Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sketches and the Self: Portraits of Mater (and Nana. And Me.)

My daughter sketched this from a photo last year
(As you begin reading, let me say that I know sometimes you don't make it to the bottom of the post -- but the bottom of this one features a link to a post about a nude portrait. Of me. Seriously. . . . Oh, come on, that doesn't mean you need to jump right down to the bottom and skip everything else ;-)

We're back home from our four-day baby-sitting gig. Honestly, it was lovely to have time with the Almost-Four and her baby brother. Lovely and exhausting. He's crawling everywhere now and is experimenting with ways to get vertical, so the opportunities to clonk his head or put inappropriate finds into his mouth were frighteningly abundant. And, of course, while you adapt to this when the children are your own, it's much harder to shrug off a topple that ends with a bruise when you're the visiting grandparents.

The Ten sketched this in about ten minutes, chiding me each time I moved. 
And hitting the right note when it comes to maintaining some semblance of structure and discipline requires considerable energy as well. I think we did a good enough job that we will be invited back again, and we had fun doing it.

The Six was so attentive to detail -- She even sketched my Thomas Sabo French bulldog pendant
I'm ready now, though, to focus my time on my own projects, many of which have been in suspension since well before the holidays. Not just in suspension -- some of them have been crammed into boxes and tucked away to make room for the SofaBed to be unfolded and the dining table extended to accommodate 13 and a Christmas tree to be strung with lights and stand decorative guard over a sprawl of brightly wrapped gifts.  Now that the sofa and the table and the tree have moved out of my way, I'm claiming space again, unpacking boxes, opening files, and trying to decide what to start and what to finish.


Meanwhile -- have you noticed how often I use that word? It's begun to seem rather prominent around here, and I'm not sure what I think about that. Hmmm -- meanwhile, however, while I'm deciding and sorting and spreading the contents of boxes and projects all over the dining table, here are some portraits for you. Portraits of yours truly by my daughter, by my two oldest granddaughters, and by myself, the latter done while holding the sketchbook and looking in the mirror -- not ideal. My daughter's sketch is flattering (she gave me bigger eyes, fuller lips) and my own isn't. . .

Some of you might not have been reading this blog way back in 2010 when I wrote about the nude portrait I commissioned my good friend to paint as a birthday gift for my husband.  If you're interested, that painting still hangs in our bedroom (behind the door, so that it's not easily seen from the living-room!) -- and you can read the post here.

 But consider leaving a comment before you head off -- or come back once you've discovered how much I revealed in that post. . .  I do enjoy our conversations . . .


29 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this post, with the portraits done by artists of different ages. How wonderful! They are all recognizable, too. Do you think your own artistic side has influenced them to explore theirs, or are the little ones doing what little ones do naturally, which is draw what they see, and it's only with age that most of us stop doing it, for one reason or another?

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    1. I'd love to think that I've had any influence at all, but I'm mostly thrilled that my daughter thinks of herself as artistic and creative and that, so far, so do my granddaughters. Really hope this continues to be nurtured -- it certainly is by their parents. . .hope their peers and the education system are as supportive.

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  2. Loving the work of the Six. Should I invest in some of the early years now?

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  3. I was going to say the Ten's portrait is very like you. But oops, no, it is very like photos of you. Ha.

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    1. Who knows? Perhaps we'll meet IRL one day and you can confirm your first sentence. . . ha!

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  4. Like the 10's sketch...rich in detail without looking over worked!

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    1. what a good way to put it, Hostess! I have to agree.

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  5. Those are some awesome drawings of you. My fave is the 10's! She whipped that up fast!

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  6. They are all freely drawn. The 10's captures you well.

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  7. Those are some very talented artists in your family.

    slf

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    1. Aren't they great? I hope they continue to find joy in drawing.

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  8. Right from my first look at this post I was struck with the 10's portrait, but it took me some time to find out what it was that impressed me so much. Those keen eyes, that hidden smile... I think she captured your expression very well - observant and sympathetic at the same time.

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    1. Lovely to hear this from you, who have met and spent time with with me. Thank you!

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  9. Keep drawing! It helps us see

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  10. How interesting post and an idea! Every portrait has captured something special and different
    Dottoressa

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    1. It's true, isn't it? At these different skill levels and from different perspectives. . .

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  11. I think both six and ten have captured something about the eyes. This post made me smile so...

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  12. I share the same opinion with Dottoressa. Each of the artist captured something special and different about you. I love the idea of the all female artists in your family - Nana, daughter and granddaughters. My apologies to any male artist in the family. And the Nude...reminds me of the Redhead Woman by Modigliani. Except your gaze is straight on...mesmerizing. ~Amelia

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    1. ...the Modigliani is not a nude but something about it...IMHO. I won't mind if you disagree...:)

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    2. I like this idea, as well, the female artists. Although our Grandson, Three, is a keen drawer as well, and I'll be curious to see his view of me someday.
      I'm flattered by the comparison to the Modigliani, but I do think my friend Alison painted a beautiful portrait, and I love the direct gaze. . .

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  13. I love the glasses, each artist had a special interpretation of such.

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    1. It's true -- the glasses show up prominently but somewhat differently in each sketch

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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