A Brush With Greatness

Let me tell you a little story from Fourth Grade. Wait, come back! So the assignment was an essay on a figure from American History. There were those of us who’d learned how to sweeten the deal however and we included a nice little drawing with our homework to bump up the grade. The hitch was we didn’t get to pick our subject. One of my classmates, who snagged the prime figure of Benjamin Franklin, had already turned in his and the teacher brandished his illustration about ooing and ahing about how fantastic it was. Absolutely enraged with class spirit I checked the list to see who I’d been chosen to depict (er, that is, write about). Chester A. Arthur? Who the hell was he?

Less than emboldened by a perusal of his achievements, when I could find any, I set to work on the portrait. In those days we wielded our graphite like carving tools, wearing our No. 2s down to the nub until the subject’s outline popped out the back of the paper. The result, if the way my teacher held it out at arm’s length from her face was any indication, was something closer to a fruit that had been left out in the sun than a human face. An ignoble fate indeed for the revered “Father of Civil Service.”

Elloh, who sells her work on Etsy, must have aced every one of her assignments.
To your right you’ll find the proper way to depict our 21st President and elicit well earned praise rather than the indifference of your fellow man. You might be under the impression that Etsy is solely the repository of handmade dresses and accoutrement (“accoutrement!”). But it’s also the home of a slew of talented artists who offer their wares at oh-so reasonable prices and it’s where I discovered her colorful, joyful canvas cloth prints.

You might happen to love, like I do, her taste in movies. But her vibrant palette and spot-on characterizations transcend even the source material. I intended to pick up a bunch of Wes Anderson stuff but instead went for the Poitier despite never having seen To Sir, With Love on the strength of the composition alone. Eventually I decided on a nice triptych of Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird and a beautifully abstract scene from Lost in Translation where the background dissolves into a milky Starry Night of color and noise. She threw in tons of extras with my order too: magnets and cards and even decorated up the cardboard envelope with salutations. Rock on!


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