by Julie Keller

Do you ever step back and look at your life and think, where did I go?

As a girl, my passion for writing ran in step with my passion for drawing.  I wanted to be an artist.  I don’t remember the last time I drew, when it wasn’t a cartoon for one of Piper’s brown paper lunch bags.

I loved getting my fingers black and working out the grade of shadows, hunching low over the sketch pad outside, on a sunny day.  Turning the blank page into a picture.  Rubbing in grey-black dust with the pads of my fingers.  The smell of pencil lead.  A squishy ball of once-blue eraser.

I got my old art portfolio out tonight to show Piper.  She said to me, “Mommy, you were a great artist!” and then “Mommy, you used to be a great artist!”  It reminded me of the time I overheard my mother on the phone telling someone I didn’t write anymore, back before the blog when she probably thought I didn’t.  Sort of a punch to the gut mixed with the death of a favorite pet type of feeling.

I’m including some photos with this post; some of them aren’t even finished but I love where they started.  Some of them are crap but I loved doing them.  I think it’s time to pick up the pencil again.

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