My Lollipop Girls & Memory Lane


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.

Mystery Man


So the point of this rather odd little sketch made completely out of my head, is to ask a question: Who is he?

There’s this man, who stands on the side of Sedge Garden Rd. near the intersection with Kernersville Rd. He’s there every morning when I take Maddie to school. He’s there every afternoon when she needs to be picked up from after school activities. I began to notice him last Spring. And I’ve seen him there ever since.

He is always holding something up to his mouth or ear that looks like an old cell phone. He’s often talking into it. Sometimes, he has a pipe also. My sketch, all wonky and out of scale, seems to show him looming on the sideline. He actually blends into the wintry surroundings with his woodsy coat and hat. I wonder if others notice him at all.

My imagination takes hold of me…is he an undercover agent recording the comings and goings of a particular person? Is he a granddad who watches his grandkids walk to school and back while talking on the phone with a friend? Is he a writer recording the daily events of cars and passersby at a single intersection? Will my white Mazda 5 wind up in a short story or novel someday? Is he, as my husband suggests, simply listening to a CB radio? Does he live in the side-of-the-road trailers and this is his “front porch”? Does he need to come outside in order for his cell phone to have any reception?

No matter the season, no matter the weather, this guy is there. There’s a part of me that wants to stop and ask him kindly someday what he’s up to. To know his story. To discover the character behind the mystery. But then again, part of me doesn’t. The wondering about it all is just too fun!

Do you have mystery people like this in your neighborhood or town? Kernersville seems to have quite a few. I wrote about (and drew) this guy several years ago. I did actually stop and ask him if I could take his photograph, to which he replied, “Five dollah, five dollah!” So I paid him the $5 and got a few good reference pics for the drawings. There’s also a dancing man at the corner of one of our major intersections. He isn’t so much a mystery (since he’s gotten a good bit of press:) but he’s certainly a character we consider to be Kernersville’s own. All these folks make small town living interesting and delightful.

Final Day


Wishing I could fly my kite all the way home from the beach, I’m enjoying the last full day here. There are so many drawings I’ve not been able to share with you…perhaps I can create some sort of video montage for you when I get back home.

But not before I fly a kite one last time at the beach. 🙂

Penciled Friends

For some strange reason, I was struck with a desire to draw with a pencil.  It’s not my usual thing.  But I enjoyed it here, drawing some friends of ours at a cook-out.

I have many pencils…graphite sticks, water-soluble graphite, wood-encased pencils, solid graphite pencils, grease pencils, charcoal pencils, color pencils, etc.  I love breaking out of my well-worn (and beloved) ruts to try stuff I don’t usually use.

I seem to be doing a lot of it lately.

And it’s so much fun!

P.S. Hope your Memorial Day is full of rest and hanging out with family or friends…maybe a cook-out!