Tag: Grand Prix

Portrait of a Legend

On May 1st 1994, I was out half the day at an open karate competition. Being from Tae Kwon-Do where you can only do touch contact it was going to be a tough competition. It was the first competition my grandma came to watch and I pretty much had my nose broken. Great. Thanks for coming Grandma. All those easy wins and you couldn’t show up to those lol.

On the way home I was anxious to catch up with the Grand Prix. I don’t know why we didn’t set it to record. Now I’m glad we didn’t. As I sat on the couch the news came on and gave me the biggest shock of my life. The rest is history but even watching the first part of this video I have learned something I didn’t already know. Senna used to live in England. Fancy that.

Every year I think I’ll do his portrait and every year I think I can’t do it. This was my first attempt this year:

Doesn’t even resemble him.

And this is my second:

I’m hoping a book I’m reading called Sketching in 5 Minutes will help me. I’m determined to draw the Leafs next. Inspired as always by Jill who is doing great with portraits and Nora McPhail who rocks the cafe sketching.

I know there are guys out there who only paint cows and even only use one medium, say oils, but it really is good to experiment and broaden your skill set.
If Senna had retired and turned to art, I bet he would have learnt it all. He was a master of focus, passion and commitment. His legacy will forever live on.

R.I.P. Senna

Sonnet for Senna

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the death of the late great Ayrton Senna here’s a Sonnet.

My parents bought me this original painting soon after, bless! We stumbled across it in York.

Sonnet for Senna

Un tour de force, your life was off the ground.
As young as three you drove in your first kart.
A god with wheels, the earth spun round and round.
The trees, the roots and mountains, beating heart.

An expert and a racer through and through.
You valiantly won the battles hard.
The valleys and the peaks were known to you.
You dug down deep, the earth, your own backyard.

But time stood still that fateful day you crashed.
The earth spun round, your powers rendered nought.
The roots were loose, came out so planting hashed.
My petals fell and memories soon were bought.

Forever planted deep within our hearts.
I plead sincerely, heaven has go-karts.

Catherine Johnson, 2014.

Earth = car (for the most part)
Valleys and peaks = a reference to his unbelievable knowledge of the tracks. He would study them considerably more than any other driver, knowing every little bump on the track.
Trees etc. = parts of the car
Beating heart = engine
Planting = race.

Here’s a recent documentary looking back on that day. (It’s very long, you’d have to be a big fan to watch it all)

And here are some of his best races.

If I start drawing now do you think I could do his portrait for the next big anniversary? 😉 There are some super ones knocking about on the internet.

Anyone need a Kleenex? 😉