Saturday, September 17, 2011

Influential Person #1 - Daniel Quinn

For awhile now, I've been thinking about doing a whole sketchbook full of portraits of people that have had an influence on my life and the way I think and act in the world. If you believe that by sketching or drawing or painting someone that you can come to understand them better (as I do), then this kind of an exercise seems like a good idea. So I started a list of all the people I could think of that have had a significant influence on me and started collecting some images from internet searches. Here is my first victim - Daniel Quinn.

Daniel Quinn wrote a book called Ishmael. At the time I read it, some 20 or so years ago now, it had a profound impact on how I thought of myself and my place in the world. From Wikipedia - "Ishmael is a 1992 philosophical novel by Daniel Quinn. It examines mythology, its effect on ethics, and how that relates to sustainability. The novel uses a style of Socratic dialogue to deconstruct the notion that humans are the end product, the pinnacle of biological evolution. It posits that human supremacy is a cultural myth, and asserts that modern civilization is enacting that myth." . The book forced me to challenge some assumptions I had grown up with and, in doing so, it changed the way I saw the world.

I'll be posting these portraits periodically and numbering them in the titles but they are in no particular order of importance in their influence.


raena said...

Sounds like a great project! And Daniel Quinn does sound interesting!

Thanks for the welcome back. I've missed the community, but I'm afraid I didn't miss my blog. Maybe I could hire someone to pretend they're me, do my posts, and I'll just do the drawing!

Ken Foster said...

Thanks Raena - good to hear from you again! I know what you mean about posting. Sometimes it's a drag but then it is nice to get feedback on your work and connect with others who are interested in what you are doing.

Shane said...

So Ken

Do you have an earnest desire to save the world? Now careful how you answer that question. Because if you're a friend of Ishmael perhaps you can give me a creation myth. But Ken do be careful of the Jellyfish, we cannot leave them out of the myth.

I've read that book now five times and fully agree with you. Mother culture had a firm grasp upon my mind until I read that book. I too thought that Homo-sapiens were the end product of evolution. And I over looked the poor jellyfish.

Wonderful portrait by the way.