As a kid, when I wasn’t climbing trees, riding my bike or doing some other physical activity, I was drawing. I loved the feel of the pencil in my hand and the glide of the graphite on the empty sheet of white before me. As I worked its graphite into as varied lines or shades of grey as possible my mind became focused, all else slipped away and a doorway into the realm of creation opened into which I would enter and remain for hours on end, oblivious to everything and everyone else around me.
Sometimes it seemed the more activity and noise around me the better and since our small house contained 7 people this was the ideal environment in which to hone my skills. My “studio” was located at the kitchen table or on the family room floor where I sprawled out on the rug with pencils strewn around me providing a live obstacle course for other family members.
Over the years I became skilled at portraiture as meticulous renderings of celebrity photos became replaced with real life observations. And, it was around that time that Dad began requesting a sitting for himself and would sit before me in mock serious poses, sticking his chin out in a regal manner so that the best profile could be captured for all eternity. Well, there was no way that this was going to happen; no way that I could see myself undertaking such a challenge, and a challenge it would be. How would I keep myself from laughing?
The years went by and every once in a while this request would come up and every time resistance to the task arose within me. Until one day, after I’d returned from Victoria with 4 years of cartooning under my belt, Dad animatedly recounted a humourous episode he’d endured while undergoing heart tests. “You should make a cartoon of that, Nanca. Make a cartoon of that and I’ll take it back to the cardiologists.” His enthusiasm was contagious and so, to his delight, the cartoon came about and I think the rendering in the second block does in fact bare a pretty good resemblance of him. I feel that this “portrait” reveals his character, as does BLOW UP YOUR T.V., far better than one static image could convey. The best reward of all - it made him laugh.
Dad, though Scotty’s beamed you aboard the big Enterprise in the sky, here’s to you. Thanks for the memories.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!