It was such a sad thing to hear about the loss of Anthony Bourdain this past weekend. I loved watching his shows that showed great food from around the world combined with all the interesting sites he saw along the way.
He had a lot of attributes that made him worth watching – he was insightful, fun loving, and genuinely interested in learning about other people and other cultures. But I think the the thing that I’ll miss the most will be his honestly. He was unflinchingly honest about himself, his past mistakes, and the world as he saw it. I felt he pulled the world closer together at a time when so many others expend inordinate amounts of energy trying to pull it apart. At the end of the day, he showed us we all love a good meal shared with friends.
It took a lot of courage to be so open and honest and uncompromising in telling the truth and the world lost one of the great story tellers with his passing.
I actually painted this watercolor of Vincent Van Gough more than a year ago, well before I started this blog. But then last week I did a sketch of Vincent and decided to put them together in this post.
Van Gough is my favorite for many reasons. We know he was a tortured soul. It is touching to realize how talented he was at the same time. The fact that he died not knowing how popular he would become adds an extra bit of pathos to his story. But his painting really speak for themsleves. He had a unique vision, expertly executed in his work that will be around as long as we remain.
Fyodor Bronnikov was a famous Russian painter from the 19th century who spent most of his life painting in Italy.
I came across a really cool self-portrait he did of himself in 1856 and decided to skech it as my sketch of the day.
This is his original self-portrait so you can judge how well I captured him.
I have been studying some of the grand masters recently and challenging myself to sketch them and/or some of their works. So I spent a couple of days focussing on Rembrandt.
I really liked the painting he did of his father – I ended up sketching his father’s portrait on the same page in my sketch book as the one of him as a young man. This kind of remnded me of the song by Neil Young “Old Man” with the lyrics:
“Old man take a look at my life I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes and you can tell that’s true” – Neil Young
I also really liked this self-portrait he did in middle age (below) And the detail from of “the father” from his “Return of the Prodigal Son” was very poignant in his rendition of the aging( but loving and forgiving) father of the Prodigal Son. I found it to be amazing and I loved skeching that to try to capture the mood that Rembrandt conveyed.