Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flowers for Mr. Glass: a Memorial

This bouquet was picked from my Cedar Falls, Iowa neighborhood and garden. It was drawn on April 15, 2012.  I had painted another version of the bouquet a few days before in watercolor, that included a tall red tulip as the center of attention. I had envisioned this second drawing, done in Neocolor II wax pastels, to also include the tulip, but alas, it dropped its petals before I could execute it.

Two days later,  I received an email from a dear childhood friend telling me of her father's death on April 15, 2012. For me, this drawing then became a memorial for Mr. Glass. For me, this drawing represents the melancholic side of Spring: its breathtaking, all too fleeting beauty. Such is life.

As a teenager, I knew Mr. Glass as a kind man with a gentle smile, the father of one of my best friends. I was always welcome in their rambling house in Scarsdale, New York, which was filled with many books, creative projects laid out in process, and sleeping cats occupying the kitchen chairs . The garden that he and his wife tended introduced me to a variety of perennial flower gardening that I would try to emulate in my adult life. I hadn't seen Mr. Glass in decades. Only with his passing did I learn through the New York Times obituary of his illustrious career and his painfully difficult youth. This one is for you, Mr. Glass, in honor of your long life, well lived.

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