Illustration Friday

Did this for the illustration Friday topic Brave.  It’s a guy fighting a doggone lion.  I’d say that’s pretty brave.  I sort of like the composition.  You can click on it to see it bigger, though it’s a little unfinished.

And so as not to leave you without something cool to read.  Here is an excerpt on courage from the very brave Alexander Solzhenitsyn at his Harvard address in 1978.  At the time his speech was poorly received.

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course there are many courageous individuals but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and weak countries, not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?

EDIT:  I think the strident response of the state department against Israel is indicative of this last sentiment: “…decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with … governments… not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance.  But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.”

State department walks on eggshells when talking to nuclear-weapon-pursuing-Iran, but plays the tough guy with Israel when they announce they plan to build houses in their own capital!  What is wrong with the world?

Drawing for a Painting

Finished some storyboard revisions this week, and I haven’t had much of a chance to post until now.  This is a drawing for a small painting I’m going to do.

I’ve been reading boy and dog stories lately, Henry Huggins, Henry and Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary, and Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes.  I like the innocence of the Youth Fiction of the 50s and 60s.  I also like that the stories are super interesting and that the kids are responsible and outward focused.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the glorification of pagan-angsty-selfish-outcast-teenagers as much as the next guy, provided the next guy doesn’t like them at all.  Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.  I wanted this composition to be sort of poster-like, so I based it off the telescoping circle thing found in art nouveau jewelry.

This thing:

Not too subtle I know.  The red circles are completely unnecessary because it’s so obvious.

I hope to paint it up in the next week or so.  Keep you posted.