For a dear friend…

I love art. So much. If this was a perfect world, I would have gone to art school. Art allows you to create an image to convey your inner thoughts and deepest secrets and there’s something about black and white images that allow you to imagine the life surrounding the piece.

The image I’m writing about is of a dear friend and his dog. This friend passed away a few years ago from suicide and my heart still aches for him. I made this piece for his Christmas present, knowing how important his canine friend was to him. He was so appreciative of this gift and there are no words to describe the moment that I gave this to him.

Well, months later, he passed and I was at his funeral. When giving my sympathies to his parents, his father said to me: “We can’t thank you enough for this piece of art. When he brought it home and I saw it, I just had this feeling- this feeling that something would happen, the way it depicts him.”

Well shit.

That didn’t make me feel too great. I initially thought that I had done them an injustice with my work. But after time, I realized that I had been able to immortalize him for his family, in a way that captured his kindness and gentle personality so that they could forever look upon his face and remember.

I didn’t take a photo of my work before it was framed, so I have no detail in the photos of what I had painstakingly created.

But the beauty of creating something is that you never lose the way you felt when making it.

I can remember every stroke, the way the soft gray paper felt under my fingers, the taste of the black chalk in the air. Most importantly, I can see every detail of his face. Every. Single. Bit.

For this reason, portraits are my favorite images to create. They allow you to explore every inch of a person’s face, where everything you need to know about them is located. The face can reveal the secrets of the soul. When I close my eyes, I can recall his eyebrows and the way they supported the emphasis on his kind eyes. Looking at the photo, the color of his skin and hair slowly warm the paper until it becomes so real that I expect him to look up at me. I can remember the smooth skin on his face and his sweet lips that spoke nothing but positivity. Being so close to him personally, I can feel every feature of his face under my fingertips and hear his laugh and see the way his tongue snuck into his smile…

Everyone can create a masterpiece. Whether you make a few lines or recreate the Mona Lisa, just remember that it is all about the way it makes you feel. Look inside yourself and don’t be afraid to put it into a physical from. Some day, you just might look back on it and smile, remembering all of the emotions and lessons learned with the stroke of a brush.



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