Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Flashback: A Portrait and Some Arcadia Love

When I was a freshman in high school, I totally geeked out over the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. Oh man. Seriously, I have read that play a bajillion times. Just thinking about it now makes me get all fluttery and excited to pull out my battered copy, which I've toted around since 1996, and crack it's broken spine for another read.

What's not to love about this play? Excellent characters, fantastic story, Regency setting, hilarious, dramatic, names that are like sugar on the tongue, such as Thomasina Coverly (go on. Say it aloud) and Septimus Hodge (go on. Say that one aloud, too). Honestly, I could go on and on, but I won't, because now I'm getting all fangirly and I'm afraid to come across as crazy (though I'm sure I am coming across that way anyway...).

Okaaaay, on with my tale. When I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the spring of '96, I saw it performed and flipped out (clearly). So when it came time to do my final project for freshman year Art 1, in which we were to do a pencil portrait, I naturally chose to draw the character of Thomasina. So here she is:

This picture is ginormous in real life, so I had to photograph, rather than scan, but I think it is a decent shot. I wish the photo looked as awesome as the real-life version!

Let me just say, portraits have been one of my most favorite things to draw forever, but when I was fifteen, I was head-over-heels in love with portraits. Nowadays, my work tends to be very illustrate-y, and they all come straight from my head without references, but there was once upon a time when I did fine art, rather than illustration, and portraits were my thing.

Hands, however, have never been my thing. Look, even at fifteen, my hands were a cop-out. Although, I think I was pressed for time with this one. I remember rushing the background, which is why it is patchy instead of smooth. Also, I think the reference photo had windows behind her. Whoops.

And while I'm flashing back to freshman year Art 1 (Mrs. Dillon's class - REPRESENT!), here was my class. Aw, the memories. And funny enough, they are all my Facebook friends. Hurray for social networking. We didn't even have the internet back then (such a weird thought).

If you haven't read Arcadia (show of hands, people... how many of you have ever heard of it? Please say all. Or most. Or some. Or someone. Anyone?) run to your nearest library and grab a copy. Especially if you are the type to geek out over Regency stories and delicious-to-say names.


Have a flashback of your own to share? Well what the heck are you waiting for! Run right over to Tia's blog and join in the flashback fun. Go on. You know you want to.



Jonathon Arntson said...

That's extraordinary. Nice work!

Laura Pauling said...

My portraits are stick figures. Seriously. That drawing is awesome. And no, I've never heard of Arcadia! :)

Denise Felton said...

Oh. My. Gawd. You are so freakin AWESOME. Please tell me you've done portraits of your girls.

Christopher And Tia said...

I'm not going to lie, Marisa. I've never even heard of Arcadia.

Shame on me?

BUT, your portrait is absolutely beautiful. You're so talented. I can't even draw a freakin' stick person correctly. My daughter draws them better than I do.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Haha, I didn't really expect that anyone had heard of Arcadia! But it really is good :)

And thank you all!!

Dawn K. said...

Wow -- these are impressive!! Stopping by from Flashback Friday!


AlyGatr said...

Sorry, can't say I know that book, but I may have to add it to my Goodreads :)

That portrait is AMAZING. Such detail. You should totally do that a little more often. Dominic has done some cool stuff in charcoal (back in his college art class days) and it always amazes me to see what you can do in grayscale! I hope you frame that someday.

Mommy Elephant Sarah said...

Wow! You've got some talent there!!!

Googley bear said...

Your so talented you make me sick! That portrait was so good I did throw up in my mouth a little.

Keep up the good work.

The Momma said...

I bow down to your awesomeness! Never heard of Arcadia either, but I'm surely interested now!!!

Much More Than Mommy said...

So you're a writer AND an artist?! You're crafty, too, aren't you? *hangs head in shame*

Karen Faulkner said...

Such talent!

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I'm sorry I missed this before. So glad I made it back. I'm trying to catch up in between catching up on everything else that has gone to hell in a hand basket since I was gone. So totally going to look for this. And sadly never heard of it before. But happily just read of it now!!!~ I love regency and the name Septimus Hodge. I love that Thomasina was the subject of your portrait.

Who did your classmates choose??

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