Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stamp Illustrator Departs from African-American Themes To Create Mother Teresa Stamp

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reports Colorado Springs artist Thomas Blackshear, who typically specializes in African-American themed art, illustrated the Mother Teresa stamp scheduled for release Sept. 5.

Blackshear has illustrated nearly two dozen stamps. Among them are stamps honoring Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, Patricia Roberts Harris, Ida B. Wells and others for the Black Heritage series.

Other stamps with Blackshear illustrations include portraits of Joe Louis, Jelly Roll Morton and Thelonious Monk for the Jazz Series, and illustrations for stamps commemorating James Cagney, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Beau Geste and Stagecoach for the Classic Hollywood Movies series, as well as several stamps for Classic Movie Monsters.

Reporter Steve Rabey of the Religious News Service writes, "The stamp, like Mother Teresa, hasn't been without controversy. Atheist groups, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation, complained about a religious figure being featured on a stamp. Postal officials said she was chosen for her humanitarian work, not her religious affiliation."

Rabey interviewed Blackshear and asked him, "How was the image chosen and created?"

Blackshear responded, "The Postal Service sent me a number of photos, and I created pencil drawings based on three of these photos. One drawing showed her as somewhat somber. Another one was more pensive. After the smiling image was chosen, I created the final 5- by-7[-inch] image by using water colors. I kept building up the layers over three or four days until I got the look I wanted."

Click here to read the entire article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM