If William Gilliland were wandering the streets of Essex, NY this summer (and I’d had the opportunity to ogle him long enough to doodle him… over ice cream perhaps?) this might be what I would’ve come up with. Minus the blowsy shirt and pre-mullet mullet.
I present my William Gilliland doodle with apologies in advance. Excuse me please for distorting his visage and for my impertinent nickname. Sorry. And now that my mea culpa is offered, try to remember that doodles are supposed to be goofy!
William Gilliland Doodle, er, “Doodle-Portrait”
If there is an art I aspire to, it is storytelling. I doodle and write and perform in service to this ancient art.
William Gilliland passed away in 1796 preceding me to this fair shore by more than two centuries, so I’ve summoned his likeness from a considerably more handsome portrait painted in 1789 by Ralph Earl. I offer posthumous but sincere apologies to the earnest settler of our Adirondack Coast, and I hope that historians will forgive my transgression. After all, Ralph Earl was an illustrious portrait painter. I am a doodler. His was a portrait. Mine is a William Gilliland doodle. A “doodle-portrait”?
“I would hardly call myself an artist in that sense; I doodle, I draw, I’m not a trained artist, I couldn’t sit down and do an accurate portrait of anyone.” ~ Rene Auberjonois
I echo Rene Auberjonois’ reflection on doodling and art. If there is an art I aspire to, it is storytelling. I doodle and write and perform in service to this ancient art, repeatedly humbled and inspired by far finer storytellers who’ve paved the way for me.
I do not pretend a perfect likeness, rather a slapdash illustration of an elegant portrait of a man too long gone (and too infrequently imaged).
I will return to William Gilliland shortly in the context of Essex history, but for now I offer you an inevitably inaccurate William Gilliland doodle, a capricious cartoon of the man who settled the lands which now include our fair village of Essex on Lake Champlain. I do not pretend a perfect likeness, nor for that matter any degree of verisimilitude to at all. Instead my doodle is a slapdash illustration of an elegant portrait of a man too long gone (and too infrequently imaged) to render with any degree of verifiable accuracy. How’s that for a doodler’s caveat emptor?
Rest assured it applies to all doodles. Mine. Yours. Which is why they are so much fun. Fun to doodle. Fun to doodle-ogle. No rules, no pressure! Enjoy.
- A Brief History of William Gilliland (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Essex Doodles Weekly: We Want You to Doodle Essex! (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- The Doodle Jump comic will tell you why the Doodler is jumping (polygon.com)