Inside a family picture

“Sleeping Porch” is one of a series of drawings that merge old family snapshots with photographs I took. This one is created from just two pictures superimposed.

The first image is a snapshot of my grandmather and her sisters on an outside sleeping porch from about 1915. My Grandmother is on the left, looking out at the camera.

The second image is one I took in a cemetery near my home. A family plot with an iron fence surrounding it got my attention. The old stones gathered around an upright monument, a tall structure that reminded me of the fireplace and chimney you sometimes see, what’s left after a house burned. Putting the two pictures together seemed quite natural. Here the three girls look out at you from a bed, but now that set in a cemetery plot.

My drawing was done after all these women died. Of course “Sleeping Porch” is about both youth and death. This picture is in the collection of The Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY which is where she lived most of her life.

In the photo my grandmother is a young woman, maybe 18, but the look on my grandma face is pretty much as I saw her years later; she is looking straight at you, no nonsense.

To the right is a drawing I made of grandma at age 90– a portrait drawn from a series of Polaroid pictures I took of her one afternoon.