One has oodles and oodles of time when living at a homeless shelter; this blessing in disguise can be utilized to complete long-term projects like making amateur drawings and paintings of arbitrary historical figures.

The Abe stencil I made in MS Paint - this was a bitch.
The Abe stencil I made in MS Paint – this was a bitch.

Having already made an attempt to draw Abe with charcoal, I set myself to the mind-numbing task of creating and cutting out a new Abe stencil – I finished it today.

This type of painting is known as “monochrome” stencil, with mono- meaning “one” and -chrome meaning “color” – hence the black and white.

I went for two dualities here; on Abe’s right (and partially obscuring/blending with his right half) are Apple blossoms, a symbol of both peace and procreation (love, sex, etc.). On his left shoulder is an AK-47.

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Freshly painted Abe on a 16″ x 20″ canvas.

In tandem with simple black on white, I was hoping to capture something of the fractal, inlaid dichotomies that was the personality and life of (bipolar) Abraham Lincoln. War and Peace, poetry and action, suicidal depression and the “better angels of our nature” – it was a miserable shot at turning his iconic face into something equally literal and abstract.

Finished painting, close-crop view.
Finished painting, close-crop view.

The nice thing about monochrome stencil is that you can make multiple copies, which also makes buying the canvases cheaper (I bought a pack of five at a discount for this painting). This means (after giving a few away) I have several extra laying around, so if you’d like one let me know and I can send it your way if I still have them and you can cover the shipping.

And sorry, Abe. I’ll get better. Maybe.

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