Friday, April 25, 2008

Final Portrait of a Dancer

[ Portrait of Skipp by John Paul Thornton]

Skipp stood before the south light of the window and struck a dance pose. I blocked in the planes of the drawing while we talked about his love for living. Within a few hours a stray beam of sun that had been slowly advancing along the wall finally struck his torso and shoulder. A few thick strokes of alizarin crimson and ochre paint had to express the effect. Minutes later, the beam had passed.

My friend Skipp died this week, in hospice with his mother at his side. I saw today at a friend's home, for the first time in nearly four years, this portrait of him that we collaborated on back in 2004. At the time, his health was in check. He was the most gentle person. A dancer, singer, traveler and positive spirit. Good bye Skipp.