Point of Exquisite Suspension

Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

16 March 2017

Some Assurance

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1
© O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
These are trying times. I've been thinking a lot about keeping my hopes up.

On the way to work today the above verse was running through my mind. When I got to the office I decided to let it inspire me to do some calligraphy practice (to warm up the ol' creativity "muscles" :-D ).

I take encouragment where I can. ^_^

07 March 2017

Picasso Exhibit 2013

Gallery patrons at the Picasso Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, 2013. Photo © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights Reserved.
I have a variety of photos from a exemplary major exhibit on the works of the artist Picasso at the Art Institute of Chicago from 2013. The exhibit gave a glimpse of the vast amount and variety of amazing creative works by the man who was by all accounts the most significant artist of the 20th Century.

In the photo above, the gallery patron is reading a wall graphic about Picasso's second wife, Jacqueline Roque. See below for close-up of that wall graphic:

I invite you to visit my photo album of the entire exhibit on my Flickr photo sharing site.


 I have images of the galleries full of patrons as well as photos of many paintings and info graphics there. This is thanks to the Art Institute's generous policy of allowing photos during the exhibit.

28 February 2017

The Interesting Case of the "Saint Death" Movement

Santa Muerte, or "Saint Death" has been a simmering folk religious movement in Mexico for a few years now. Art © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
Several years ago, I heard about a growing folk religious movement in Mexico that venerates "Santa Muerte" or "Saint Death". It inspired me to make the above sketches. Her devotees are the displaced, outcast and sometimes (but not always) members of the narcotics trade.

Technically, the skeletal Santa Muerte usually holds a globe along with her scythe. But since she typically wears a bridal dress, I gave her a wilted bouquet. The original terrific article from years ago that inspired my sketch is here.  

Just call me "Mr. Sunshine" but I figure with a "Thanos-like" leader in the White House, Saint Death might become more popular than ever.

2017 update: A more recent update on the Santa Muerte movement.

02 February 2017

My First Post-Election Political Cartoon

Trump gives new meaning to the term "Bully Pulpit". © 2017 O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
"Bully Pulpit" is term coined by President Theodore Roosevelt for unique role a POTUS has in public discourse. The word "Bully" meant something more positive in TR's day than it does in ours. To call something "bully" in the late 1800s was akin to the overused term "awesome" today. Even earlier it had a very sweet connotation. According to Google:

The word "bully" was first used in the 1530s meaning "sweetheart", applied to either sex, from the Dutch boel "lover, brother", probably diminutive of Middle High German buole "brother", of uncertain origin (compare with the German buhle "lover").

 But that affectionate meaning of the term could hardly be applied to our the "Bully-in-Chief" that currently resides in the White House.

31 December 2016

20 December 2016

Astounding Art Discovery Sends Me Back to High School Sketchbook

Saint Sebastian drawing by Leonardo DaVinci found in March of 2016

You might have read about the French gentleman, a retired doctor, who brought in a folder of a family heirloom collection of old sketches to a Paris auction house. One of the sketches triggered an investigation that revealed the aged drawings had been made by non other than Leonardo DaVinci himself!

*UPDATE 10 January 2017: France declares the Da Vinci drawing to be national treasure. *

I love this story! Besides being a tale about an amazing discovery, it reminded me of how much I learned from published sketches of Leonardo when I was a young high school age artist.

So I looked among my old sketchbooks (My wife will tell you that I'm something of a pack rat) and I found two sketches from my early days that show Leonardo's influence. These are not Saints but rather angel's drawn from my imagination.

Male Angel Sketch © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
Female Angel Sketch © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.
I don't recall my exact thinking or inspiration behind these drawings but I remember using techniques gleaned from peering over Leonardo's art. There were a lot more sketches of faces, family, friends, landscapes and imaginary creatures (including my first Tigrikorn drawing) in that sketchbook.

It just goes to show how far an artist's legacy can reach through history over the centuries.

UPDATE 10 January 2017: France declares the Da Vinci drawing to be national treasure.