anatomy – studying my father

I learn the larger size of a male ribcage is caused by the effects of testosterone during puberty. Males generally have broad shoulders and expanded chests, allowing them to inhale more air to supply their muscles with oxygen.

My father has a large ribcage.


He’s always had a strong physical presence. He still does, even now in his early 80’s. I remember my mother being annoyed because he broke the stick shift in the car – again. He played football when he was in high school, and for many years, every summer, he was a lifeguard. He still swims as often as he can.

I want this form to appear compact. My father is the more grounded of my parents. He is a retired counselor.  And because the skeleton represents foundation, I want the bone structure as a visible focal point. That’s a challenging balance. With each of my anatomy studies there has come a point in the process where I know things will work out. I hit this point yesterday.

I start thinking about this particular composition over a year ago. I take photos and outline my father for it in December of 2013. I shoot more photos and another outline in June of 2014. Within that time period my dad has surgery (I’ll include some of that medical detail as the work progresses). I begin the drawing on paper this last November of 2014. I need more photos in December.

It is a fact, nothing stays the same. Because I carefully observe all the subtleties of his body changing (for the better), I feel I might understand what medical doctors see when inspecting organs like the eyes and skin. 

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Because I live in Arizona and my father is in Texas, I’ve also had the help of my mother and sisters, to get photos. My dad doesn’t like to have his picture taken.  He’s complying with all of this and I appreciate it.

A childhood memory of my dad. Dad is on the floor, in Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana in Sanskrit. I jump right over him. He let it be. Yoga.

1 thought on “anatomy – studying my father

  1. Pingback: whole and complete | Monica Aissa Martinez

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