graphite and watercolor in Moleskine journal
This is a sketch from a snapshot of my brother taken in 1966. Mother took several photos of him and of Dad in the dairy barn, just before the herd was sold. I keep thinking I want to do something with these old pictures, even though they aren't very clear, or well lit. It seems to me now that I spent most of my childhood in the barn, getting in the way while Dad milked, sometimes feeding calves or climbing up in the mow to throw down bales of hay, playing with the cats, hanging out listening to WGN on the barn radio. It was a huge change when the cows were gone and Dad went into business selling John Deere equipment. I'm sure it was better for our family financially, and it certainly was better for his back and knees. It freed him up to occasionally take little driving trips, and not be ruled by the cows' need to be milked twice a day. But life was different with an empty barn, not as predictable, and I missed the big dim-witted animals.
I'm not sure where this is going. Maybe just looking closely at those old photos and drawing the outlines of bovine hips and legs, and the sweet face of my brother as a six-year-old is enough.