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Friday, February 25, 2011

Thanks Dad, Thanks Jack, Thanks Barron...

This is a portrait of someone who is not sleeping, but instead, is thoroughly entranced with what was on the tv. Steve is a totally deaf friend of my brother, and yet, he speaks pretty darn well. At least, well enough for a none sign language type guy like me to understand.

I learned, from two of my favorite teachers at Art Center, that you really don't need an art pencil to draw like an artist. Any tool that can make a mark will do just fine. One teacher used any tool available and it was incredible the things he created. The other teacher used, with pride, a No. 2 pencil and, I swear, the pink eraser on the end of those pencils seemed to be always perfectly intact. It's like he never made a mistake worth erasing. The preconceived ideas some people adopt are, for me nowadays, just plain silly. 

These two artists reminded me of my own preconceptions. As a little leaguer, my dad was always quick to remind me that it wasn't the glove that let me down. The bat didn't go out of its way to miss the pitch. Nowadays, the term that is used to describe an athlete's disgust with his equipment malfunciton is, "A professional never blames his tools!" But, when I was a kid and all through high school and college, my dad's admonishment was, "It's not the glove, Ben, it's the ballplayer behind it!"

I like this drawing not only because it reminds me of some of the beautifully delicate Albrecht Durer etchings in silver point, but also because this sketch was drawn with a standard, blue, Bic pen. Hopefully, Jack, Barron and especially, dear old Dad are proud.