Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Portrait of Dorian ... Wait, That's Dave
So, do you recognize this handsome guy? That would be me. What with all the packing and moving I picked up a file and this fell out. I immediately recognized it. During a lecture somewhere in Southern Ontario, a fellow with a disability came up to me and gave me this gift. He'd done a portrait of me giving the talk. The shirt is exactly the colour of a shirt that I used to consider my 'presentation' shirt (a fancy way of saying my 'lucky' shirt) and the suspenders ... well. I have worn suspenders for years, often during my talks my shirtneck rides down and my suspenders are exposed - he put them on the outside of my shirt where he thought they belonged. Everyone's a critic.
If you look closely you'll see that this drawing is done with ink pen! Thousands of small lines are put together to form the image. It's really quite a remarkable piece of work. The signature is hard to make out, the first name starts with E. and the last name I think is Flemming. I remember him quite well and the picture brings back a memory of the hall I was presenting in. You'll see a stage behind me, speakers too. He took in all the details.
I was so glad to find this and a bit angry at myself for being so overwhelmed with stuff that I forget important stuff. But luckily this picture remains, his gift is still to be savoured.
When I began in service to people with disabilities the idea of 'arts' was pooh poohed. People made fun of 'arts and crafts' and 'basketweaving'. Oh how arrogant we were as we put emphasis on everything we thought important and belittled everything they did well. If it was a skill, ignore it ... if it was a deficit, focus on it. Yep, a recipe for self esteem.
Thank heaven's Mr. Flemming had support that supported. His talent, respected. Because, now, I have this wonderful drawing.
By happy happenstance, does anyone out there know Mr. Flemming? I'd like to drop him a line.