#364 “St. Elmo Pastel”

From Bria in St. Elmo, Tennessee

Congratulations to Bria for contributing the single largest illustration that WBS has received in its 14 months of existence. It has taken me quite a while to get around to posting this fantastic picture, but when I realized that the end of year #1 was just around the corner, I knew that it was time for this piece to take center stage.

Sometimes it’s the subject matter that sets a masterpiece apart, and at other times it’s something else altogether. In this instance, the defining feature of this piece is its medium. There’s something mysteriously freeing about the unencumbered nature of a pastel marker; something playful and whimsical; something classic and yet uniquely ephemeral. As I was standing over this illustration and preparing to photograph it, a strange thought occurred to me: With one simple swipe of my palm, I could smear, distort and forever erase this amazing work resting on the table before me. I could smudge the lines. I could smear the image…. with one smooth motion.

Of course, I would never do such a thing, but just knowing that this work is so delicate and fragile, so fleeting, brings to mind questions about this project’s stamina and permanence. Where will we go? Where will year #2 take us. Is this only the beginning? Do we stand on the doorstep of a great adventure? Have we even taken the first step… Or is the final destination right around the next corner? I suppose that only time will tell….

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