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The Boat

DECEMBER 19, 2014
'The Boat' Oil on Board 15 1/2" X 21"
Life couldn't have worked out better by the end of 2014.  Still, the Irish in me begins to feel wary when things are too satisfying and I often find myself mentally 'testing the floor' to see if it's sturdy.  I am learning to trust and enjoy the good parts of life.  However, this image is about the way that life can sometimes flip you out of your boat.
My sketchbook is a place where I work out ideas and jot down simple images that suddenly, a while later, become relevant and need to be turned into final art.  Sometimes I need a bit of clearance from the actual real-life events that inspired the sketch.  This personal work from the fall of 2014 comes from that clearance and a more distant perspective. 
I like staring out at the crystal-clear lake in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania in the late summer, when the light gets softer and the clouds become wisps and glow like neon against the falling sun.  One particular day this August it all lined up perfectly; wispy clouds, soft ripples and evening light.  That was the night I decided to do the piece. 
This is an image of a man being tossed from his comfort.  I don't imagine him losing his life, but it ended what was a blissful moment. 
I look forward to doing more work from the sketchbooks in 2015. 
Lean into life, take it all in and trust the good things all around, and no matter what, get back into the boat!
Rough sketch for 'The Boat'..... I forgot about the wine bottle and the birds but every element is a character in the story and I felt they didn't need time on the stage.

A close-up of the formerly content subject

Here's a toast to all those who made this year such a great one for me.  Cheers to all of my friends and family, my e-mail group, my running friends, to anyone who lost someone they love, who fought against some illness, who picked themselves up, to my far away friends, to my friends at the Society of Illustrators,  to all my students (most of them) and to my heart, Elizabeth Parisi and Cassius.  It was quite a year.
Click below to see a brief slideshow of 2014.  Have a great holiday and New Year.

12/18/14 by Slidely Slideshow
© 2024 Tim O'Brien