Sketching from the Neck Up #1

The Interactive Statuette

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In my world of being a quadriplegic, I have developed an aesthetic appreciation of my surroundings. I look at an object and say to myself, “that would make a good sketch!” I thought about trying to teach myself to sketch and paint using my mouth. After all, there are many PWD artists out there who do exactly that. However, most of those artists have enough muscles in their backs to support their heads, so that they can beautifully manipulate pencils/brushes to create fantastic masterpieces. Here lies my dilemma. Even if I can hold a pencil in my mouth, I am unable to execute the right pencil strokes for sketching. I hated the thought that I could not sketch. Fortunately, by God’s grace, there is a digital solution for me.

One day, a social media penpal of mine from Norway posted a picture of a snow clad tree that I liked. I opened up my Photoshop program and using my camera mouse setup, I proceeded to manually sketch the tree. When I say “manually”, I mean I tried my darndest to avoid using Photoshop’s magical features that automatically transform a photograph into a sketched out drawing. Okay, I cheated just a little.

Anyway, after a number of practice runs, another idea popped into my head to publish my sketches/illustrations into my blog titled “Sketching from the Neck Up”. In fact, that title was actually coined by my wife, Mavis, who is a genius in this kind of thing. As my first subject, I focused on a statuette that I noticed a bunch of little kids having so much fun with. It was a concrete interactive statuette of an oversized chameleon perched on a black boulder. I called it interactive mainly because built on the chameleon sides and tail are almost 400 little rollers each of which had 4 color facets (green, yellow, blue and red). A nearby teacher of the kids would call out saying that the chameleon is standing by a specific fruit like an apple or a banana. She would ask what color would the chameleon be and the kids would laughingly turn each of the multicolored rollers to either red or yellow. This statuette can be found at the 28th Terra Park, Bonifacio Global City. Come and check it out for yourself. Be a kid again and enjoy.

PWD – person with disability

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