Posts Tagged ‘Frankenstein’

IMG_2639The Illustration Friday word of the week is metamorphosis.

They say a person’s face becomes the roadmap of where Life’s journey has taken them. Do you sometimes feel as I do, when looking in that not-so-friendly mirror, “What a long, strange trip it’s been…?”


IMG_2638“Untitled”      (pen & ink)

A 1993 commission for the Sutter Center of Progressive Endosurgery of Sacramento, CA. You’ve seen this image posted here before (ages ago) but ’tis the season for Frankenstein…   🙂



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c. Susan Sorrell Hill

News Flash!!!

Five of my original watercolors are en-route to Susanna Maier (founder of the Trade Your Talent art blog) for a New York City fundraiser. You can see all five of them in advance, posted here. Proceeds from the August 10th, 2011 event will fund educational scholarships for a small group of deserving girls in Tanzania. These paintings will be auctioned off along with other donated artworks, including photographs taken by the fundraiser’s co-sponsor, Patricia Schneidewind, during her recent trip to Tanzania.

If you would like to donate some artwork yourself (hurry!), attend the fundraiser and bid on artworks, or find out how you might buy artwork if you are not nearby (or your Learjet is in the shop this month), please visit Susanna’s July 30, 2011 post about the event at her blog, Trade Your Talent, for more information. There is also a link to my recent Artist Interview with Trade Your Talent included in this post about the fundraiser.

It’s a very warm and worthy cause, and also a chance to get your hands on an original work of art for your burgeoning collection. Thanks so much for your support!

“Frankenstein”   (watercolor, pen & ink, pastel, colored pencil)   This is one of the paintings that will be auctioned.

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c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is prehistoric.

I could never relate to the friends who became parents and then for ever after chronicled History by the ages and activities of their children. Casually prefaced sentences with preambles like, “When Johnny was a baby…” or, “The year that Sally got her braces…”, left me feeling like an outsider among members of a secret and widespread club.

But then I realized that I had my own internal time-keeping method, even though I was not a mother. Mine went more like, “When I was with Alfred…or Louie…or Rupert…” (Names changed to protect the innocent.) Beyond my school years, I realized, I chronicled the eras of my life by the particular relationships I was in at the time. Not so different, really.

The idea of defining one’s self by a patchwork of prehistoric and external activities or relationships, though, got me thinking. Who was I without them? Who am I, separate from the myriad forms of outer description: wife-of…works-for…rents-from…member-of…body-type-like…ex-girlfriend-of…draws-like…etc., etc.? Who am I, first thing in the morning as consciousness returns, but before the definitions return to clothe me more tightly than a spandex leotard? Who am I without my face?

The Buddhists have always written extensively about that big question, and Zen Buddhism is perhaps the most accessible entry into this area of contemplation. They refer to it as the Original Face, and it originates in the following koan: “What did your face look like before your parents were born?”

You cannot describe it or draw it,
You cannot praise it enough or perceive it.
No place can be found in which
To put the Original Face;
It will not disappear even
When the universe is destroyed.
— Mumon

My original face is That which observes ‘the little me’…sitting here in this wicker chair, warmed by a wood stove and peppermint tea, typing. I don’t know what That is yet…but I am beginning to understand what it is not…

“Frankenstein” (pen & ink)   Illustration for a hospital advertisement: “Endoscopic surgery. Because not everyone can live with another scar.”

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