Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Next Portrait Class Project

Now on to another class project. This one we chose our own reference photo.

I have chosen to do my brother. He passed away in 2000. That was a terrible time in my life as he was my baby brother and only 46 years old. I was not prepared to lose him. I guess no one is ever ready to lose a loved one, but his death was senseless and caused by drug use.
Steve was a very sensitive person, but his life got on the wrong path at a very early age. His big problem was, he was on a slow ride down hill, and he wasn't strong enough to get off the ride. As he was dying, he told our mom that there was nothing she could have done. The drugs were just too strong and he was powerless to leave them. He was a guy petrified of catching anything as a child and would never touch you if you had any kind of skin problem, etc. He couldn't even stand to watch me insert my pierced earrings. But in the end he was reduced to sharing a needle for his high. That was his end.
And here is my tribute. I have spent 6 years trying to get the picture of him in the hospital out of my head. And once again it shows thru. I failed in my drawing to get the mischievious look he always had in his eyes. He was always a prankster but always in fun. And since he was the baby of the famly, we always made excuses for him.
My drawing seems to have the eyes I saw at the hospital after he was told he would not make it. I know it is not the last look I saw in his eyes as that one is even more haunting. He was scared out of his mind of dying. The nurses said he was not even closing his eyes at night when asleep. He was afraid he wouldn't wake up. He would nod off and jerk himself out of it afraid it would be his last look at the world.
Such a sad end to a life. This picture will be for his son who was 14 years old when his dad died. He can't remember his dad when he wasn't a drug user. He has listened to answer machine tapes of his "happy-go-lucky" dad and wishes he had known him then. My nephew is like a son to me and my husband, and we both are honored to have been partly responsible for him being the very nice, loving, hard-working young man he is today.


Jo Castillo (noblock99) said...

Jeanne, what a nice tribute. Your nephew will love the portrait. Congratulations on a good job. I'm so sorry for your loss.

"JeanneG" said...

Thank you Jo. Never easy to lose a loved one.