Monday, December 16, 2019

Case Study #7 & #70 - Henry Checking the Weather

Prep Sketch for Henry Checking the Weather
2019 ~
6 Years have passed since I completed the original painting. I was fortunate enough to have an exhibition at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri this year. I've been exhibiting this painting around different venues since I painted it. After 6 years, my son is no longer a 4th grader with a pocket weather alert system. He is a sophomore in high school who would never wear a plaid shirt and he hates wearing jeans as well. He typically only wears long sleeved t-shirts of his favorite teams (KC Chiefs being his all time favorite). I wish I could say that he wears a coat when there is snow out on the ground, but he goes without whenever he can. He uses his phone to check the weather now. He has not changed his mind about his vocation as he still wants to be a meteorologist. The new sketch simply reflects the same theme, but is much more who he is today.

2013 ~
I have been working with my mentor on what would be a good scene of my son in this NF oil portrait series. Rather than sitting at the laptop checking forecasts, my mentor had the idea of painting him while he is checking the weather outside on his pocket alert system. I loved his idea.

Henry Checking the Weather - 40" x 30" oil on canvas
Henry also loves to be outside in our backyard. He loves having our entire family just be outside, reading, drawing and then having a picnic. Henry has always called those "Relaxing Days". I try not to teach on Sundays and Jeff will wait until the evening to do his work. That way we can always spend the entire day together as a family. I think Henry is the happiest when the four of us just spend time together without running off to some event or activity.

I settled on the weather idea over some of his other hobbies because it has been the one thing that has been so "Henry" for years. Henry has been wanting to be a weatherman since he was four years old. He watches the news only to watch the weather forecast, keeps an eye out on the weather for Omaha, Kansas City and Boston since those are the cities that I travel to the most. He also has a weather radio located on each level of our house and additionally has this pocket weather alert system.
Pencil Sketch

A few years ago, I knew Henry was serious about his weather interest when he  purchased a book while we were at Yellowstone. It was all about weather patterns. It had a layer of dust on it, so I knew it had been in the gift shop for quite some time. I even asked him "Are you sure you want to spend your vacation money on this?!" I couldn't help but notice all the toys and "fun" stuff. Henry was positive and had waited and saved his money the whole trip and then once he found this book, he got really excited. Incidentally, my other son, Fred, spent his vacation money the first day and at the first gift shop on a rubber/stretchy bear and was out of all his money for the rest of the trip. My boys are so different. Anyways, my husband and I got to enjoy the annoying stretchy bear in the car and Henry continually reading random weather facts to us the entire time in the park! haha..

Henry with local weatherman, Bill Randby
It should come as no real surprise, then that Henry's idol is our local Channel 7 weatherman, Bill Randby. I don't mean that Henry is just rather fond of him, what I mean is that Bill Randby ranks higher than any sports idol, any pop singer, any movie star and even higher than the President of the United States. In Henry's opinion, a person cannot reach a higher pinnacle than being a weatherman on tv. This is exactly what he wants to do when he grows up.

I was lucky that last year, while he was in third grade, one of the teachers told me that if I wanted to, she could simply ask Bill Randby to come for a visit to the school. Not only was I thrilled, but they allowed Henry to greet him at the principal's office, walk him back to the classroom and be his assistant.

I'm not sure who was more excited that day, Henry or me?


Unknown said...

Fabulous absolutely fabulous, the entire story and I as well got excited to hear such an end result. I'm so blessed to know you personally. Wish the boys had more time together...Koda and Henry could discuss tornadoes. :D

jenifer clark said...

my husband has been a weatherman for over 40 years. he was the same way as a child as was his dad who named all the hurricanes years ago. i am sure that he will major in meteorology and become an awesome passionate weatherman. jenifer clark

Anonymous said...

While searching for an image of Bill for this year's visit, I came across your blog. I was SO excited to see Henry's smiling face. I think this is what made this special visit so memorable. Thank you for sharing your son with us!

Mrs. Luke

Unknown said...

I just read the article about your exhibit in St. Joseph and was dissapointed to see it will be open only until the 5th. Will your work be on exhibit anywhere else in the near future? I have two sons with NF and would love to plan a trip and take them to see your work. R
Thank you for giving your time and talent to bring awareness to this disorder.

rmindrup said...

I'm not sure where you are located, but I will be having another show of NF portraits at the Kimmel Harding Nelson's gallery in Nebraska City (these will focus on Nebraskans with NF). That will be opening in July 2020.