Father and Son Reunion

Father and Son Reunion

Will we get to see our lost loved ones again after we die?

This is a question that has both haunted and comforted humanity for thousands of years. The answers people have given to this question have caused the rise and fall of empires from ancient Egypt to the schism in the Catholic Church during the Reformation.

No book discusses this issue more plainly than the Bible. In its pages, you can find the meaning of life today and discover amazing hope for the next life as well. The Bible teaches clearly that all who believe in Jesus for salvation will get to see their lost loved ones, who have also believed, after death. It will be a glorious, happy reunion, where God promises to wipe every tear.

Here is what Jesus said about it in the book of John 11, verse 25:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”

Custom commissioned pencil portrait sketch, a memoriam, by artist Matt Philleo, completed in July 2016.

Custom commissioned pencil portrait sketch, a memoriam, by artist Matt Philleo, 16 x 20, completed in July 2016.

Earlier in the month, I finished this commissioned 16″ x 20″ drawing for a lady named Karla I met on Facebook through a mutual friend from church. She went through the unfortunate, tragic event of her husband disappearing almost four years ago and being declared dead. Then her son, who had special needs and health problems, died several months ago.

What incredible suffering and loss to have to go through! I could scarcely imagine it.

She asked me if I could draw a portrait of what their reunion might have been like in heaven.

I was thrilled to be able to draw this for her, to capture that special moment when her son, in the presence of Jesus, completely healed, jumped off his wheelchair and ran to see his daddy.

Here is what she wrote when I sent her the proof:

“I have not been able to stop crying….you captured something I cannot even explain!  I have never seen Jacob standing like that, so that REALLY got me and the look on Dave’s face is SOOOO spot on.  I can honestly picture this as what happened.  The joy for both of them must have been unreal.  Thank you so much!!!  I have time on Wed. all day if we could meet. Otherwise, just let me know what would work!”

Karla
And then after she received the actual drawing, she wrote this to share:
Commissioned pencil portrait by artist Matt Philleo, 2016, detail

Commissioned pencil portrait by artist Matt Philleo, 2016, detail

 

Pencil portrait artist Matt Philleo's client, Karla, holding a drawing he did of her late son and husband in July 2016.

Pencil portrait artist Matt Philleo’s client, Karla S., holding a drawing he did of her late son and husband in July 2016.

It’s for the Children

It’s for the Children

Last weekend, I had a wonderful opportunity to be able to do live portrait sketches at the United Special Sportsman Alliance Summerfest Event held in Pittsville, WI. This was kind of a summer camp for children with special needs, offering them various outdoor activities like archery, fishing, kayaking, paddleboats, horseback riding, and crafts.

And every event was free. Many vendors came from different places to volunteer their time and resources to be a blessing to hundreds of disabled and special needs children. This was a place where they felt welcomed, special, and not alone.

So I set up my tent Friday morning, and started sketching portraits around 9am. Instead of doing the sketches on a first come first served basis like I usually do, most of the sketches were by appointment. This allowed the people to go and enjoy the day, and then come back at time they were scheduled.

I must have sketched about 50 faces between Friday and Saturday morning, each one taking about 10-15 minutes.

 

Pencil portrait artist Matt Philleo drawing live portraits at the United Special Sportsman Alliance Summerfest Event on Friday July 15, 2016 at Pittsville, WI

Pencil portrait artist Matt Philleo drawing live portraits at the United Special Sportsman Alliance Summerfest Event on Friday July 15, 2016 at Pittsville, WI

One portrait that stood out in my mind was of a African American boy, about 14, with down’s syndrome. Although mostly non-verbal, he exuded charm. He would lift his eyebrows up and down and wink at me, in a completely innocent yet seemingly flirtatious way.

Since the portraits were set up mainly by appointment, people that walked by and wanted one done had to be fit in the schedule. There was a girl who would not be deterred. She kept coming back several times, even though I was busy with the appointment sketches, that when I had the smallest window of opportunity, I fit her in. She reminded me of the persistent widow in the Bible, who kept demanding justice until the judge relented. And that of course, was Jesus’ parable to illustrate the God will answer prayer…if we do not give up.

I truly enjoyed doing these live portraits, and now that my wrist is fully recuperated, I can type up this blog post with ease!

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If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!
Why I Like Drawing Portraits Live

Why I Like Drawing Portraits Live

When you watch a talk show or hear a speech, do you like it better live or rehearsed?

Just think about that for a moment.

Your and my political opinions aside, there is a reason why a certain candidate for president has such a large following. People like spontaneity. It can be dangerous sometimes, but it has a way of reaching, relating to people that something planned and rehearsed cannot.

Last Saturday, I signed up to share a tent with three fellow artists at Artisan Forge Studios at the Artist’s Market held in Phoenix Park, here in Eau Claire. It was an absolutely beautiful day–sunny, not too hot, with a gentle breeze.

A perfect day for doing drawing live portraits.

We got set up at around 7 am, and things were slow for the first couple hours.

Then, around 9 am, things really took off. The market was starting to get busier with more people passing by every minute. I asked one my fellow artists to sit for me and I did a free portrait of him to “prime the pump.” That portrait broke the ice and soon enough I had a small line of people interested.

