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Tom's friend Saad Goshen publishes a book of poems matched to illustrations. This work is one of those illustrations. Tom lost interest in the work after completing the drawing and palette. Three weeks later he relearned everything he forgot creating figures with watercolor. Some of the staff of Hillary Clinton's Clifton, Cincinnati office played the roles: Caroline Lembright, Umeirra Umy Savani, Elena Saltzman, Radheya Kulkarni, Elena Saltzman, Jordan Thornlow, Jalakoi Solomon and Sean Young . Tom volunteered with them. Picking images of them off their Facebook pages. This incentive made it possible to plow through the work time from January 1 to February 23.
Watercolor on paper, 8.5" x 11", February 23, 2017
MARY ANNE REESE
Catherine’s arm drapes
across my chair, Elaine’s toe
is tapping my foot,
my knee pushes Tim’s
ribs. Soon, we are all breathing
as one. After eight
long years of holding
our breaths afraid to inhale
toxic hate, we gasp
for natural air.
When the slim young president
raises his right hand,
we’re huddled as close
as immigrants entering new
land, packed as tightly
as the throngs who fill
the chilly D.C. mall. We
have waited lifetimes
for this hour. Two words
he does not speak today are
I and me; his world’s too
wide for that. Instead,
he sounds an urgent cry: none
should prosper while so
many plummet. Here
in our small valley nestled
in Kentucky’s knobs,
his message is not
new. We’ve been practicing two
hundred years to get
it right. When speeches
and oaths end, tables and tears
are wiped dry, Tim fills
Susan’s glass, Elaine
leads Catherine out, JoAnn
scrapes the plates, Mary
brings me home. I hear
a new and ancient chorus
rising like the hum
of locusts in these
cursive hills and grassy fields:
Yes we can. We. Yes.
Chiaroscuro is an oil painting technique, developed during the Renaissance
that uses strong tonal contrasts between light and dark to model three-dimensional
forms, often to dramatic effect.
The underlying principle is that solidity of form is best achieved by the light falling against it. Artists known for developing the technique include Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt. It is a mainstay of black and white photography.
Tom also feels that it is the pattern of light and dark the artists uses to create a Rorschach test like pattern that the mind’s eye creates into an emotional experience that lends itself to the subject of the painting. The light and dark pattern is almost an overall pattern that does not reveal form but emotion.
While studying Rowlandson's manner reminds Tom of Mort Drucker, the fine expressive line of the pen and brush is a dead ringer for Drucker’s work. It’s as if they both were working on the same page Rowlandson in 1750 and Drucker in 1960. Drucker said he never started out to be a caricaturist, he was just assigned the job at MAD magazine and excelled in it.
Work on the poem painting continues as a careful darkening occurs paying close attention to the chiaroscuro guided by the need for light and dark to establish form but all the while focusing on creating an interesting pattern to play on the eye.
The Boxes at Covent Gardens by Thomas Rowlandson, the masterpiece to emulate especially the charischuro.
Sketch, 8.5" x 11", pencil on paper, in its second week, the digital, the palette and the drawing dragged on forever. Finally embracing the mission by making the figures friends Tom worked with during the Hillary campaign.
Palette for watercolor
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