My Dad, WWII U.S. Navy  by Alice McMahon
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Pretty straightforward drawing of my Dad, (1923 – 2001), a gift for my Mom. Dad joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He came from a strong line of the McMahon clan – his paternal grandfather was a McMahon from Clare and married a Clare woman also named McMahon.

Charcoal on mylar drafting film with white backing paper, 14 × 11″

I specialize in figurative charcoal drawing. My work was recently shown and sold at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Current works delve into the realm of symbolism and magic realism.
All of my drawings are meant to be noble representations of individual subjects, and also bring together a wealth of influences, recognition of art history and myth and a contemporary attitude to create images that are of the moment, but hopefully will also remain relevant in the future.

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Comments

  • mscholl21
    mscholl21almost 6 years ago

    Fabulous, Alice. What a wonderful gift.

  • You are always so quick – thanks Michael! Mom loves it.

    – Alice McMahon

  • Syd Baker
    Syd Bakeralmost 6 years ago

    You’re like magic, I never had the portrait “gift” tried and tried, could never get it, you make magic when you can do this! (first comment dance)

  • Thank you syd. Portraiture is a tricky thing. I am fairly confident in my skills, but I still see things that are slightly off here. To quote Sargent: “A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.” LOL. It gets to a point you just have to leave well enough alone.

    Portraiture is still the only art form that truly grabs me and drives me to continue. A hard sell outside of commissions, but I keep plugging. xx

    – Alice McMahon

  • Valerie Simms
    Valerie Simmsalmost 6 years ago

    What a wonderful gift I bet your mum loves it he was a very handsome young man

  • I gave her a sneak preview yesterday and she’s very excited. I have worked on it several more hours since then. The face is smaller at this 14 × 11″ size than I like to work, it’s tricky to get it right. I think she should be really happy with this final version. Thanks Val!

    – Alice McMahon

  • Jeff Newell
    Jeff Newellalmost 6 years ago

    Amazing work – I could swear this is a photograph! Beautiful – I’d be happy to have this as a gift and I don’ teven know him!

  • Thanks Jeff. I do like high realism in the face and hands especially. I couldn’t do anything more creative with this straightforward subject, but it suits it’s purpose. :)

    – Alice McMahon

  • Syd Baker
    Syd Bakeralmost 6 years ago

    Something that occurs to me from time to time, why it’s often weird for some folks to look at photos of themselves, or for a portrait customer to look at a portrait of himself, is that 99.9% of our own perceptions of our self is in the reflection of a mirror, which is of course backwards from what the rest of the whole world sees! Strikes me as amusing!

  • We are more asymmetrical than we’d like to admit :)

    – Alice McMahon

  • brianboyce50
    brianboyce50almost 6 years ago

    Photographic quality Alice – superb work.

  • I appreciate your kind comments Brian!

    – Alice McMahon

  • ShadowDancer
    ShadowDanceralmost 6 years ago

    this is really a beautiful portrait, and a wonderful tribute to your father… i can see the family resemblance, beautiful genes. was the picture taken before they met? just curious.. your mom must be proud.

  • Thanks SD, this one was taken after they were engaged, closer to the end of his years of service. Funny, they looked so much alike, very much like brother and sister. Mom told me her friends thought she was teasing saying he was her fiancee. :-) All of us siblings (there are 11 of us) look similar to each other, strong “black” Irish genes on both sides. I enjoyed looking through your photos again. Keep snapping!

    – Alice McMahon

  • lindybird
    lindybirdalmost 6 years ago

    Awwww, Alice, this is so lovely! Once again, I can feel the love of your hands putting the darks and lights on the surface of the mylar. My dad was in the Navy during the Korean “conflict”, on the USS Prosperine. Many blessings to your family—they’re lucky to have you record your life with such beauty and love.

  • Alice McMahon
    Alice McMahonalmost 6 years ago

    My Mom is recovering from hip surgery, and is thankfully back home and independent again. But she is spending more time at home than she likes these days with the ice and snow outdoors. I know she plans to hang this by her favorite chair. My parents were always so supportive of my art. Mom has said many times that Dad must be proud of me up there in heaven. How can you repay that kind of love? I am so blessed. Thank you for your true warmth Linda. Hugs!

  • thepaintedsoul
    thepaintedsoulalmost 6 years ago

    Love the way you approached this drawing Alice. You develop the drawing perfectly with the way you push the finish on the face and hands, leaving the rest less detailed. Really captures the eye, even in the small thumbnail.

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