I found a sketchbook from college. There are several, but haven't seen this one for a while, must be about 20 years old exactly. So many drawings are of my young Juliana. I can vividly remember this sequence of sketches.
She was in such a spoiled slumber, way deep in the corner of her bed which was also the corner of two walls. Curled up, still in play shoes and a jacket from having run around outside before collapsing. Her sleep was such an opportune time. Practically because of the stillness and quiet. But such an invitation it was to explore her and to listen to her breathing, slow heaving sighs of needing the sleep so desperately to fuel everything that life would bring. That day, and onward.
I moved around all sides of her. Drawing whatever seemed most provocative from each angle. But it's the sound of her sleeping that I recall most when I look at these. I am grateful that I learned to be a mother during such young, raw, formative years in learning to be me. I have enjoyed the experience with each of my children, as I've aged, no less. And I do look through my sketchbooks and writings from so long ago and give myself a loving roll of the eyes, acknowledging what a fledgling youth I was, an art student no less, where fabricated drama of being such and actual reality necessarily coexisted, but come clean now on these pages. I can still feel what was felt then though, however far reaching.
On nearby pages there are a few photos of her sleeping torn and attached, I am guessing from one of my photography classes. I had written down an excerpt of a poem by Anne Sexton underneath that leaves me breathless reading it even today. Her words are an amazing account of coming to terms with the rawness of new motherhood and also the human spirit. So here they are for you today:
Yours is the only face I recognize.
Bone at my bone, you drink my answers in.
Six times a day I prize
your need, the animals of your lips, your skin
growing warm and plump. I see your eyes
lifting their tents. They are blue stones, they begin
to outgrow their moss. You blink in surprise
and I wonder what you can see, my funny kin,
as you trouble my silence. I am a shelter of lies.
Should I learn to speak again, or hopeless in
such sanity will I touch some face I recognize?
Beautiful! These are so lovely!!ReplyDelete
-Ashley Cooper @ design-parlor.blogspot.com
What a treasure!ReplyDelete
Wow!!! I too was a young mother, and cherished my daughter, now shes 13… hard to believe. The poem makes me think of a nursing mother, which I am now with my 6 month old daughter. Children are such blessings! Great sketches, you have so much to give the world Anna Maria, most of all to your family. Much Love from SD CAReplyDelete
That was a 2 kleenex post!ReplyDelete
Simply beautiful Anna. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Blessings and love to you and yours from me and mine.
What you've captured... more than a pretty picture.ReplyDelete
Such a sensory treasure, and memories too.
I love how you photographed the sketches in a slumbered atmosphere. As if she were currently napping, there on the pages.ReplyDelete
What a treasure. You are obviously a very talented artist beyond your fabric talent. I'm on the wait list for one of your classes at QuiltCon. Hopefully something will open up.ReplyDelete
Awe... how lovely. : ) Baby days. ps- I love your hew banner xoReplyDelete
Monika in Canada
I just recently found out that I am going to be a mom... for the first time. How perfect it was to see you beautiful drawings and read both your words, and the poem!ReplyDelete
Fantastic drawings. You are a true artist! Any medium you can do.ReplyDelete
thank you for remindingReplyDelete
Something about those sleeping lips... curled eyelashes... cherub cheeks. Precious. Who could tire of a slumbering babe.ReplyDelete
Oh this is just so lovely! And sweet, makes me want to so hug my son!ReplyDelete
This is just the most beautiful way for me to start my day, thank you.ReplyDelete
What a poem, Anna. It's truly amazing. Thanks for sharing her with us.ReplyDelete
this is you right??
oh my, I'm crying in my soup... eating lunch and reading your post.... what a beautiful poem.ReplyDelete
Wow! Such beautiful drawings! And such a wonderful life drawing model, too (naps are good for long poses)! I miss my college art classes -- you did truly have a different perspective as a young mom! The best thing about art is the myriad of ways you can express your creative self!ReplyDelete
I must have spent hours over the years watching my boys sleep- now they're 11 and 8 and I still tiptoe into their rooms at night to check on them and watch them, it's the perfect end to my day.ReplyDelete
This was an incredible post !ReplyDelete
Your drawings capture what every mother thinks and dreams.
So well done.
Thank you for sharing these intimate moments.
Such beautiful memories! Your sketches are incredible. Thanks for sharing such a precious moment!ReplyDelete
So lucky that I can't do this - I would fill all my walls with these if I could! Then, of course, people would think I'm nuts. What lovely treasures you have in those wonderful sketches of your angel.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful thing for you to have saved and to come across now. Very beautiful, very touching. So glad you shared!ReplyDelete
wow, thats really beautiful! thanks so much for sharing!!!! i miss my babies being so small and fragile, where mom knows everything and is their hero!! lolReplyDelete
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this is really special Anna. Thanks for sharing. Inspires me. I've been meaning to make a sort of scrap/sketch journal and have been putting it off. but its so nice to look back 20 years later.ReplyDelete
Your drawings are outstanding ~ what a keepsake. Could you tell me about the quilt?? your sketchbook is laying on especially the dusty plum fabrics ~ are these from your line?? I didn't recognize it if it is!! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talent!!ReplyDelete
Thankyou so much! The quilt is the "center of attention" quilt from my first book. Lots of fabrics are simple menswear checks and some cut chenille.Delete
Amazing. Makes me wish I'd done more sketching my children. Its so intimidating and so easy to do it wrong.ReplyDelete
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