This was created in Laure Ferlita’s online Earth Day Heart ZOOM class which I took last week. Laure kindly provided us with the design and lettering along with detailed instructions so we could all be prepared to just jump in and paint along with her during our hour long class.
Looking pensive in this self-portrait done a few days before Congress’ vote to accept the Electoral College count on January 6, 2021. Yes, I was concerned there might be protests turning violent but the level of insurrection from the riotous mob shocked me.
These eyes are from the final image… notice the more rounded iris on the left… still a bit cross-eyed… but nowhere near as bad as in my first draft.
Over the summer I painted this fella from a photo in the Sktchy app on my phone. First I drew in a rough sketch in pencil and then painted a light base layer.
I’m using an Arteza Watercolor Journal – 9 in. X 12 in. This paper sucks up paint and I knew I needed layers to get the desired contrast and vibrancy.
Better. I even thought I was done. But no. I’m sure you can see it too… there’s something wrong with the eye on the left. His eyes aren’t tracking correctly… he’s cross-eyed in my journal but not in his photo. (I’m sorry I can’t show you the photo but he owns the copyright and I don’t have permission to post it. You can see it linked to my work in Sktchy.)
Anyway… it sat on my desk for months before I attempted the fix. It’s subtle, but I rounded the iris on the left hoping to separate the two irises and correct his focus. It seems to have helped… sort of… not entirely, but it’s time to move on, turn the page and select another victim.
As a staff, we are heartbroken; we are lost, but we know that the work continues, the fight remains, and we cannot – we must not get lost in the sea of despair. So if asked how you may honor the congressman, I will echo the words of the greats who stood here before. You can make sure that his work, his sacrifice, his message lives on, and that there’re actions that every person can do regardless of their age or their station in life. Be kind, be mindful, recognize the dignity and the worth of every human being. Be the best version of yourself. Be informed, stay engaged, even though the work is hard. And, if you’re of age and eligible, for the love of God, please vote. Thank you.
Jamila Thompson John Lewis’ Deputy Chief of Staff 30 July, 2020 Ebenezer Baptist Church Atlanta, Georgia