August 1, 2013

A Boy and His Dog in Pencil on Paper

As I continue to revise drawings and make new ones it seems that a theme of people and animals is apparent. I claim that these additions of dogs, cats, goats and even monkeys to a figurative composition are there to fill up empty spaces, but perhaps there is something more to it. Perhaps there is something in these drawings about the bond of person to beast. In my recent drawing of one of my students sketching at Columbia College, I incorporated my father’s former pet sheep dog, Sarah. Sarah stares out at the viewer and stands in front of the boy, whose gaze is fixed upon a subject he is drawing. The dark foreground dog in a technical sense anchors the composition, but in a spiritual way she stands guard, protecting the boy at his task. Perhaps it is my desire to see my art and education preserved. Maybe my drawing has a subliminal political message as well. It could be an expression of my desire to see art protected and preserved in a larger community- especially in a state such as South Carolina, in which our governor is so strident about abolishing our state arts commission. It has become tiring to read about her persistent attempts to cut funding for the arts and I am certain that there are many in the arts and other meaningful professions who are counting the days until she is out of office.

The drawing of the dog and the boy is for now safely tucked away in my portfolio, while I wait for better days of bodily health and a better political climate.

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