Thursday’s Drawing – Sorrow, final

Sorrow is finished after 13 weeks.  If I ever find a way to take a great photograph you guys will be the first to know, after two hours of trying I gave up and hopefully you have an idea of the final drawing.

The piece was submitted for a monthly drawing challenge on PMP, where the objective was to combine two photographs.  My reference images were from two pmp photographers:  Shaun Hopkinson (for the statue) and Rosemary Clark (the background).  Both were great refs to work with.

I wanted a more feminine look to the statue so lines were softened, thinned her bulky arm and fingers, and used a female nose.  The fabric, nose and fingers were a challenge to draw, but she taught me a lot.   Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper and graphite pencils were used.

I’ve dedicated this piece to my Mother because it symbolizes a very sad point at this time in her life.  Mom’s memory is fading and with it comes the fear of what is real or not, working hard to find short-term memories, repeating herself, or not realizing what she just said, heard or did – I can’t imagine what this feels like for her, the internal confusion must be overwhelming.  The fabric symbolizes the heaviness of the affliction, the background symbolizes the fog that she must find herself in every now and then as life fades in and out.  The relaxed hand on her forehead symbolizes Sorrow for her family and friends, we know what time will bring.  We celebrate our time with her, because Mom still here – that’s our gift.

Thank you for staying with the project, I really appreciated your encouragement and support, means a lot.

Sorrow - final

Sorrow – final

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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59 Responses to Thursday’s Drawing – Sorrow, final

  1. The loving strokes are such a tribute to your mother. I send you prayers for solace and strength as you travel this path with her.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much for your beautiful comments and wishes. I’m sorry to be so late in response, we just returned from spending some time with my parents and this drawing has become the symbol for me. Thank you!

  2. earthstills says:

    Magical to see something born!

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Your drawing is just wonderful, love the depth and tone in your shading and the overall placement and composition is just perfect.

  4. you were on my mind this weekend as i worked on a painting. not having ‘even slow’ internet at the house keeps me from taking sneak peeks at posts.. so now is the first chance i’ve had to see yours!

    it’s lovely, and i agree – it’s so hard to photograph pencil drawings.. i have anew camera and noted it has a setting for documents. i look forward to experimenting with that..

    thank you for sharing the story that inspired this drawing.. every second of work was also sending energy to your mother = as well as love..

    i’ll be online tomorrow night and will look for a website article that might be of interest to you.. hold that thought!


    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much Z! Wonderful to hear from you, never know when you’ll have internet connection – so this means a lot that you took the time to write such a beautiful note. Thanks for sticking with the process these last 13 weeks, really appreciate it my friend. Looking forward to the article.

  5. kerlund74 says:

    So amazing, touching and such a wonderful work.

  6. Mary, this is an amazing work, the dedication you’ve exhibited through these many weeks is truly impressive by itself, the genesis of the piece and how lovingly it was written …you are a true artist my friend, your words color as beautifully as your pastels. Love and Hugs to you Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much for your generous and thoughtful comments, this drawing was one way of expressing myself. My growth as an artist continues just as strongly today as in the beginning, which I hope never ends. Appreciate receiving your kind words.

  7. Stefano says:

    A beautiful piece, Mary, reminiscent of a Greek bas-relief. Your dedication is also very touching: I am sending my best wishes your way.

  8. doronart says:

    Mary that is great and the dedication remind me a close memory of the same.. It never get easier and it is very sad time I am familiar with and share with you. I am sending big hugs and kisses for strength xxx

  9. Sharon K. says:

    So beautiful. Timeless, even.

    Thank you for sharing your process and personal reflections about your mother.

    With my own mom at 87 and in assisted living, I understand your feelings well. Each day she’s here is a gift to cherish.

    Just a wonderful post, Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Sharon for your thoughts – so many are entering this stage or have been involved as caregivers. Appreciate hearing from you – best wishes.

  10. Jackie says:

    Your drawing is beautiful both in artistry and sentiment. I wish you, your family, and your mother all the best. I know it’s not easy for anyone to go through this sort of thing. My thoughts are with you.

  11. Gallivanta says:

    I can’t believe it has been 13 weeks already. I am sorry to hear about your mother’s difficulties. The fear and confusion are harsh. I am glad you will be with her soon. You will be a comfort to each other.

    • Mary says:

      Time does seem to fly by these days – thanks for sticking with the project. Thank you for your nice comments, really appreciate it!

  12. Zina says:

    Mary, this is beautiful! In the midst of the sadness you have represented in this drawing, I also see the care and love that you have for your mom. I’m sorry for what your family is going through and I pray that your time with your mom will be sweet and memorable.
    My own mum passed away at the beginning of this year and I keep thinking of painting something as a tribute to her but it’s such an effort to get motivated to paint anything let alone something that will be a reflection of her. But, you have inspired me…it’s time to bring out the brushes.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us! Hugs!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Zina, I’m so sorry to read of your Mum’s passing – please accept my condolences, very sad. Thank you for your beautiful comments, you’ve given me the greatest compliment in your inspiration to paint a tribute – looking forward to seeing your piece.

