An Unexpected Gift

Recently a special gift was given to Chad and me: a charcoal drawing made by his Mom when she was young. Receiving it was completely unexpected because we didn’t know that Mom ever drew anything, especially with charcoal, and we’ve never seen the drawing until now.

Mom S Charcoal Drawing 2

Most impressive is that it’s a landscape drawing, showing the family lake house they had in the Midwest. It’s complete with sky, water, layers of trees and houses nestled within rolling hills. It shows that she grasped the concept of perspective drawing, especially in the pitched roofs and various planes that comprise the sides of the houses.

Mom S Charcoal Drawing 2

Based on her signature with her maiden name, we estimate the drawing was made in the 1950’s, or possibly the 1960’s, while she was still in school. The paper and surrounding mat has yellowed with time, but aside from that, the artwork has gracefully survived the years in tact.

Searching for the right place to hang it, I chose the empty wall space above my jewelry packaging station, an old secretary desk we found last summer. The aged, vintage appearance of the two pieces seemed a perfect fit. I spend a lot of time in my little office too, so hanging it there means I’ll get to see it frequently.

Mom S Charcoal Drawing

Having this drawing makes me wonder even more about the things I never knew about Mom. I got to see some of her creative side as she was a master knitter, quilted and sewed. But for her to express herself through drawing, even if it was a classroom assignment, was a side I hadn’t seen.

I applaud her for trying something so different, something that seemed a little out of character. And clearly she was proud enough of her work to keep the drawing, as she should have been. Expressing yourself through artwork can be scary because it’s just so personal. I love that she was brave enough to do it.

Not only is this artwork a surprise in the literal sense, but it’s an unexpected reminder to never stop learning. It’s a reminder to never stop trying new things, even if you’re not sure you’ll like it, or you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out.

If there’s something new you want to try but are holding back…

…do it anyway.

You might just surprise yourself.


  1. Amanda says: February 29, 2016

Share Your Thoughts