My wonderful son has now graduated from University. He got a very well deserved first! Before he even got his results though, he also got himself a really good job.
He had a chance at the job about week after he handed in his dissertation. He had been planning a good rest and some chilling out on the beach after working so hard, but he said the job was too good an opportunity to pass up and went for it anyway even though he was really bone tired. I think that took real fortitude.
I couldn’t be more proud of him, and yet the thing that I admire in him the most is that, through all of these things, he remains a thoroughly decent, loving, courageous man who would do anything to help those around him. I know I’m biased, but I think he’s the best son in the world.
I made this small painting sketch a few weeks before he graduated, but I was thinking how strong and independent he had become and, since my health was (and is) quite poor, how hollowed out and broken I am feeling.
I am trying really hard to get myself sorted out but it’s just really difficult. I feel like a house of cards which will fall if any one card is wobbled a bit. This week, after trying a bit too hard to clear my chest using some exercises from the chest physio, I think I must have irritated my throat. Anyway I had a laryngospasm in the night, where my vocal chords closed and I couldn’t breathe. In fighting to breathe I hurt my vocal chords which turned into an infection which then gave me bronchitis. Then the coughing made my pain worse and the pain and the fever made my mental health worse!
I am quite lucky though, drawing and painting is still a very calming, soulful activity for me and it continues to be a refuge.
So I began this sketch with a pencil drawing…
Normally when I draw for painting I just get the main shape outlines done and then fill in the rest with the paint, but in this one I tried putting in a full tonal drawing and then painting over that.
Here is the finished painting…
I think having the tonal drawing underneath the paint was mostly quite helpful. It pushed my darks darker. It also gave me the feeling of the shape I was painting much more fully. The only real negative was that my colour was affected by the darker pencil tones. In places they muddied things a bit. So I lifted off some of that paint with my trusty kitchen towel (always a life-saver) and repainted those places.