I ended the day having done several portraits and the last drawing was 4 faces on one paper!

Here’s why I love doing live pencil portraits (though I still like drawing from photos too.)

1.  It keeps your drawing skills fresh.

Capturing a person’s likeness in about 10-15 minutes is not easy, especially when they move around. (I often find that children hold still better than some adults do!) In addition, the challenge of seeing a three-dimensional person and transferring them to a two-dimensional paper preserves and strengthens your overall drawing skills. Again, doing drawings live is not as precise as doing them in a studio environment from a photo, but the exercise helps keeps your creativity from going stale!

2. It’s a great way to meet build relationships and meet new prospective clients.

Some of the folks I have done live portraits for have asked me to do larger, more detailed commissions from photos later on. Or, alternatively, others who don’t have time or don’t care to have their portrait drawn live pick up a business card and contact me at a time that’s more convenient for them. While drawing portraits, I enjoy chatting with the person I’m drawing and get to know them a bit. It’s a fun time!

Portrait artist Matt Philleo doing live pencil portraits at Artist's Market in Eau Claire.

Portrait artist Matt Philleo doing live pencil portraits at Artist’s Market in Eau Claire.

3. It kicks perfectionism in the teeth.

When you have a line of people waiting, you don’t have time to fuss over every detail in a portrait. A perfectionist by nature, it goes against my grain to have to crank out a portrait so quickly, knowing it has many flaws, but it is good to be able to do that once in a while. I am continually amazed that, while creating a portrait, I can see that I didn’t capture the likeness as accurately as I wanted, but most of the customers are just thrilled with it. Well for $10 or $15, they aren’t expecting a Rembrandt, and they probably just think it’s cool to have a decent sketch of themselves or their kids done live in just minutes.

4. It helps pay the rent.

I charge $10 for a single face on an 11 x 14 paper, and $15 for couples both of which take less than half an hour. Many customers like their drawings so much they frame them and give them as gifts. It’s a nice value to the customer for a very low price. With that, I can do close to 25 portraits on a really good day. That all helps to pay studio rent and supply more papers and pencils!

5. It’s fun to be outside doing art.

Do I need to explain more?

As of the writing of this post, this Friday I plan on being a part of the Untied Special Sportsman’s Alliance Summerfest Event held in Pittsville, WI. This is an event that caters to children with special needs, offering them a variety of sports and activities from archery to horseback riding. Everything there is free. I will be doing live portraits there, with the goal of capturing the beauty of these children and bringing encouragement to their lives.

I will let you know more about that after the event takes place!

Share Your Thoughts!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!
Tribute to the Army Medic: 3-D Mural

Tribute to the Army Medic: 3-D Mural

 

This is going to be a much shorter post than usual. I’d like to share a mural I did back in 2004 at Kenner Clinic Army Hospital in Ft. Lee, VA, with a successful Florida muralist, Bob Jenny.

 

I completed this mural mostly by myself, while he was working on other murals. At that time, he was suffering from cancer and with his health rapidly deteriorating, I ended finishing all the murals within the hospital.

In the spirit of Independence Day, The mural I’m showing is a tribute to our veterans who have served so well in defending out freedoms. Part of the army staff that is sometimes not remembered as much is the army medic. They suffered the same things on the combat field as the rest of the army, but their main purpose was administering medical care on the combat field and saving lives of fallen comrades.

Here a mural I did showing the army medic helping a wounded soldier with compassion and disciplined treatment of his wounds. The mural is meant to look like a three-dimensional bronze sculpture set within a marble alcove. This “trompe-l’oeil” (French for “fool the eye”) technique is challenging to pull off convincingly, but very rewarding to look at when you are done with it. The entire mural, including the marble blocks, were painted on a flat wall.

"Army Medic Sculpture Mural," by artists Matt Philleo and Bob Jenny, 2004, Kenner Clinic, Ft. Lee, VA

“Army Medic Sculpture Mural,” by artists Matt Philleo and Bob Jenny, 2004, Kenner Clinic, Ft. Lee, VA

"Army Medic Sculpture Mural," by artists Matt Philleo and Bob Jenny, 2004, Kenner Clinic, Ft. Lee, VA, detail

“Army Medic Sculpture Mural,” by artists Matt Philleo and Bob Jenny, 2004, Kenner Clinic, Ft. Lee, VA, detail

In addition to that, knowing that the veterans who come into the hospital for routine checkups and sometimes life-threatening diseases, possibly could receive some encouragement from the murals Bob and I did, really made the project worthwhile. These veterans felt in many ways they were just everyday people doing what needed to be done, but they are heroes for their sacrifice and commitment to uphold the rich, godly heritage of this country from those who would try to usurp our freedom.

As you watch the fireworks, take a moment and remember the deadly bombs and missiles that these brave men and women endured for you and me. And if you are in America enjoy the wonderful freedom you have today to celebrate life and spend time as you choose with your family and friends. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Do you have anyone in your family serving or who has served in the military? Would you like to share a tribute to them? 

Share Your Thoughts!

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!

 

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