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I’m doing pet portraits?

drawing of a parrot
26x 30 water crayon on paper

This was a complete departure from taking myself or anything I do seriously. I think It’s a good thing. Yes, I suppose I do “pet portraits” now. My art professors back in the day would have scoffed. But, then again I doubt if any of them ever cared to remember me.

It’s up to ME to decide if I’m happy making art and enjoying it. Why? While I’m not saying THIS is a great work -honestly -It’s fun, upbeat, cute. But I also think I rushed it a little so my friend could have what he asked me for in a hurry -while I’m doing freelance work and holding a 9-5, and doing family stuff. DISTRACTIONS.

It has a few flaws that could also be what makes it work. The perspective is different and the contrast and tones are different from the source photo.

I made something else -and my friend LIKED IT. I can’t just keep making things in my basement studio nobody will ever hang up or even see. WHO LOOKS AT THIS SITE ANYWAY? Who the hell am I?

As with anything I do, I know it’s done when I can’t look at it anymore and/or anything added won’t significantly do anything special to it. I thing deciding when something is done is almost as hard as starting.

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The Letter Ayin

see the artwork here!

The illustration explained:

The eye ‘Ayin’ is looking towards hashamayim superimposed over the clouds ‘anavim’  relate to Tehillim 119:18:

“Unveil my eyes that I may understand the wonders of your Torah” 

The inset drawing showing the shape the letter ayin with the eyes and optic nerves connecting towards the heart -relating to the  Midrash Tachuma: “The eye sees the heart desires and the body commits the averos”. 2 This is also true with choosing to internalize the Torah.

Some meanings of the number 70 

The letter Ayin in the Aleph Bais is numerical value of 70. There are many examples of how the number seventy is relevant in the Torah in connection with this letter.

Some are:

  • 7 days of the week/ creation
  • Every 7th year is a Shmitah year
  • 49 days of Yovel
  • 49 days of Sefirah
  • 70 original nations of the world
  • 70 people that descended to Egypt
  • 70 members of the Sanhedrin
  • 70 names of Hashem

The underlying significance of 7, 49, and 70 are connected with purpose and completion, many mitzvos in the Torah, and rising higher spiritual levels. (Additionally, some wisdom is hidden -the word SOD (hidden also has the value of 70).

The letters that form the Ayin 

The letters that form the Ayin may be composed from different letter combinations: Nun Vav Zayin, 

The letters that form the Ayin can also be composed of the letter Vav and Zayin 

-The use of all four letters: Yud, Vav, Zayin, Nun can spell G’Noz meaning the hidden light of creation(also note the word ‘sod’ as stated above is the value of 70).

1 Dovid Leitner, Understanding the Aleph Beis (Feldheim Publishers, 2007) 293

2 ibid 294