. Huck provided.  He taught me everything I know about art, shading, lines, pencils, perspective, and I will never forget his own beautiful talent that I witnessed during class.  My conversation with a fellow artist today was a beautiful reminder to get in touch with my HS art teacher.  I have been meaning to contact him for years, no more time to waste. Its already been sixteen years.

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-three

This portrait is a more quiet, thoughtful, solemn experience.  I put all the love and positive thoughts into it that I can.  There is no lights flickering or feeling of joy while I work this time.  There is overwhelming love and a peaceful sadness that creeps in no matter how hard I try to keep it on the sidelines.  I know Dustin is here while I work, he is just quieter and I am sure wishes he was really here with all of us.

This portrait is probably going to be finished before I know it.  I am taking my time, maybe trying to lengthen the moments I have with him, even if only in pencil.  I feel honored to draw such a beautiful soul that touched so many lives during his short time on this earth.  I already think that I may draw him again someday.  People don't really know the effect they have on others, words, feelings, sharing of emotions can make quite an impact on somebody's  life.

Monday, March 3, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-two

...yep.  That's Houd.  Being amazed I could already recognize my friend, I asked my husband if he could tell it was him.  He said, "I could tell by the eyes."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

365 days of drawing ~ day sixty-one

Today one year ago, we lost a friend, son, grandson, nephew, cousin, boyfriend.  I knew when I started my 365 days of drawing that I would be also completing a portrait of my dear friend.  Originally when I started my New Years resolution I thought I would do little still life drawings everyday, I had no idea what God's plan really was for me (you can read more about it here).  So today marks the beginning of Houd's portrait.  The completed drawing will go to his mother and prints will be made as well.

I managed to get a basic outline and a few major features on the paper before the kiddos woke from nap time.  I was away this past weekend with my MOPS group (the sweetest, non-judgmental, funniest, wonderful, amazing christian women I know) and have returned refreshed, renewed and ready to tackle all my upcoming projects.  I am pretty sure this portrait will have me a mess some days, it is difficult to look at pictures of my friend and know he is gone.  I know he is okay and that one day we will meet again.  My friend was a young, vibrant, funny, beautiful person and you can read my story about him is here.

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