I’m trying to gather myself after last night’s Art Show. It was the culmination of weeks and months of preparation and planning, of vision and hard work. Though it was an amazing evening, which I’ll share with you someday soon, it is always a bit de-centering. I do still have much left to do to close out the Art Show chapter, but I waken feeling a bit lost: “what next?”, what was I into creatively before the last month of full-on Art Show prep began?, where would I like to turn my energies now? etc. Today, my plan is to clean my house which has suffered neglect for quite a while. It will feel so good to slowly, methodically move through each room to clean and tidy up.
The night before our school’s Art Show, I had taught all day. Exhausted from that, and from the thought of the mountain to climb on Thursday, I sat at my drawing table to draw from a photo of Maddie I had just snapped at dinner time. She bought a yellow lips lollipop at school that day and was showing me her “lips”. It was a good and restorative thing to sit there, after she had been tucked in, slowly drawing my sweet daughter. Then a memory of another daughter and a lollipop came to mind.
This is my oldest child, Catherine. You can see the date of this pencil sketch. She was 5 years old. As I drew Maddie, I remembered drawing Catherine from life…she sat so still and long enough for me to draw this, probably due to having a yummy red lollipop to lick while I drew. I had to go digging to find this sketchbook. There’s a bin of sketchbooks I’ve filled over the years sitting out in the garage. There are more stashed in a closet upstairs. And still more here in my studio. I remembered the dark green, hardbound, wire bound sketchbook with the star sticker on the cover to denote the “front” of the sketchbook.
I remembered sitting on the park bench while my older two kids played.
I remembered drawing their favorite slide there at Ardmore Methodist Church.
I remembered Catie and William playing together on the “fire truck”.
I remembered that my boy was the cutest thing I had ever laid eyes on.
I remembered Catie liking to draw in my sketchbook. A sweet picture of her with her brother on his first “skateboard”.
I remembered Catie riding her bike with training wheels.
I remembered how hard it was to draw William as he rarely stopped for long on his bike.
And then this.
The birth of my third precious child. Maddie. This would have been the day after she was born. I remember it. I remember thinking how can you draw such exquisiteness? I remember thinking that the pencil lines needed to be as soft as possible to adequately depict the softness of a newborn. I remember thinking that this sketch didn’t come anywhere close to showing her beauty.
But I am glad that I drew it. So glad I drew all of this and all the thousands of other sketches and drawings I have sitting in that tupperware box and stashed in so many other places. They are more precious to me than photos, though I love them too.
I’m not sure this has helped me gather myself and move on today. But it has served to answer the What’s Next question…to continue drawcumenting this beautiful life I’ve been given. It is indeed FULL, art shows and all! Cleaning will be good to do today, since seeing through teary eyes is not a huge hindrance to that kind of work.