We admire originality or genius in painting, drawing, watercolor, architecture or sculpture.

The beauty or charm of a certain work inspires emotion.Years ago I decided to create a portrait of Abe Lincoln for an upcoming auction. His life story is filled with distinction, loss, and triumph, yet he personifies the best of the American spirit.

photograph portrait of Abe Lincoln

(Inset) The Library of Congress describes this as the first photo of Abraham Lincoln wearing a beard.

In 2012, the St Louis Artist Guild occupied a beautiful mansion on Oak Knoll Park in Clayton, Mo. Each year, the guild will hold a fundraiser named ‘Collectors Choice’ and fill the building with well over a hundred original works of art on display on two floors.

My notable illustrator artist friends at the time inspired me to create more art as I observed their collective skills in painting and drawing flourish.

Every week, the late Bill Vann, Greg Macnair, and I, along with others, would meet to draw from a live model.

More painting ventures allowed me to work live alongside RJ Shay, Lisa Ober and BillyO. Accomplished painter Michael Anderson was a regular fixture at Guild events and very supportive.

Back to Lincoln, I had but a week to finish this portrait of Lincoln before the big event. 

Partially finished drawing of Abe Lincoln by D Zamudio

Developing drawing of Lincoln

So I chose pastels as my medium to finish the work on time for the show.

I decided that a well-known national figure would be a pleasant addition to any household décor. I used a muted color stock to symbolize antiquity and a traditional heritage portrait of Abe Lincoln.

Before 1860, Lincoln did not wear a beard. The charming quality of this story is that the words of an 11-year-old girl stirred Lincoln to grow a beard!

Little Grace Bedell wrote a letter to Lincoln a few weeks before the election from her home in upstate New York.

‘...I have 4 brothers, and part of them will vote for you and if you let your whiskers grow, I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you. If you let your whiskers grow, you would look a great deal better, for your face is so thin”

Just days after the election, he chose to display a beard.

Photo of final pastel portrait of Lincoln framed

So I intend to produce a work of 'modern' fine art that depicts Lincoln as a realistic, receptive person.

His gray eyes reveal to the observer empathy from deep within the soul of a great man.