As some of you know from my previously shared Axe Man’s Bridge post or from just knowing us personally, we recently lost our close friend Danny T. I wanted to do something special in his memory that I could also gift to his parents. Danny and I shared a love of creating art so what better way to pay tribute to him than to create a piece of art inspired by him.
It was one of the hardest portraits I have ever had to do. Not just because it was done from various photos to create one unique image (I didn’t want to just replicate a photo of him that everyone had seen, I wanted it to be unique just like Danny). There were many times I literally asked Danny to help guide my pencil and there were many breakdowns where I had to walk away from it because it would hit me what I was drawing and why. But in the end, it came out exactly how I had hoped. Danny in his hat that he always wore, a tiny smirk on his face and his favorite Gibson Les Paul Sunburst guitar. A guitar not only that he loved dearly but played many shows with it on stage with Frank. Even up until the week he passed he and Frank were still jamming out for fun and making new music together. So it was important for me to incorporate that.
Yesterday was his “celebration of life” memorial so I brought it to give to his parents and they put it on display surrounded by his own art pieces. Frank and I specifically picked out the frame because it actually reminded us of something Danny would’ve made. He was actively working on a lot of art projects that involved upcycling items and making them cooler than the life they had once before. On Memorial Day weekend he showed me a table he had been working on and he had burned the wood to give it this same effect. So even the frame had meaning behind it.
I am happy to finally be able to share this with the rest of the world. Not just to showcase what I have been working on but to pay tribute to such a great person. I think it was the beginning stages of healing for me and now that I have given it to his parents I feel a sense of closure. Danny T. was an incredible human being and inspired so many of us. Not only to just be better people but to keep creating. I just hope he realizes how many lives he has touched. Yesterday was a huge reminder of that for all of us but I just hope he knows how much he impacted the lives of so many people.
I know my artwork in the past has helped others heal. So if you would like a print of this piece, please feel free to reach out to me. I had been asked by a few people yesterday and I am sorry that I didn’t think to bring prints to the memorial. My main goal was to just get it there safely, in one piece and be able to gift it to Danny’s parents.
In Memory of Danny Thornton May 15, 1980 – June 11, 2018
See more of my portrait work on the Spitting Image page of my portfolio site.