Illustration Friday: Aging

Granny Cuts a Rug
Granny Cuts a Rug, Ink on Paper; © Jennifer Pohl

At thirteen, my grandmother Alice was a cook on a schooner up north “on the Labrador.” At eighteen, she married Walter –a man of gentle good humour and twinkling eyes– and raised two families with him (his first wife had died young). He died at 89 with a single tear running down his cheek and a smile. They had been married for nearly sixty years. My grandmother was lonely for a couple of years before she finally agreed to marry a high school sweetheart, a fine man of the same age and tiny stature who had toted her books to their one-room school over half a century before. With him she spent her final years living a second life, touring the Grand Canyon, falling out of a fishing boat into the freezing Atlantic, skidooing, and quickly recovering from a broken ankle after being chased by a horse.

Always spry and barely five feet tall, she had enough love to go around for every member of her adoring family. She may not have understood my every painting, but she supported and uplifted me through her example and love. When she passed away at the age of 83, she was surrounded by caring family and friends. My cousin Tina said “she was never old“. It’s true. She never was.

The week before Nan died, my sister said she had a dream about my grandparents dancing together. I think they may be dancing now.

This work will soon be sent off to my representative, the Christina Parker Gallery.

Kembrew McLeod sounds like a hero’s name, and in a way he is one. I’m not sure how many of you know about Leo Stoller. When I first heard he was claiming to own a trademark on a number of expressions including “freedom of expression,” my first question was, “Is he a conceptual artist?”

But no, Leo Stoller is a greedy man who has been giving the legal system a bad name. (The New York Times recently ran an article confirming as much.) The way he has been registering everyday expressions and making people pay him for their usage is even worse than the act of putting patents on colours. Enter Kembrew McLeod, prankster and copyfighter, to beat him at his own game.

Rawlin's Cross, Oil on Canvas by Jennifer Pohl
Rawlin’s Cross, Oil on Canvas; © Jennifer Pohl

Here is another piece for the archives: this painting is part of the Night Scenes series.

Mother’s Milk, Ink on Paper; © Jennifer Pohl

This word for this Illustration Friday is tranquility. A breast fed baby is a tranquil baby, and the feel-good hormones help to chase the postpartum blues away.

Much of my recent work has involved hundreds of layers of paint and it’s been a while since I’ve done a line drawing, so I took this as a challenge. I set the timer for an hour while I was inking (right before the baby’s bath time, for extra motivation). I remember hearing how Matisse might do a thousand versions of the same line drawing to end up with just one that he was happy with. I’m not sure if that’s an exaggeration, but I’d like to do a few more of this image and experiment with the line weight, as well as colour washes for the shirt and romper. This is the first work I’ve posted that hasn’t already been sold, and I’ll be sending it off to the gallery soon. If anyone is interested, inquiries can be sent to the Christina Parker Gallery.