Sunday, February 21, 2010

Looking into the past



I have a pile of photographs from my mother's house that I sift through now and then and sometimes try my hand at drawing one.  They need to be scanned before I can do so as they're often small and quality isn't fabulous.

This was a sketch of one of the photos of my grandfather, quickly done on in a handmade, ink stained sketchbook.  I'd say that the photo was taken in the early 1960's or late 1950's. I seem to have made the hairstyle distinctly 'elvis-like' but is isn't that pronounced in the image.  I keep trying to draw him, but never succeed.  The likeness always eludes me.  Its the same with portraits of my father, I just haven't captured the essence.  But I will keep trying.

My grandparents lived in the same house as we did for as long as I have memory and I was so firmly attached to my grandfather its a wonder I didn't drive the poor man insane. He couldn't move, but I was with him.  When he ate, I sat on his lap and had some of his dinner, when he walked in the early evening, I walked with him.  When I went to the garden to play, he came too. 

Each morning he would get up early and my grandmother would stay in bed reading.  He would bring her breakfast in bed every day, then return to fetch the tray, clean up the dishes and amuse me.

He died in the early 60's when I was still under 10 years old, but even in that short time that we shared, he became firmly embedded in my memory.

6 comments:

Jo Castillo said...

Awww, such a wonderful story. Sounds like a wonderful grandfather. Interesting ink stained sketchbook. Nice work.

Regula Scheifele said...

Thank you for sharing this story - reminds me of my grandmother.
Keep trying, I'm sure you'll succeed!

tracywall said...

It is a good story; I love reviewing memories. Interesting how this rendition on the ink-stained sketchbook shows different layers much how our memories have different layers overlapping parts of things. That's what I see; I like how it does that.

Jeanette said...

He had lots of patience Jo, as I remember. And yes, the sketchbook is unique.

Thanks Regula, sometimes it seems that those we are most familiar with are the hardest to capture.

Tracy, that same thought occurred to me when I was doing this. Some fainter areas, some stronger, some garbled with the ink stains.

"JeanneG" said...

I enjoyed this memory post very much. I was close to my grandfather also and I have been able to capture him but not my grandmother or my mother.

A Brush with Color said...

What a lovely post and the image is breathtaking. I had a similar relationship with my maternal grandfather. He died when I was 11, on New Year's Day, so I think of him every year on NY's day. He was supposed to take us to Lincoln Center to see the ballet The Nutcracker Suite--and so an older cousin took us instead. I think of him when I hear that music, too...