My Nathan Nov06

My Nathan Nov06

27 January 2009
Today is the 80th birthday of my best friend, cousin-in-law,  creative mentor, and did I say my best friend? Her name is Helene Ryesky.

Helene taught me all manner of things, like putting what you enjoy looking at on the walls, and pricing what you’ve made to include your time put into the project. Her view is women tend to give away their work, not value it as they should. I think- or hope- this is changing.

I have several of Helene’s photographs on my walls. She did outstanding work. And yes, I put up lots of things on my walls now, in part her inspiration, in part due to my past.

I grew up with no art in our home, except something a former owner of the house had installed. It was a painted mural on the wall, with drapes on either side, so that you’d think the view out the “window” was real. It fascinated me, and I can only tell you the impression of sitting on a balcony observing a foreign city is what I remember. Sigh. The scourge of aging, memory lapses.

Hopefully you’ve noticed the pencil sketch of my middle son, Nate, that I did when I went back to college in 2006 for a year and a half in Graphic Design. Initially I took two classes, an Intro. class and Drawing.

More than anything I wanted to learn to draw, and yet didn’t think I could; left-handed, clumsy fingers, pain in my hands recently… Sharing this with my teacher,  I had to eat those words by the end of the semester.

Working hard, watching amazing stuff the “kids” in my class did helped force me to work at it, including some out of class practice. This sketch captured my middle son Nate pretty well. Down Syndrome projects itself in shortened limbs, so that every pair of pants needs to be cut and hemmed, and suit jackets same thing in the arms. With their thickened and shorter necks, wearing a tie is almost impossible. Some men would say that’s not a bad thing, but folks who are cognizant of the norms, desire to look like everyone else, so it’s a grievous thing to Nate.

That very alert pose of his is due to his anticipation of his young brother’s return from 2 months away with his school, studying abroad. Drawing completed, November 16, 2006 in Raleigh-Durham Int’l. Airport, Raleigh, North Carolina.

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