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Well, here it is. I post this timidly … this will be my first attempt to get back into artwork. Why am I so nervous about this? Like I’d said in my previous post, it’s been 17 years. No artwork at all. Sad, really.

I’ll be working on a 30″ x 22″ sheet of white watercolor paper. I tried to get one with a little tooth. As this is my first attempt in many years, I stuck to a more affordable paper. In retrospect I feel I should’ve purchased a buff or blue hued paper, or possibly stretched this paper and then laid down a watercolor wash but I’m foregoing that this time around. I really, really just need to get color on paper!  Getting started is the hardest part for a lazy person like me.

This will be a pastel chalk drawing. Working in pastel chalk has always been relatively easy for me. Mixing dry colors visually is magnitudes easier than mixing paint on a palette or canvas. That will come later if I’m fortunate enough to bolster my confidence with a few successful, or at least “promising,” images under my belt.

This image came to me while I was eating sushi. That I was eating sushi really has nothing to do with the image. I only mention it because you might notice that the sketch was made on the back of a order menu from Sumo Sushi house here in southeast Las Vegas. If you’re ever there, say hello to Jay. He’s the owner, a excellent chef and an all-round great guy. If you buy him enough sake, you’ll get dinner AND a show!

A very short background:

It was the unfortunate circumstance of a friend that he was going through a divorce. He and his wife had four children. As I sat by myself eating sushi, I wondered how emotionally taxing it must be to have to go through something like this. I wondered if I could say something visually about it. And although this image was influenced specifically by my friend’s divorce, it could also be about loss.

What we see:

The image portrays oranges and orange slices sitting on a plate. The plate sits on a table and to the left is a beverage cup ring.

How I’m trying to make it art:

I’ve tried to use symbolism to convey the message of separation and loss. In this case “loss” doesn’t mean a death, but that something important is no longer always available. I wanted to convey a form of emptiness or transformation.

I placed four slices next to the oranges and arranged them to specifically cross the edge of the plate on which they sit. These four slices, one for each child, show that the children are able to cross over the division between the parents. It’s also a separation between the present and the past. This separation is visually shown by the hard edge of the plate. Only the slices cross. The oranges, representing a parent, do not. The cup’s ring represents the other parent and the old life. I decided to use a beverage ring to represent something that was there and is now absent. We can also assume that a vessel that was once full is now empty.

Now that you know a little background and have seen the original quick sketch, I’ll post photos showing its development with accompanying notes about color issues, composition, etc. My fingers are crossed.