drawing, sketching, watercolor painting, and digital photo editing
I treasure the sensation I have when working on visual art that it comes from somewhere so deep inside me that my brain feels disengaged and the outside world fades away.
Eve (number 2 pencil sketch, 1990
About the “Eve” Freehand Drawing
One evening, while my wife Kristin was at the Church for a Young Women in Excellence meeting as our ward’s Young Women Organization president. I found myself alone, having put our four young children to bed.
Feeling like I often do at the end of a Sabbath day—peaceful, worn out, and a bit tense over the approaching week—I felt the need to wind down. So, as I sometimes do, I got out my sketch pad and started following “my muse.” What came to me was a feeling for Eve and her inspired decision to “partake that man might be.” I sketched away, feeling, strangely, that I knew her well and experienced an eternal connection with her character. I finished the drawing and put it away, never even showing it to Kristin.
A year later, six or so months after Kris had passed away from Leukemia, I surprisingly found myself dating my wife-to-be, Annette. One evening, while we sat across the aisle in a temple session, I looked over at her as she was attentively watching the movie presentation. I was stunned with a recognition that the sketch I had made of Eve was, in fact, of Annette.
Only the nose, which I recall having drawn originally as more pointed and slightly turned down—like Annette’s—was a bit “off.” Every other detail—hands, jawline, hairstyle, shoulders, neck, slant of the eyes—look as if she has sat and posed as my model.
The picture hangs next to my side of our bed as a constant reminder that God is in the details of our lives.
This photo was taken of my wife, Annette about the same time I drew “Eve.”
Annette’s Six Children 2007 (Photoshop Composite “Water Color”)
Annette married me as a widdower with four children. Though a thirty-year-old at the point she married, she had long believed she would have six children of her own. She had never thought they would be the fifth through tenth with the last being born when Annette was forty-three. I made this composit photo from their individual school photos and some other photos of the younger two. Then used a water color filter and brush technique to create the dry water color look. I remember tearing up as I felt the essence of each child, studying each precious face, adjusting the light, head-sizes, and “brushing” and “blending” their beautiful features.
Annette’s Six Children 2017 – ten years later (Photoshop Composite “Water Color”)
Annette loved the first composite so much, I thought I would make her another one, ten years later. I used a few different filters but, largely, the same technique—and all the same emotions.