Again, I turn to my sketchbook as a tool for comfort and healing. I’m more comfortable
with writing then I use to be…but images are my first choice of communication. In my sketch I’m able to express myself in ways words won't do.
Last week my mother passed away suddenly in her home. She was 84 years and one day. The cutting reality is, I will never see her again on this earth. I worry my memory will fade. Sketching with pencil, pen or brush is a powerful tool. I find comfort. In a sketch I honor her memory...an act of love…time spent alone with her. My eyes carefully studying every angle and subtlety in her facial features. When I am done her image is forever burned into my mind...and then I find rest.
I found a photo of my mom that felt unposed and real. The photo was taken many years ago before illness and age left its mark and changed her (mentally and physically). Studying her face was comforting. About halfway into my sketch something was off. I tried to find the answer in the photo, but it wasn't there. I wasn't able to capture the essence that was her. Over many days I would glance at my sketch trying to see what I had missed. And then I realized, the answer was in my own face. So, I photographed my face at the same angle. Through my image I was able to finish the sketch. A piece of her is in me. My reflection, my mannerisms…my love of all things creative.
Trying to hang on to someone is like holding onto a rope that was slipping through my hands. The tighter I held on, the more painful it became… so I let go. The process of drawing my mother was healing. I grew in the process of understanding. The realization that part of her remains in me.
Even during these never ending days and months (thanks to COVID-19) I am creative, productive and hopeful for tomorrow. Anything that stops growing begins to die and I'm still growing because I am alive!
Be well and creative,