Long ago, when she was 18, my sister ran away from home. I asked the plant foreman of the little manufacturing company where I worked if he would interview my sister for a job opening I knew existed. He did, he hired her, she came to live with me. In the four years she was there she went through all the plant’s manufacturing jobs and popped out in engineering as a draftsman trainee.
Back at home she was always drawing. There was an artist supply store up on Mentor Avenue where she bought a lot of stuff and asked a lot of advice. Nothing she drew or painted really pleased her. I remember art boards with bright acrylic colors in the trash. Lots of scrunched up paper. I smiled; she was my little sister.
One day my friend Carol asked a favor. She would be out of town on registration day; would I go through the line at Lakeland and register her for the next semester. As I paid up for Carol I had the epiphany. I found a listing of all the classes for the semester, found Art-Drawing 101, went back through the line and enrolled Janice. It must be something to be learned, I reasoned, if it was taught.
A couple of times each week Jan drove to Lakeland for her art class. She learned stuff like proportion, perspective. Artist stuff. I have no idea, she has the right brain. Mine is left. I offered her another art class when Drawing 101 ended but she declined. She knew what to do, now.
This pencil work for her class featured my octagonal dinner plates, a chicken egg from the fridge and a finch egg from Carrie Nation. It was the first thing I didn’t see crumpled in the waste basket, and I framed it for her.
She became a pen and ink person. Boxes of nibs. Bottles of ink. One day a friend got up close to inspect some of the art hanging on our walls. Then she turned around and said “You did all this!” She only knew Jan as a weaver turned quilter.
One of my favorites. I photo shopped around with the glare and the flash and quit while I was ahead.
These days, beside designing and making quilts, and quilting, Jan is fooling around with something called Zentangle™. It’s a one line at a time technique. That’s what she told me. I’m the left brain. I’ve also heard her say something to the effect of what she could have done with these Micron™ pens forty years ago.
A page of Zentangles™.