I still remember his condescending smile. The drawings were no doubt fussy and immature, different from what was developing in his helpful class, but mostly he didn't think my subject matter was worthy of art. He didn't respect illustration as a profession. In so many words he asked me if I wouldn't rather be a real artist. "Not really," I thought. I felt embarrassed and emptied as I left his office. There were no illustration classes at my college anyway.
Too bad, huh? Though even if he had respected illustration as a legitimate way for artists to spend their time and had said something constructive, I might not have been able to go anywhere with it at that point because although I respected illustration as worthy of artists, I couldn't respect myself as an artist for a very long stretch of time. I got help with that later, and now I am well established on an exciting journey that makes me feel young and ambitious. Maybe that's something people my age don't always get to feel.
Here's a smudgy, charcoal self-portrait from my college days. I was wearing glasses which had fallen halfway down my nose, but they seem to have worn almost completely away.
Soon after I graduated, one Halloween our pastor asked everyone who wanted to make a picture of a saint for All Saints Day (the day that Halloween, All Hallows Eve, is the eve of). I did this St. Francis painting super fast, for me. I should have done something like that every day!
I think I did this iris around the same time. I bought it at a florist shop--which is how it can have a forsythia blossom in the same composition. For some reason I cut this bit out of the larger composition. I was probably having trouble getting the yellow right in the forsythias. The water damage is interesting, I think
Angels in one form or another have fascinated me for a long time, This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "light" so I think I'll post this over there.