Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Summers is the former president of Harvard University and Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton. He is currently the Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama.

I sketched him yesterday in his home in Brookline, Massachusetts. If you’re wondering why I’m here in Massachusetts, stay tuned until tomorrow…I’ll explain.

This is a tiny Woodnotes pocket sketchbook, only 3.5 x 4.5 inches, with a Derwent Inktense watercolor pencil and a fountain pen, softened up with a water brush.
Above, photo by Kerry Anne Bradford
Wiki on Summers, link.


Unknown said...

If you are ever anywhere near Vermont, The Center for Cartoon Studies is worth a visit!

Oscar Baechler said...

Oooooh, sounds like someone's got a portrait commission.

i, me said...

uggh. He's a nasty guy. good sketch though.

donna said...

Did you tell him to stop taking money from the banks he's supposed to be regulating?

Daroo said...

The study on the right has a kind of "Madame Gautreau Drinking a Toast" feel.

That interpretation seems about right ...

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I just read through a whole bunch of your blog and it's like being back in art school again with what i'm learning. THANKS soooo much for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us. I'm lovin it!

kev ferrara said...

This sounds like an interesting story in the making. Mr. Summers is smack dab in the thick of things and must be exhausted from the effort to set this great ship right.

The great thing about art, and especially illustration, is how people can comment on and contemplate aesthetics without making reference to the contemptible political discourse of the day. Art gives us a free space to just be people. In a lot of ways I think the purpose of art is to get past words and salesmanship and ideology, and to just find, instead, our commonality. I don't know about other people, but having that "free space" is very important to me.

James Gurney said...

Kev, you said it beautifully. We were invited to Mr. Summers' home only because of one of my sons is friends with one of his kids. I don’t really understand the complex issues surrounding his public life, but I can say he was a very gracious host, and it was an honor to meet him.

When I draw someone, whether they're a famous person or a homeless person (and I drew both extremes today) I just try to draw what I see. My only regret is that I rarely have enough time in my quick sketches to really explore the psychology of the person I'm drawing.

Java Chickn--if this blog feels like art school, it's thanks to the fun and smart community of commentators, who keep it bustling. I really appreciate everything you all bring to it.

Andy, haven't checked out the CCS. Thanks for the tip. Oscar, nah, it wasn't a portrait commission! Hat's off to those who can navigate those waters.

Unknown said...


Great comment....I actually like Mr. Summers and think he got a raw deal several years ago because he was not PC enough.

Anyway, we just never know who we will meet because of our children...I have met many fascinating people through my son Isaac who is Mr. Sociable.