Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Portrait of an amazing artist

My portrait of Susan Carlin
quick sketch
charcoal on watercolour paper
12 x 9 inches
(One of my early blog mentors
was the artist Susan Carlin.  The day she
asked me to sit for a Skype portrait and to
do her portrait via Skype long distance (she
was in Texas) was a big day. I had already
been interviewed by 
Howard Wolinsky for a
YouTube interview, 
and was contacted by my
friend Melinda  
Esparza who did a portrait
drawing from Howard's first 
interview with me.

Susan taught me a lot about drawing.
She taught me how to draw a curve.  Big lesson.  
She now can't remember that, but you did Susan
on one of your internet drawing classes!
 You are part of the 
reason I love
drawing coffee cups)

I am a bit tired today, and have what feels like a million 
chores to do.  But just as I was feeling somewhat
overwhelmed, I noticed a letter in the mail slot from
a dear artist friend in Texas, Susan Carlin.

I planned to put a drawing on as my post today, and a
drawing of Susan came up. We drew one another via
Skype in 2009.  'Perfect,' I thought, and then
read my post about it in 2019, and decided to put that
on today's blog too.

"Leaving your parents' sheltered and safe home to
go out on your own at 17 can have its downsides.
It is lonely - even if you live with a friend, and
scary, even if its in a safe area of town, and a lot
of work.  But what I was lucky enough to realize
early on -- if you read my earlier story about a family
in my neighbourhood who were kind to me as a seven
year old -- is that the world is full of mentors.

I was transformed from practically a stick figure
drawer at the end of high school, into a decent
life drawing artist in the 8 months of my first
school year at OCAD.

When I switched to English at a different university,
I was taught that contrary to the views expressed
by my family, I was smart!  What?  An A+ student
all of a sudden.  I could write a 40 page undergraduate
thesis on Iconography and Imagery in Edmund Spenser's
The Fairie Queene!

And so the story goes throughout my life.  Brilliant teachers,
wonderful artists, and magnificently inspiring friends and
mentors have given me the delightful life I live -- filled
with loving family, superb friends, exceptional books,
music, film, super walks and above all happiness.

Mentors in recent years other than family,  have been all of
the artists in the blog, Facebook and Instagram world, plus
the artists I show with, and in the art clubs I belong to.  So
ultimately this is a thank you!  Thank you for teaching me so
much on a continuous basis, and for supporting me.  You are
all my mentors and you empower me.

Have a mentoring someone day."

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Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!