Portraits by Frank Griffen
Why these people matter
I received my teaching credential nearly forty-five years ago. It was not easy. I earned my AA and then worked and saved for two years before going back to complete my BA degree and earn my teaching credential. Even so, there was not enough money, so I spent the last semester living in my car.
Homelessness was less common, less accepted and certainly much more frowned upon then it is today. Being fewer in numbers meant less rights homeless students. I remember there was one particular security guard that would bang on my window to startle me awake and make me move my car. The guard would often jump in his car and block my path, I would have to reverse direction and start again. Many times, the gas tank was empty; I would have to get out and push the car to the nearest street. So many times, it was pouring rain and would take me ten minutes to get to the street. Then soaked, stiff and trembling I would climb back into my car and try to get back to sleep so I could compete with the other students.
Life happened and I was not able to get a teaching position until three years ago. I teach alternative education for the county – and love it. I like to research and write biographies of mathematicians and scientist that have overcome obstacles and left their mark. I draw a portrait of the individual to enhance to biography.
I believe the portraits would be greatly improved if I was able to take a class from the Drawing Academy. I know they take too long to do. The proportions are off, the shading and contrast do not work. That is why I am excited about this competition. Not only would I be able to produce better portraits, but I would be able to pass those drawing lessons to my students.