I looked up at the sun in the sky, and the piercing light scorched my eyes. The warmth had finally come back. Dark shadows followed every visitor at the National Mall, and projected upon the green grass. Behind me, a large blank canvas was sitting on a chair, just waiting to have an artist pour ideas on it. My own shadow cast upon the canvas, and I found that funny. "At least the canvas was not blank anymore," I thought. But Liston Bochette III was inspired when he saw my shadow on that canvas. He said with excitement, "Don't move! I have an idea!"
An Olympian and a professional artist, Dr. Bochette asked me to paint with him. I was surprised, but really excited! I mean, how often is it that you would get the chance to say that you painted a picture with an Olympian? And he is no ordinary Olympian: Dr. Bochette competed four times for Puerto Rico in bobsled and once in decathlon, was secretary general of the World Olympians Association, earned a Ph.D., and now helps oversee Art of the Olympians, a nonprofit group in Florida.
He picked up a pencil on a table nearby, and started to sketch on the canvas. Then I knew what he was doing. He was outlining my shadow. I stood still, not uttering a word. The sun felt hot against the back of my neck, but I didn't care. When Dr. Bochette completed the outline, the shadow was an abstract silhouette of a girl. Me!
It was my turn. I began to sketch the outline of Dr. Bochette's shadow. When I was finished, I noticed that his right hand was closer to the canvas, so the shadow of his hand appeared bigger. He explained how the two shadows formed a triangular shape, and it attracted the viewer's eyes towards the top of the painting.
Wow! There's psychology involved in creating art!
We picked up our paintbrushes and began painting the shadow outlines black. I painted his shadow, and he painted mine. Although the black and white scheme gave the painting a modern look, we knew something was missing. We felt that adding color would be a good idea. Dr. Bochette gave one shadow green highlights, and I gave the other shadow blue highlights. It was the greatest honor to work with Dr. Bochette. The final painting was remarkable.
The two very different shadows formed the masterpiece, representing both artists' collaboration. Dr. Liston Bochette, a five-time competitor in the Olympic Games, and me, a participant of the Arts Olympiad, represented a unity of both generations. On that sunny day, the breeze that blew carried a sense of accomplishment. On that day the shadows that connected the children with the arts and sports were immortalized.
SORA NITHIKASEM is ICAF Youth Board member from New Jersey.
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|Title Annotation:||painting with Olympian, Liston Bochette|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2011|
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