Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sketching from Old Family Photos Part Two

Last week I mentioned how the end of the old year and the beginning of the new inspired so many of us to reflect on who we have been and who we want to become in the future.  We hang out with family and friends.  We make New Year's resolutions.  Feeling sort of nostalgic, I sketched from an old photo of my grandmother fishing.

Here, again, is the ink only version.

Focused sketching sessions always bring a sort of meditative calmness to me.  I feel energized by engaging so closely with whatever I'm drawing.  So it was especially fun for me to reconnect with memories of my grandmother (and by association, my grandfather) and the many outdoor adventures we had when I was a kid.

I thought a lot more about all of that as I painted the sketch.

Ah!  I remember that blue rowboat well.  I remember how hot those metal seats got in the sun.  I remember the way the bucket of worms and earth smelled whenever I baited my hook.  I remember what the worms felt like in my hands and how I always felt that there was something wrong with this whole fishing enterprise, hooking innocent animals for fun.  I remember the boat sitting on a trailer in my grandparents' back yard.  That let me to remember all the fun and games we had in that back yard.  And I can remember my grandmother clucking around, always packing food and drinks, always making sure she looked good, always checking out what we kids were up to and fully entering in to our world the way we saw it.

Loads of specific memories--things I hadn't thought about in ages--flooded me over the several hours it took to draw and paint this little sketch.  Memories I'm still enjoying days later!

I understand so much of who I am and what I value and how I interact with other people, especially little kids, because of who my grandmother was and how she treated me.  Doing this sketch reminded me of how I came to value some of the things I believe are so important.  And it reminded me that I need to tend to those things in the year to come.

So if you are ever looking for ideas about what to draw... or if you ever wonder how drawing can help you think about who you are, where you've come from, and what you want your next year's resolution to be... consider drawing from old photos.  My sketchbook and my understanding of life are the richer for it!

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