Goodbye, Wonderful Old Woman

Goodbye, Wonderful Old Woman
Today, I said goodbye to a familiar face: a drawing I’ve had in my collection for 22 years. It is one of my favorites, but it was time to let it go.  A customer who met me at the Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour this year bought a print of this drawing, and later through email, said she loves the image and would like to buy the original. 
This is a drawing I did back in 1993, when 15, so it is very special to me. I discovered that black colored pencil could achieve a really rich black, almost like ink. In addition, although nearly impossible to erase, it doesn’t smudge like normal graphite pencils. When I showed it to my art teacher, she loved it, and later on referred to it as the drawing of “that wonderful old woman” The name stuck.
Woman, immigrant Great Depression

“Wonderful Old Woman, “ 9 x 12, Colored Pencil on Paper, by Matt Philleo

My source photo was of an elderly woman, an immigrant from the depression era. I chose not draw a background behind her, leaving the white of the paper to draw even more attention to her face.
You can imagine the stories she’d tell if you waited a while to listen. Her careworn face, etched with deep wrinkles, is almost like a roadmap that guides you in learning more about the difficult journeys of her life. And yet, behind that melancholy stare there is a glimmer of hope, a firm resolve to not give up and to make it through.
I met today with the customer to hand this drawing over to her. And I’m glad.  The joy of this drawing blessing somebody else makes it easy for me to let it go, and I’m glad she will be proudly displaying it in her home. 
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2 Comments

  1. Matt, Reading this narrative about “The Wonderful Old Woman brought tears to my eyes. I have loved her from the moment I saw her, and actually could imagine being seated opposite her having a wonderful conversation. I’ve often wondered what tales she would tell, and what wealth of knowledge she held. What an awesome thing for your client to own! And how fitting that now that is the end of the prints being sold of her. Mark my words that one day this print will be worth a million dollars. Your client is a very lucky lady indeed!!

    Reply
    • Matt Philleo

      Thanks, Donna. “Wonderful Old Woman” is and always will be one my favorite drawings. Some people ask me if it’s hard to part with a drawing or painting, but I had no reservations whatsoever in selling the drawing. Artists create art for others to see and enjoy. The original is out of my hands, and I’m elated that it’s in someone else’s house now. However, I still do plan on selling prints, because a lot of other people really love the drawing and I want them to be blessed by it too.

      Reply

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