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!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Move over Pieter Bruegel

One of my most favorite of the Great Masters is Pieter Bruegel, a 16th century painter whose work is full of lots and lots of people doing lots and lots of interesting things. If you're unfamiliar with his work, click on the title above (Move over, etc.) to see a sample.

How I would love to be able to depict like that -- drawing or painting my days, including all the folks I see and all their interesting activities.

Alas! I'm a lowly (very lowly) beginner. Every step has been a challenge. First I had to learn how to draw one single item and make it look like what I said it was. I still can't draw buildings, get the corners of rooms in the right place or have the shadows fall where I saw them in real life.

Adding people was the ultimate challenge. For a while I drew entire pages of stick figures and even they were wonky with people bending with joints that don't exist.

This morning I was back in Juvenile Hall, sitting with one lone guy who doesn't identify with the gangbangers. We were in the back of the large day room.

He began drawing from his imagination, I from the scene in front of me. I omitted the other tables and kids, the mural on the wall and lots of other stuff.

But the reason I became excited about this simple sketch was that it was the first time that I had three live figures in one place! Two staff members were yakking it up by a high semicircular desk while Demi was wandering around and her water bowl was up front.

So cut me slack, you-all, lots of slack. Take it as one tiny step forward, one very tiny step, but going in the trajectory of my truest delight. I'm just thrilled with this little bit!


  1. Great composition, story, and characters. I like the drawing. Good work.

  2. Anonymous6:13 PM

    I love it!!! The dog is so good! :-)

  3. Congratulations! I am always proud when I put multiple figures in one drawing too. What is really tough and trips me up sometimes, is having each figure in the same proportion as the rest. You accomplished this. The other day I had three figures - the first two were well drawn. The third looked like a giant. So I had to laugh when I looked at the Bruegel 100 figures in one painting. In my wildest dreams!

  4. You're brave. Just one live figure is stressful for me. Glad you took it on and posted it.


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