Art in the Making: Entering the Void with the Eyes Open 3

Sorrel Self Portrait

This drawing began as a tribute to my Sorrel boots of 38 years and still slugging along. Jaguar appeared in a dream. The roof icicles seemed appropriate to the season and what we don’t see bared in Jaguar’s mouth.

Regarding my inner experience of the drawing process, when I drew the Sorrels I felt enveloped in a cozy warmth and feeling of pure contentment. I was, after all, drawing some old friends that have served me well since I came to the frozen North in 1974. The self portrait was easy to do, as I had no need to make myself look good, but only to connect to my own soul as I looked at my reflection. Jaguar added the mystery of the void and made it all feel “right.” The roof-cicles were the icing on the cake.

Wisdom Cards Dedicated to Chester S. Ely and Laura Ann Krebs Ely

Chester S. Ely and Ben
Chester S. Ely, Laura Ann Krebs Ely, and Ben

My grandpa ran an insurance business in an office attached to his house in York, Pa. His desk top was covered with a sheet of glass, and under the glass were quotes from great people that he wanted to remember. He looked to them for inspiration in his day to day life. He took great interest in mathematics, history, and language. He was a scholar who never  went to college. He was charismatic in the way he captured people’s attention with his knowledge and storytelling skills. He recited poetry for me, which I loved. There is no question that he is my role model for the appreciation of inspirational quotes.

That said, I have to include Grandma (to whom I dedicated the second series of drawings), because she was devout, with an inner contemplative nature deftly hidden beneath a feisty and at times irreverent surface. Together, they tremendously contributed into making me who  I am.

Ben was their first great grandchild, the only one that my grandpa ever held. The joy my grandparents felt at Ben’s arrival into the world is revealed in the photos. In more than the obvious sense, I owe my very life to my grandparents. To be able to bring Ben to them was one of the great joys of my life.