Saturday, February 27, 2010
a deep breath before the final victory
ron was an amazing model. like any other male art student i envisioned class to consist of a notorious scene with pencils replacing one dollar bills. while originally longing for a parallel of that wallet emptying scenario, i found myself finding out just how skilled this man was at his craft. what i could hold for five minutes, ron could hold for three hours. he took a moment in time and froze it in space so that you could look at it from all angles. every pose contained an intense emotion, which never staggered. clear on his face, but would still be vivid if he were silhouetted. his poses weren't as the term depicts, they were your favorite part in the movie put on three dimensional pause.
on this day, our professor wasn't able to be present, but we were to draw ron. every classroom without supervison eventually becomes unruly in one fashion or another, this day being no exception. despite the commotion, he stayed true to the pose. equipted with only gym shorts and a small line of masking tape around his knuckles, i read a story within him.
this man was a fighter, awaiting his retirement. the boxer loved what he did and he was the best at it, but it was slowly wearing him thin. gravity was catching up with age. there would be a time when he can finally retire, when he truly felt that he deserved his rest. round three. the odds were against him, but he knew that tonight was the night. all that he needed to do was catch his breath, clear his head, and write that last page of his book the way it was meant to be written.
ron did just that, and this was the last chance that i got the honor of drawing him. he had been fighting off a couple of attacks to his health, but didn't communicate this. he knew that he would soon gain his well deserved rest, but it would be on his terms. he waited until all final project and tests were complete and winter vacation of 2009 had finally come. he did what he needed to do and retired a few days later. there was something about this man that was always difficult to place. he seldom spoke, but when he did, it portrayed an understanding of the world found in few. i strongly believe that this man didn't die, he wrote an ending and signed his name on the cover.
upon returning to class early the next year, i was pleased to know that there would be an art show in his honor. This piece quickly came to mind. sure it lacks a few technical aspects, but it meant something to me for the aforementioned reasons. i kept busy with school, and felt a sense of guilt once i realized that i had missed the deadline. he did so much for me, the least i could do was submit some work. i must have not been the only one in this position, because the deadline was pushed back two weeks. a second chance. i dug out the pastel drawing, touched up a few spots, prepeared a board to back it and took it outside to spray some fixative onto it. some combination of old spray, cold weather and over application put a fog over the whole image. there were a few days left before the deadline. still time. still life getting in the way. irritated, i worked on whatever was due the following morning. the night before the deadline i found three hours to work before class started. i touched it up in acrylic and made the deadline.
the man, the pose and the process all seemed to be telling the same story. i like that. we all miss you ron.
art directors: Eugene Clark & Jon Sandberg