Delays On The Porter Line
colored pencil on bristol
I'm posting this colored pencil drawing that I did back in 2001 because I've been having a few dreams that involve my grandpa and this piece is about my grandpa. Now, I hardly ever have dreams where someone that I know is in them, especially relatives. I don't know why, but it's true. In the past few weeks I've had four dreams about my maternal grandfather, the woodworker. In every one, it was him through and through, the way he talked, his mannerisms, the way he dressed. Well, not everyone. In the last dream he was wearing cabana wear, something he would never have done. I do like to think that after all this time he finally came to visit, but who knows how dreams work.
This piece above was done about two years after he passed away. I was thinking about how family really made it a point to get in his way when he faltered there at the end and how he responded was always with calmness. He was hugely into trains and model railways (his basement set up was an amusement park), so the train here represents him in a way. I borrowed from one of my Thomas Hart Benton's paintings for this part. The train, smoke and sky are in that style if not a plain ripoff. The toy soldiers were something he and I experimented with in my youth. Making molds and trying different substance for the soldiers. Just to see if they worked. Hardly any of them did, but we had fun. The ostriches that are blocking the way with their heads in the sand are family. I felt this of them during these times. The Camaro was one of the two that he owned. The other one, also gold, had a spoiler. He didn't act like an old man, that is for sure. The little guy down at the bottom there is me as a really small kid. I always felt helpless to act and not knowing what to do to help him, so yeah, there's that.
The drawing was damaged some during the last basement flood, so the scan is a bit wonky.
Oh yeah, this piece also won an Honourable Mention Award at the 1st International Drawing Biennale in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. I look at it now and kind of cringe, but happy of the award nonetheless.