Thursday, August 04, 2005

Illustration Friday: Aging


Old men are great. Especially if they have hats. No time for a real illustration but I did a bunch of sketches of old guys so that will have to do.

And some thoughts on aging...

I don’t feel old. I don’t know why that is. My body shows me that I’m getting older and fatter. I get the occasional sharp stabbing pain in my back that makes me walk funny for a week. I have aches where I never had them before and the hair that I can still call mine is now grey or is creeping down my back. Not to mention the fact that I now have four kids and I’ve been married a looong time. Okay, so I’m older (not old, I’m only 35) but inside I feel as young as ever.

This past week I was reminded of how just how old I am getting. Years ago I was made the scoutmaster of a small troop. It seems like just yesterday. Actually, it was about 10 years ago, but just yesterday I went out to lunch with two of those small 12-year-old boys—the very first two I worked with. They have since grown up. They’re 21 now. They both just returned from missions for our church and thought it would be fun to go to lunch with ole Papa Moose (that’s what they called me) and catch up on old times. They brought up a ton of old memories, some of which have been buried deep in my old senile mind. Things like:

“Hey Moose, do you remember that time I broke out half of my tooth so you pulled the rest of it out with the pliers on your pocketknife?”
“Remember when you taught us how to do back-flips off of the sand dunes?”
“Oh man, you got so mad at us when we…”
“How about when you dared us to jump into the ice-covered pond?”
“That was an incredible hike!”
“Remember when you broke the rope bridge and fell in the pond?”
“That was the best food!”
“We didn’t wash our face for a week.”

It went on and on. They had a million stories and it was great to hear them all.

I have been working with scouts and young men for all of these years, from those first two scouts through a whole mess of other ones, until a few weeks ago when I got a new assignment. I’m going to miss it. There is nothing more rewarding than watching these young stupid kids grow up to become men with strong values. Working with them can make you age very quickly (they gave me the grey hair) and yet at the same time make you feel younger than ever. I hope I never grow up.

19 comments:

Michelle said...

These are great. My favorite is the guy with the turban. He's so kooky looking.

isay said...

great drawings. i like all of them but my faves are the first, fourth, sixth, and eigth!

Eren said...

nice drawings! =)

Jeope said...

"no time for a real illustration..."

Whaaaaa??? Don't sell your doodles short. This stuff is just as superb as any finished piece. Your site rocks! I can't believe I haven't spotted it until today!

Jules said...

Lovely expressions on their faces; you really captured personality. And as a mom who is on the fence re sending her 7-yr-old to scouts - you just made up my mind, thanks for sharing your story.

carla said...

Love the old guys! These little sketches speak volumes about how we settle into our quirky personae as we age; after all, why bother being anything except who you are!
I really like your other work as well - you have such a sense of humor and a really nice style.

Alisa said...

These are great! I like the guy in the tuque the best

"Maggie" said...

Such character and variation of facial expressions. I took a look at your website too, wonderful work, just wonderful.

paula said...

Luv the old men character study, Guy (btw...Is your name pronounces 'Gee" or "Gi"--with a long 'i'? Oh, just one of those now-that-I'm-in-Francophone-country-I-think-of-these-things questions). Mmmm...I think I recognize some of those guys, too! And my husband REALLY loved your site, particularly your tranquil rhino. : )

paige said...

these are superb! I love'em all but that first guy with the thick glasses made me chuckle out loud. I want to hug him. As well, I really enjoyed your sentiments about growing older/ feeling young. Good on you for being a Scout Leader all these years, Old Guy!

kay susan said...

I love these little sketches. What do you mean, not a REAL illustration? Looks fine to me.

constanthing said...

Your style is great! I especially like the facial expressions you have on your characters, really makes them come alive.

Kactiguy said...

Thanks for the nice comments. I wish I had time to refine them a little, maybe add some color. I'm glad you like them the way they are though.

Jules- I glad you got off the fence on the side of scouts. It really is a good program.

Paula- It is Guy, like fly or die. I just got an email from another Guy Francis from France. The only other Guy Francis I've met. I have a feeling his name is pronounced Gee.

Red Ladyblog said...

Your blog's name is what first caught my eye, but your artwork's what kept me browsin' - thanks!

The Daily Rant said...

I like your blog, but I LOVE your artwork. So, what does it take to get you to do a little illustration for the header on MY blog? Do you do stuff like that? Are your rates astronomical? I will keep checking back to see your great work. LOVE your style.

David Zamora said...

ha, those are awesome! They look so jovial^^ makes me jovial ;)

Fulton Beal said...

Hats add some flair
To men with no hair
Specially the wrinkled old kind
For they can't be beat
Cuz age is a treat
A treasure thats truly sublime

compulsive writer said...

Love your grumpy old men, Guy! As for aging, I've learned a lot about aging lately watching (or as we secretly but affectionately call it, "babysitting") Grandpa (96) and Grandma (88) a couple mornings a week. Grandpa tells Shane on a regular basis "Growing old ain't for sissies!" The best part for me is hearing Grandma's stories...over and over and over again.
It's all o.k., though. At my age my memory isn't what it used to be and if she didn't repeat them I'd never remember them.

~Autumn said...

Those old guys have as much character as anything else in this world. I love your sketches on them.