In the past I’ve occasionally posted some drawings for Black History Month. Since it’s that time again, I thought it might be fun to revisit some old subjects.
Back in 2010 I did a sketch of a young Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993), the first African American on the Supreme Court and the lawyer who argued the famous Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court. This current sketch was drawn from a photo taken in 1967, around the time he became the court’s 96th justice.
I’ve always been fascinated by his story: the grandson of a slave, who initially went to college to study medicine and become a dentist, eventually becomes an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Check out his biography on Wikipedia.
Today I signed up for the Creative Every Day Challenge. I’m committing to doing something creative every day in 2013. What I like about Leah Piken Kolidas’ challenge is that it calls for creativity in it’s broadest sense. So while I may draw or doodle some days, I can also practice my ukelele, take some photos, try a new recipe, or get my garden back into shape.
I often need to remind myself that being creative isn’t always about my drawing and painting. It’s about anything I do that gives me room to express who I am and allow me to stretch my wings as I strive to live more authentically.
I’ll not post everything I do, really, you don’t want to see it all. But I’ll be updating much more frequently than I have in the past.
So this is it. I dove in with this self-portrait in my sketchbook. We’ll see where 2013 takes me.
Bessie Coleman (1892 – 1926) was the first woman to earn an International Aviation License and the first African-American licensed pilot.
Born in Texas, Bessie was the 10th of 13 children. Unhappy with small town life in Texas, she moved to Chicago in 1915 to join her brother and make a life for herself. She learned the beautician’s trade, but what she really wanted to do was be a flier.
Being a woman, and black, she couldn’t find anyone who would teach her fly. On the advice of a friend she decided to go to France and learn to fly there. She saved and raised money, learned some French, and arrived in France in 1920. She received her aviation license in 1921.
After earning her license, Bessie made her living as an exhibition flier, occasional parachutist, and lecturer. Unfortunately her life was cut short by a crash during a test flight in 1926.
You can get a better idea of Ms. Coleman’s struggles, achievements, and her legend by reading her bio on BessieColeman.com.
Here’s another artist trading card. I was watching an old movie called Ten Minutes to Live, which is a 1932 independent film by African American film director Oscar Micheaux. It was included in a box of public domain DVDs we bought a while back. There was this scene where the villian is coming down a flight of stairs. I loved the way it was lit, so I paused the film and made a rough value map and a quick sketch altering his features to make him a more romantic sort of mysterious stranger. Later I did this drawing and painted it with indigo blue watercolor.
This was such a special election night for me that I decided commemorate it by making a sketch to paste in my journal. I wanted draw him as I saw him at the beginning of the campaign and capture the hope and optimism that he exuded at the beginning of the campaign.