On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Out of my comfort zone

Flipping pages, I came across this 13th century African mourning figure which completely captured my attention. The reference photo is quite evocative, so much so that the grief experienced some 800 years ago is palpable today, that was my reaction. I may try to work with this image again in another medium, but for today I simply used it as a value exercise with pencil.

Demi and I visited a homeless shelter this morning. Assistance Dog Institute in Santa Rosa, California has an ongoing relationship with the facility and their social/therapy dogs visit every week. This was our first time there and it went well. The shelter is especially well run and has an excellent reputation in the surrounding communities.

Demi was a magnet for dog lovers and we had constant conversations for the entire time we were there. Men and women scooted their chairs closer or plopped down on the floor to talk to Demi, give her welcome belly rubs, tell stories about dogs they've had or miss now and brag on the tricks their pets could do. Its amazing how quickly one dog can equalize the status of those who have homes and those who have none.


  1. I love your sketch and the wonderful values you created. And I was so surprised to see that it is my favorite sculpture from the recent Montebello exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Yoek city. My sketch, done when standing right in front of the sculpture, is in the Jan 2009 section of my blog. Scroll down to Jan 24th.

  2. Great job on the figure values. It looks like a half tone of the original!

  3. Anonymous8:33 AM

    I love it.. Lovely sketch.. And a wonderful journal entry too..

  4. How did I miss this, it's a very moving piece, Barbara. I can almost touch it, such depth. (I don't know the proper art terms, I just speak as I feel, x)

  5. Great sketch and a moving pose - as you say the grief in the sculpture is still palpable after all this time.


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