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.” 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...
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.   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...
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...
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. 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...
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