Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Way of the Warrior

In "Way of the Warrior" I use color pens and a ball point pen in a six inch by six inch format. I continue to be fascinated by the personal feel of this small format. The small size invites a viewer to come in close and share the moment of the picture. I use the simplicity of line and shape to guide the viewer through the composition. The eagle, dragon, and mask are familiar to me. The eagle has multiple levels and layers of meaning. It gives a sense of majesty and freedom, as we use it here in the US. Neither is it any small surprise that Kenpo is an American system of martial arts. The dragon, the ultimate goal and aspiration of any martial artist, takes center stage and flows into the eagle. I use the colors of green and orange on the dragon to help it stand out. These were two key stages in my own learning process in Kenpo. I remember orange and green belts with exceptional clarity. So, it is obvious I would use these to help define my dragon. The mask came from two influences. I have always been fascinated with the masks of tragedy and comedy and how they convey so many emotions. But, I use an influence of a samurai mask to help shape the expression - and the samurai masks have an unmistakable aura of fear. It again goes back to the multicultural influence in Kenpo. There are so many places around the world that have contributed to the development of 'the dragon' in Kenpo. The knowledge is always developing, and recognition has to be paid to its origins.

What I have experienced in Kenpo is an immense amount of freedom to operate. At the same time, we are called upon to conduct ourselves with a level of composure and morality from the beginning through an understanding of the Kenpo Creed. This series is new and I am excited to explore it more. As I write more, I will continue to push new ideas within this framework and expand the boundaries of my thinking. Responses are always welcome. 


  1. This is so cool, Jesse! You really are an artist. :D

  2. This is really interesting,was it the katas or sparring that inspired this drawing?

  3. This was inspired in large part by the background of Kenpo coming from Japan and the Japanese tradition. The face was derived from a Samurai mask, the dragon is an integral symbol within Kenpo, and, of course, the rising sun is on the Japanese flag...however my version is different, as can be seen here.