Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 242}

Put some folds in Neils shirt and fiddled with his hands.  Darkened Bens cheeks and Neils shirt.

Our house is full of transition and activity right now.  Switching gears from summer to fall, getting ready for Weeusables Consignment Event for which we consign and purchase, the Ephrata Fair approaches to which we will probably enter a tie dye tapestry and MOPS starts soon! 

We hope to soon have a moment to visit our home away from home in the mountains before winter.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 238}

Worked more on Neils facial features and Bens shirt today.  No where CLOSE to being finished but I am happy with my progress.  Having family in town reminds me of my chosen family whom I love so much, so far away.  We are doing our best to find employment in that direction so we can move a bit closer to them.  It is so nice to be able to stop over for the day when you just need a good laugh, hug or just plain talk.  It's pretty lonely sometimes when your family is scattered about.

Never underestimate the power of distance.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 237}

Slowly adding darker tones.  Worked on Neils face, shirt and hair today.  Started darkening Bens cheeks as well.  Really been missing this portrait lately.  Trying to fit in all of summers end activities in August and next month will be just as crazy.  Kids are back to school and the photo cup runneth over for many families.  Except those whose children will never have the chance to ride the big yellow school bus, go to college or get married and have families.  Think of their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles who only knew those children for a brief time - however short or long.  Continuing through life after they are gone is a daily struggle.  Their hearts will never fully heal. Say a prayer for them and hug your own families a bit tighter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 231}

Back to drawing after too many days away!  Completed some more work on Neils hair and started Bens stripey shirt over again.  Counting, counting and recounting to be sure I have the right amount of lines.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 223}

Today was one step forward and two steps back.  I started on Ben's stripey tee and decided it was not right.  As I finished erasing I heard tiny feet and little giggles - so needless to say nap time is over and so is my drawing time for the day.  I believe I was afforded about 20 minutes today of drawing time. 

August is a VERY busy month for us, seems like everyone is trying to fit in last minute cookouts, activities and events before school starts.  Besides celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary this month by attending our favorite festival - Hickory Fest, we are also visiting my high school friend AND trying to to prepare for my first year of being the MOPPETS coordinator at my MOPS group!  MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and it is a wonderful group to connect with other mothers.  MOPPETS is what we call our children and I am in charge of the curriculum, making sure the kids have quality care and are having fun!  So far it's a really great experience.  Some days I feel like I am in over my head but I make lots of lists and write down all my ideas to empty out my brain.  So far I am keeping my head above the water  - just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 222}

Worked on Neil today.  Darkening tones and shadows.  A bit of work on Ben's stripey tee as well.

As I readied to write today's post my brother shot through my mind.  So, when was the last time you were brave?  For me it's today. 

Did you know I have a brother?  Most people don't.  I guess I don't talk about it.  We don't really talk to each other.  I don't know why.  I just know it's been like that for a very long time.  I mean we give each other hugs, say hello, cordial things.  But I crave a deeper relationship with my brother.  I refuse to accept excuses on why we aren't closer.  We could be closer if we both desired to do so.  My heart will always be open.  When he is ready too, maybe someday we can heal all that is broken.  For now I will just remain.

We don't always get the chance to have a close relationship with our family, sometimes they are gone before we can get to know them.  Sometimes we never even get to meet them.  I was excited to draw brothers.  It means so much to me to draw them together.  I want to be able to know my brother.

I will always love him

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 219}

Minor work on Ben's eyes and cheeks with most attention on Neil.  Eyes, shirt, hands (hands are my favorite body part - to look at AND draw, besides feet).  Had a nice meditation yesterday (recorded previously), thanks to Your Inner Light in Rothsville.  Today was a much more focused and uninterrupted drawing stretch than yesterday.  The light and attitude is already showing through in this portrait.  My husband is taken aback by the personality in Ben, I assume the same for Neil but can't vouch for it since neither of us ever met him in the flesh. Feeling good about the direction of this drawing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 218}

Today was a day full of interruptions.  I only had about a half hour to work.  Minor corrections were made to Ben's face, neck and hair.  Also Neils face, hair and a bit of background outlines.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 217}

Getting a base layer down, tones, shadows, outlines.  Worked on Neils hands, shirt, hair and a bit of Ben's face.  It never fails, the living give me the most trouble in my drawings.  Spirits seem to transfer quite nicely on the paper without too much correction.

This portrait makes me think of my own brother.  Maybe that's why I chose Neil and Hank.  Hank is like a second mother to me.  (and many other people as well)  She is always concerned for others and making them comfortable.  I can't think of anytime I didn't feel like I was her family.  I love that the photo she handed me after I asked if I could draw Neil was this one.  Two brothers.  Because a mother will always love her children.  Forever.  I hope to never know a mothers grief. 

Grief is the price we pay for love
~ Queen Elizabeth II

Every night since I started this portrait, all I can see in my dreams is the water.  I hear it, I smell it, I see it.  Every night.  I must know, is the creek in my dreams the one?  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 215}

Started on the stripes.  Dark, cloudy day prevented me from doing too much detail on the faces.  I prefer a nice sunny day, bright enough to see the texture of the paper.  A relaxing Sunday with the family, unwinding.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 214}

Working on eyes, facial structures and basic outlines.

This song kept showing up last night when I was trying to prepare to work on the drawing a little more, so I figured I would share it with you all.  Then after much debate on posting it here I happened to read a comment about the history of this song and the hymnist who wrote it, Horatio Spaffords tragedy.

He was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had drowned as he crossed the Atlantic.  After reading his story I am sure I needed to post the song here.  A very nice hymn.

Yesterdays post if you need clarification

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dearly Departed Drawings ~ Neil {day 213}

Happy 32nd birthday to a little boy who stole so many hearts and I never got the chance to meet.  I am honored to draw these two beautiful boys, Neil on the left and our close friend Ben on the right.  It means the world to me that recently my dearest friend Hank (Neil and Bens mother) shared his memory with me. 

Neil passed on a beautiful day, just before midnight.  Born on August 1st, 1982.  The school year was just ending and the boys were playing in the creek with a friend that afternoon.  Screams filled the air.  Neil was under the water and not visible, the fire company sent divers into the creek.  It took them 20 minutes to find him.  20 minutes under the water.  He was life flighted to the hospital where his family was told after being in the water so long he would probably have brain damage.  The elephant in the room now was the decision to set him free, liberate his soul or keep him here.  Neil made his own decision and passed just before midnight of his own accord.  June 12, 1990.  The day before my 10th birthday. 

Was it meant to be that some day I would draw him?  A coincidence that the timing would be so perfect to allow me to start on his birthday, only finding out his birth date two weeks ago??  Just a fluke that the date of his death is just one day before my birthday?  For the past few years we have spent my birthday weekend camping with Hank, Ben and the rest of the family in the mountains.  I never had any idea about Neil. His life or his death.  To find out all this time I was already being pulled to him. 

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