9.5in x 10.5in | 24.1cm x 26.7cm
Black Prismacolor wax pencil on bristol paper
Estate of Charles and Mary Ann Dodson
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For the story behind the drawing, scroll down or click here
Frank B. and Mary Anderson Cassidy Memorial Award for a Human Family Theme
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club 107th Annual Open Exhibition, National Arts Club, New York, NY USA
Special recommendation “for uniqueness and originality”
2nd Annual UK Coloured Pencil Society Exhibition, Patchings Farm Art Centre, Calverton, Nottinghamshire, UK
Behind the drawing
When I was in London, England for an exhibition, I saw a marvelous old gentleman feeding squirrels in St. James Park. Obviously the squirrels were quite used to him, climbing on his shoulders to run down his arm and take the proffered nuts. We started talking and he mentioned he came almost daily to the park. He then gave me a few nuts to give to the squirrels. When I asked if I could photograph him for possible reference material, he readily agreed. One of the images I captured was that of a particularly young squirrel, a bit shy, reaching out tentatively for a nut and the gentleman leaning down in return.
My drawing is gleaned from several source photos I snapped that morning, plus an imaginary background.
As I started drawing the head and as I often do, I decided to make up the face. When I was finished, I realized I had unwittingly drawn my grandfather, Paul O. Moore, also a great lover of squirrels. My family heritage is English, Irish, Welsh, Belgian, and French. The first three are on “Pop’s” side, so it was only fitting that I had envisioned him in that role in St. James Park.
I initially “finished” the drawing in 1996 and started exhibiting it, but I was not pleased with the final image. Though it was accepted into many national and international exhibitions, it had not won an award, unlike most of my other work. In 2003, I refined the drawing and it immediately took prizes in the two exhibitions following the additional refinement.
Note that on the far right of the brick cap on the wall, I created the initials H for Henri, my better half, and A for me.