Pop 100

color illustration of a white man with tanned skin, blue eyes, gray-white hair, blue polo shirt, white slacks and shoes, hearing aid visible, and Star of David around his neck poised to putt a golf ball into a hole with a '90' flag
Art © 2004 Brian Saner Lamken.

Grandpop would have been 100 years old today. If that sounds like an abstract anniversary to you, I understand — we all will be would-have-been 100 years old eventually, unless we actually make it. He only died at 96 in 2011, though, and his wife (my mother's mother) is still with us at 98½; his loss remains keenly felt.

I've never been particularly good at caricatures, but a couple of years before doing
the piece above I'd drawn my sister and her husband. Grandpop liked how that turned out, had always been encouraging of my artistic endeavors, and very much wanted me to draw him similarly for the invitation to his 90th birthday party. Although it had become, and remains, much harder for me to do stuff like this than it used to be, I couldn't not at least try.

To get the putting pose it was easier for me to draw him holding the club right-handed like I would. Since he was left-handed I then flipped the image after scanning it in — which meant that I had to draw his shirt buttoning from the wrong side so that it would be correct once flipped. The Star-of-David necklace, hearing aid, and Sansabelt trousers are all true to life, but I took creative license in coloring his socks to match his shirt for some balance rather than keep them the same color as his shoes and slacks. I think the hair was trickiest, because the more he lost on top the more there seemed to be when he was done arranging it. That big white space was used for details of the party.

I'm not sure why the colors didn't translate truly when scanning the above from a copy of the printed invitation. His slacks and shoes should be slightly darker, more bone than as white as the surrounding paper, and the shaded areas have dropped out almost completely. Unfortunately I can't access the original image on my old computer now, but if or when that's possible I'll swap in a better image.

Kindred Posts: Bing!Tree A.M.Leon Saner 1914-2011

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