Last night we had the privilege of having James and Jeannette Gurney for a visit. James is a world renowned artist most famous for creating Dinotopia.
Kristan made an awesome meal and our families enjoyed an evening of talking all things art, painting, comics, manga, anime, robotics, etc. He was scheduled to present at the school where I teach the following day.
After dinner, I sat for a quick sketch. James Gurney painted this quick portrait of me in a small (5x7) sketchbook in about ten minutes. He uses water soluble pencils and ink. He incorporated this image in his slide show to demonstrate to the kids that he has a sketchbook with him at all times and uses everyone around him as models. The kids were very excited to see a familiar face!
Before he arrived, I had prepared the drawing below as my gift to him. I wanted to express my appreciation for the instruction and inspiration I get from his website, The Gurney Journey -- especially the Art by Committee (or, ABC) Challenges. Who knows if my character will survive many more of them?!
Last fall, when we had asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas, the first words out of my son Daniel's mouth was The Road to Chandara, the latest Dinotopia book. He knew this visit was coming and he wanted to get the book signed.
It was an honor to meet one of my favorite artists, and work together on a program that would promote learning and the visual arts in my school. There are artists who inspire admiration for their work and then there are artists who inspire everyone around them to create -- that's the kind of artist James Gurney is.