August 04, 2005

26: Not The Gerber Baby

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I really wanted to get back to my weekly creations, but so much has been going on over the past month or so – festivals, moving, unpacking, weekend trips – that it's been tough. And to get back in the swing of things was harder than I thought it would be. Case in point, this week's Illustration Friday theme: the word aging. I've been chewing on it all week. Originally I wanted to draw pen-and-ink caricatures of the morning mall-walkers at my carpool pickup spot. I was gonna draw them during a recent long car trip to Minneapolis, but the ambition was never there, and when I finally sat down to try it I realized my memory of these folks was hazier than I thought. I then considered sketching a scene from our new "aging" house. Two tries; it wasn't happening. Finally, I noticed the photo of my niece on the fridge.

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She's totally aging.

My niece – Cadence Wolfe Daya – lives in rural Nova Scotia with my dentist sister and her dentist partner. She was born last September. Kerry and I went to visit just before Halloween when she was about six weeks old. Cadence and I had a couple of beautiful photo shoots (see below). Since then, I've watched and listened to her grow through photos in the mail and phone calls. Most recently I received a shot of her sitting in the grass with a ball cap. She looks so different from the baby I met in the fall. And the next time I'll likely see them is next summer, when she'll be a walking, talking wonder-kid. Canada's an enormous place, and it's during times like this when the distance can hurt.

This sketch was done over the last couple of days during moments of free time. It's small, honest and simple. I took a quick spin through Photoshop to clean up a few errors.

Right: Kerry's shot of me and Cadence, October 26, 2004. Below: snapshot of Cadence from my black-and-white photo shoot, October 28, 2004.

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Ali said...

Nice portrait. Children can be really tricky - easily looking like old men if you do them wrong. ;)

Allan L. said...

Way to go, man! I was wondering if you were gonna do anything. That's a great portrait.

jim said...

Nice one Jeope. I.F keeps you occupied
it's a bit like those very short prjects I used to get at college. Good for creative block, the bane of my life. Thanks for your comments. Nice house btw!

isay said...

best age to be always with them! so sweet gesture to draw a beautiful portrait of your niece!

Angie said...

very very beautiful baby!!!

Chuck Rose said...

You weren't kidding when you said you went 'younger'. Nice drawing. But I do have to ask you something - When you did this drawing, you said it was from a photo on your fridge. Did you take it? I ask because it looks like it was drawn from one of those professional baby portraits that parents by the millions have made.

I thought the B&W shot you took was beautiful, and a much more interesting subject than the traditional, straight-on, baby portrait.

I would love to see you extend your photography to your drawing. See if you can capture the wonderful range of values in your drawing that I see in your photo.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not putting down what you did at all, but I think there is more there.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could totally age with skin like that :) Beautifully drawn!

Jules said...

A great rendering and an even greater story; if I may be so presumptuious dude, you should have your have an affinity for sure...

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, they should DEFINITELY have a baby.

Anonymous said...

she's gorgeous and thoroughly squishable! i know what you mean about the distance favorite neice recently moved a sixteen hour drive away, and that's too far. missing the daily growth and change, not teaching her new things and words (hopefully not too many of the bad ones!)is just too sad. beautiful sketch! very heartfelt.

kay susan said...

Beautiful sketch. She's lovely and you are clearly very fond of her. Just wait until you get grandchildren!!!!

Mustashrik said...

Hey there sir,

this is a really nice piece, love the soft lines and the shading. it takes a lot of patience to do a portrait, and that it seems you have!

Kudos to you!