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Invisible Eve 20

rhonda hands s


hands together:  that
is my wish forever as
we spend long hours alone

rhonda 2s

my love can’t erase
the choices that are contained
in the word “goodbye”

rhonda 1s

Once again I did multiple versions of this family.  And once again, none of the attempts fully satisfied, although I like the intertwined hands a lot.  I used a very hard pencil I found in my pencil bin, and it’s really good for fine detail.  I’m still having trouble working out the relationships and proportions of the different family members, but I’ve decided to stop complaining and talk about what I like and what I learned from each one.

I liked exploring the relationships of the hands, which is, like drawing family groups, different from just drawing one hand.  The first family group, above, was the most successful overall, I thought.  Even though the proportions are still not quite right, I like how the figures work together.  I used a softer pencil here, which allows for more contrast.

I used an crayon pencil for my looser, first, attempt.  No real resemblance to the actual people, but it has a sculptural quality that gives the figures dignity.

rhonda upside down s

And this final drawing was done from a suggestion by Dumb Sketch Daily (whose sketches are definitely not dumb):  he turned his reference upside down to better explore the negative space.  ( )  It’s a good idea and I’m going to do it again.  Although Rhonda, in particular, is a bit distorted and the whole image is kind of like a reflection in a funhouse mirror, it’s a really good way to look at the shapes and shadows and how they relate to each other.

You can see all of the Invisible Eve series here:

Invisible Eve 19

lisha drawing 4s


They keep my future:
I am moving towards a door
that is opening

I’ve been working on Lisha and her family for weeks.  I have a real problem with groups of people, getting the proportions of each figure and their relationships to each other right.  And then, to add attempting a facial resemblance…I did many drawings (and even a painted drawing) in many media.  Above is the last drawing I made.  It’s the best rendering of Lisha herself, but not of the children, and the daughter on the right is way too small.

lisha drawing 2s

I can’t keep you safe
but I can make a place for
gathering with love

Above is my second attempt.  Lisha is again the best resemblance, but the figure proportions are again off.

lisha pen and ink s

Don’t say yes when no
is the answer.  Say yes to
what you believe.

The proportional relationships on the pen and ink aren’t bad, but the resemblance isn’t there at all.

lisha paint bs

We stand together:
four smiles, crossing boundaries,
time turning towards hope.

I got the son in this one, but Lisha not all all.  And the proportions are still off.

Tequihby at One Stumble at a Time ( has been working on some faces, and one in particular, to get the resemblance she desires.  And she’s seeing improvement with each new sketch.  I just can’t tell if I made any progress…(these are the best; many more drawings were discarded).

I think I’ll give this one a break.

But one thing I can say after all those drawings:  I feel a strong bond in this family, and I have hope for their futures.

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Invisible Eve 18

amber s


Dance and the world will
move with you, opening.  Look:
I can see outside.

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Invisible Eve 17

valerie 2s


Time.  It expands, fills,
and then retreats and chokes.  Where
are those minutes now?

valerie 1s

Once I smiled.  The lines
are in my face.  Time turns like
grey hairs.  Minutes.  Years.

I’m finding it useful to do more than one version of these faces.  When I draw the surface, somehow something underneath jumps out at me, and it’s not always the same thing.  A reminder not just for a portrait, but for seeing people in general:  there’s a lot you miss, especially if you are not really paying close attention.

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Invisible Eve 16

elizabeth 1s


Dreams:  I have so much
emptiness waiting, lost, no
time to live those dreams

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Invisible Eve 15

jerri 1s


Smile for my children.
The warmth remains outside, raw
inside:  numb, closed, lost.

Many of the women in “Invisible Eve” are photographed with their children.  They are usually all smiling for the camera.  I’ve had some trouble with these groupings, partly I think because I’m not used to drawing composed portraits of more than one person.

jerri children s

In this case, the smiles when I rendered them had a sadness underneath not so apparent in the photo.  It’s definitely there in Jerri’s words, too.

jerri 2s

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Invisible Eve 14

adrenne 1s


Ten years:  what future
is contained in my past?  What
invitation remains?

adrenne 2s

Don’t follow me.
Empty your life of folly.
Look for openings.

adrenne hands s

These hands:  now they wait,
empty of anticipation,
but ready for life.

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Invisible Eve 13

melissa s


I know I can, but
will I?  Possibility
is not the same as

Invisible Eve 12: Two Views

akeia 1s


Wishing and hoping
won’t erase the results of
drinking and driving

akeia 2s

I wasn’t thinking,
I was doing, doing, not
now:  always thinking

Akeia’s face has many mirrors.  I think each drawing captures some of her; I’m sure I will return to it to find out more.

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Invisible Eve 11

Michelle s


I don’t have answers,
don’t have questions:  just anger
and nowhere to go.

I’m struggling with these drawings at the moment, so I think this one is a bit rough.  On the other hand, Michelle is not one of the inmates putting on her game face.  She is showing her despair to the camera:  this is what being in prison looks like.  And maybe the edges are more suited to how she feels about her life.  I do think the drawing reflects that.

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