Skelly in love (bloom where you are planted)

If I could get painting students to do one thing, it would be to draw every day. It’s cheap—$5 will buy you a sketchbook, graphite pencil and eraser—convenient, and portable, and the fastest way to see progress. But so few people take me up on that suggestion.

This hasn’t been a productive year, art-wise. I’ve spent the better part of it loitering in waiting rooms. Tough on the schedule, but with an elderly mom, four bio kids and a few spares, I’m used to waiting.

One can either read bad magazines or use the time for something useful. This skeleton is at the office of physical therapist Joanne Panzarella. I started off drawing detailed studies of the bones—the vertebra (very tough to understand), pelvis, skull, the fascinating details of toe bones and how they attach to two different heel bones.

One day Skelly showed up in a blonde wig and pirate scarf and I knew I ‘knew’ him. It was simple to draw him in all his bony splendor without worrying overmuch about how many ribs he has or where his vertebra attach to his pelvis.

Today he was cuddling with his Easter Bunny. A quick sketch—perhaps 25 minutes—but it gets to the heart of Skelly. Who says that a man without soft tissue is without feelings?