Monday, January 24, 2011

A return to the lily pad

Back in high school I was known to many as the guy who draws and paints frogs. I always thought it was a bit inaccurate as I had a lot of other subject matter as well, but looking back I can think of at least three paintings, two pencil drawings, and a number of pieces in my sketchbook that had frogs in them. I guess I was in denial because I didn't want to be viewed as some sort of one trick pony. And yet I was.

One day I was with a friend who had to get something from his art class after school. I was carrying one of my frog paintings, and the teacher asked to see it. I had a different art teacher, so I was surprised when this man disappeared into a closet, pulled out some flower still lifes, and proceeded to try and encourage me to paint things like this instead. I can't remember how I responded, but I remember thinking he was crazy and how glad I was I didn't have him as a teacher! A painting of a frog on a rock really isn't that "out there", so imagine what he would have thought of something REALLY creative.

Fast forward to college where I don't think I did any frog artwork. I'm sure this was at least partly intentional as I didn't want to run around in circles. But with the passing of another ten years, it was finally time to slide back into the pond scum and draw some frogs again. I can remember why I liked them so much- those big eyes, long toes and legs that bend back and forth a surprising amount of times. All the frogs of my past were well-mannered and friendly. These are frogs with sinister intent. Why? Because it makes for a cool alliteration: "Five Fashionable Frogs Forge False Friendships".

(And yes, it's on a Tshirt)

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