  13. dorannrule says:

    This is truly a beautiful piece Mary and I can see all the symbolism there for your poor Mom. My own mother suffered as yours so I know what you are seeing and feeling for her. This is a wonderful tribute.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Dorann and appreciate that you can see the symbolism. Sorry for what you and your family experienced, we are at the beginning stages and finding our way.

  14. Such a lot of work on this beautiful piece, my dear Mary! All it symbolizes is in there along with warmth and affection. Sending you my thoughts and hugs…

  15. Oh, Mary, this turned out wonderful, and the face is beautiful. So sorry about your mother. I send comforting thoughts your way. I went through this with my father. It is difficult to watch a loved one go through this.

  16. M-R says:

    I am deeply sorry to learn about you mother’s condition, Mary. It must be truly terrible for all of you. This is so cruel a thing, so cruel …

    • Mary says:

      Thanks M.R., it is but she’s doing well and isn’t at a point where we can’t enjoy our time together which is a wonderful thing.

  17. Wow! It’s beautiful, Mary! A wonderful tribute to your mom, the drawing is full of emotion. Treasure the moments and take care, xx

  18. tomsimard says:

    Beautiful drawing and dedication.
    It must be a terribly difficult time for your mom. Yes, celebrate your time with her, which is what I’ll to be doing very soon with my mom, who’s in a similar condition.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Tom very much for your kind words. I’ll be doing the same thing in just a couple of weeks, 1700+ miles separate us. Hope you have a good trip with your Mother and that you can enjoy the time.

      • tomsimard says:

        Thanks, Mary.
        As I’m sure you know, it can be very frustrating, and demands a great deal of patience. I spent about two weeks last year with my mom, and even though it wasn’t easy at times, I enjoyed my time with her.
        I hope you have a good time with your mom as well.

  19. We all have followed this experience with patience and fascination. I have.
    When I started your post, I forced myself to read all the way before seeing the result of your 13 weeks of work. I was tempted to scroll down to peek. I’m glad I didn’t. Your writing matches the artwork. The emotions you put in your words infuse your drawing with the same intensity. Or as an artist it is probably the other way around. In any case, thank you for sharing with us the product of this journey. Also my heart goes to you and your mom.

    • Mary says:

      Oh Evelyne this means so much – thank you. I was very tired once the drawing was finished, probably because I was so involved physically and emotionally – I’m sure as a writer you understand. Thanks for following the process all these weeks ~

  20. Painting for Joy says:

    Oh Mary, your drawing is beautiful. So full of emotion. I understand what you are experiencing with your mom. Aging is so difficult. May you and your family be blessed greatly with the time you have with her.

  21. Don says:

    It really is so good Mary. The folds in the cloth are magnificent and your dedication of it to your Mother is so fitting. A wonderful piece of work.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Don for your beautiful comment, appreciate it. You know drawing the cloth allowed me the time to understand and put into words the meaning of this scene.

  22. poppytump says:

    It is a wonderful piece of Art you have created here Mary … it is full of tenderness in the rendering of the soft lines and the emotion portrayed .
    I understand totally what you and your Mother are bearing .

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Poppy very much, you have read the intention of the art technique so well. I understand your comment, thanks ~ we all sort of figure it out as we go along don’t we.

  23. Lovingly and beautifully rendered Mary. The tribute is especially lovely. Beautiful.

  24. Anonymous says:


  25. Ogee says:

    Mary – It seems like everyone I know is is on – or has recently traveled – the path that you, your mom and family are on. (I was there with my father not long ago.) The drawing is stunning and perfectly captures the ‘sorrow.’ There are also many moments of joy that reveal themselves. Cherish them all. Best wishes to you and your family.

    • Mary says:

      Beautiful Audrey and thank you very much. I remember about your Dad and the wonderful tribute you did, really quite special. You are so right many families across so many cultures/ continents are dealing with this same issue and yet it’s not until it hits close to home that we feel the weight. For us it’s an odd time alright and we still have the period of normalcy and then not – appreciate your comments.

  26. elisa ruland says:

    Mary, I’ve been studying your drawing for several minutes, and feel very strongly the weight of emotions depicted in the layers of fabric. It’s a beautiful piece and for all it’s sorrow, there is still a feeling a light about it, which surely must symbolize the love you and your mother have for one another. It’s a stunning tribute.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Elisa for your thoughtful comments – you know as I was drawing the fabric I couldn’t help be think of how heavy this must be. My camera work isn’t the best and in person the piece reads a bit more crisp, but also with (as you noted) a lightness about the scene almost juxtaposition of the immense sadness enclosing the figure.

  27. My heart goes out to you and your Mom, Mary. This work is a beautiful tribute and I hope the process, as well as the revisiting of that, when you look at it, will bring some modicum of peace.

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