pencil, micron, ink, gouache/watercolor, and ink wash on fancy paper
This is a birthday card that I made for my grandfather, a salty-dog-of-a yacht designer who turns 85 today! I am grateful that not only is he still among us, but he's every bit as passionate about his work as he was when I was a little kid. I remember sitting in an easy chair in his home office out in the woods on Martha's Vineyard, listening to classical music on the radio and admiring the lacquered wooden sculptures and strange carved furniture. Sometimes he'd take a break from his perch above the drawing board and give me a "tattoo." The house specialty was a simple, elegant anchor. Occasionally, he'd spruce things up with a little Christmas tree. 24 years later, he lives about the same distance from me, a quarter mile or so down a gravelly dirt driveway, about 3,000 miles from our old neighborhood. And these days my trips to the office usually involve computer support. I stand at the helm and steer us through a search and rescue mission for castaway files, and we deliver the recovered goods to email recipients across the world... He shows me the latest drawing, a masterfully simple and elegant profile of the hull of a trimaran, and we revel in the absence of its "modern inconveniences."
Having lost two key players in my life in the past two years, I feel an urgency and a helplessness about these precious and increasingly fragile relationships around me. The work, I guess, is to be as present as possible in every interaction, and to fully utilize the time that feels limitless now... Well, it's easy enough to write that. May he enjoy another 85... (okay, okay, I don't wish this kind of lifespan-170 years- on anyone at our present level of physical/medical capability, but you get the idea)