Saturday, February 11, 2012

You just gotta fight

I found this quotation today on Muddy Colors, a blog that is a collaboration among several top-level illustrators.  It gives me hope and a kick in the pants.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seth's gravesite

This is the grave of my son Seth.
It is at the Benedictine monastery, St. Andrew's Abbey, on the top of a hill, in the high desert where the air is clear and dry, and the colors are soft ochre, grey, yellow green with highlights of sienna.  (My scan made the green bushes way too green, but I couldn't fix it without ruining something else.)
The only bright colors were the rocks that we painted that are sitting on the arms and top of the cross.
I forgot to take a camera, but did have my little watercolor moleskine notebook and tiny paintbox, so I could get the desert colors plus the bright colored rocks on the cross. 

Scenery is always hard; I usually try to put in too much detail.  This site however, is pretty simple.  Rocks, joshua trees, dry weather plants, and those concrete crosses. 

While I was going through some documents in my files today, I came across this, in a letter from Seth to someone he mentored (who very generously shared his letters with me).  Among other pieces of advice, Seth said this:
"Make every single panel better than the last. You must raise the bar for yourself with each and every line that you draw.  In this way you will progress very quickly."
Well, that gives me a clear way to look at my work.  What am I learning?  What have I done here that I haven't done before?  Let's make this painting better than the last one.