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Drawing Grandpa

I made the above original drawing from a photo I took of Victor in March 2017, at home on Sanibel. As I worked on this drawing over several weeks, lots of memories came flooding back to me: Victor would bike over to the Bean early in the morning, and quietly, happily, read the paper while Daniel and I sold hundreds of lattes and muffins in our crowded coffeehouse. His peaceful presence was such a comfort when we were hustling and 'putting out fires' during those loud, hectic mornings.

The drawing below has a different feeling. My sweet second dad is in a memory care facility now. It's a few minutes away from where my older kids are in school, so I often visit him, bringing along my youngest. One morning, I made a few sketches from life, then finished using some iPhone photos for reference.

When I look at these two drawings together, I realize that without thinking about it, I made the first image with far less detail in the clothes. That first photo is from two years ago, when he was still living at home, and even when I made the drawing just last December, I felt more optimistic about his memory loss. When I drew him here, I developed more detail. More sharpness. But the expression on his face is more complicated than a simple smile, this time.

#portrait #drawing #family #art