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IF: homage

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Here is my illustration for this week's illustrationfriday prompt–homage




No haiku this week, just a tribute to Robert A. Nelson.


I had Professor Nelson for printmaking during the Spring semester of my sophomore year at Millersville University. It was a Tuesday/Thursday class from 2-4 I believe. Nelson's talent was unbelievable. Watching him work was a privilege--one that I didn't realize until later. I saw his casual style and loose studio as a chance to not go to class. I'd skip either Tuesday or Thursday of the week, later I'd skip two weeks in a row. When I went back, I got working as usual and thought that nobody had noticed me missing. While working on a monoprint, Nelson came over and asked "What do you think you are doing?" I can't remember my response, but I'll never forget his question and its affect. He later told me that he did notice my absence and that I should come to class consistently or not at all.

I would be lying if I said that I never skipped a class after that, but I never did skip another one of his classes. I truly respected him for the way he spoke with me, I even spent evenings in the studio doing work to catch up. To this day, I see his influence on my work ethic.

His influence is far-reaching. I have two colleagues that pay homage through their art, style, or hairstyle. For me, I pay homage by remembering that I need to walk the walk. I can't not show up. Bob Nelson may be watching.

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posted by Jim Howard, 10:18 AM

5 Comments:

Great job, really nice work!

commented by Blogger Rui Sousa,11:48 AM

 


Great illustration, plus I really enjoyed your story too.
You pinned Robert A. Nelson down perfectly. I believe you also altered the tilt of the head as well as angle since I last saw it. I like the decision. The pinky finger anchoring downward to the paper like a bridge is classic Nelson, and a homage all its own. What a great idea all around as well as its execution. I'm also grateful to be mentioned in your story -- as Professor Nelson certainly and single-handedly sculpted my professional style and career, even thought he viewed art education as a "second-tier" decision. So, I live on with his haircut and probably always will. Hey, maybe that an idea for mine...homage to the pony tail!

commented by Blogger fortwertz,5:26 PM

 


What a great piece?! I would actually love to own a copy of this illustration in print form...no kidding! Dr. Nelson was certainly an amazing figure whose deft skills and other-worldly imagination inspired me art and discipline as an artist.

Your image captures him brilliantly.

There really aren't many people like him anymore. I just hope that I can, in some small way, carry on his influence to my students.

commented by Blogger quiet storm,10:14 AM

 


truely inspirational

commented by Blogger goalpost95,10:52 AM

 


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