If you have taken a few moments to browse through my galleries, you may have noticed that I am not into drawing portraits and would rather draw a made up creature than a realistic person. I have always been the type of artist to tap into my own imagination rather than producing still life artwork. But a few years ago, I was approached to draw a special young person as a gift for my client’s sister who was the mother of the boy. Ricky was born with a severely disabling health condition, which I believe was spinal bifida (?). His mom was a single mother and absolutely in love with her son. Her life revolved around him; care taking, loving, nurturing, and taking it day by day with Ricky; burying the stresses of his illness with hope, determination, and a motherly instinct to love her son more than life itself. I can only imagine the changes the course of her life took because of this extreme scenario; both the hardships and the beautiful moments that scream the utter chaos of life.
It was during my beginning emergence as an artist that I was approached to draw Ricky, and my first inclination was to decline because I had never drawn a portrait before. Something told me to accept the challenge and enjoy the job. I knew this was intended to be a very special Christmas gift so I gave the project my very best, while being tackled by nerves that it might not turn out good enough.
So I began my work. It was during this period of time that I began to dwell in thoughts of Ricky, both daydreaming and during sleep. He occupied my thoughts randomly and swiftly; coming and going in a blink of an eye during the day. But at nighttime it seems he quite enjoyed lingering in this spiritual realm of connection. I was excited to feel this spiritual bond, but confused as to why he was entering my subconscious so often.
I spent endless hours of articulating Ricky’s detail, including the small hairs on his forehead. I tried my very best to capture his life within my drawing. It was very time consuming, and halfway through I injured both of my hands by two consecutive fluke accidents. First, I crushed my right thumb when a trash compactor malfunctioned and slammed down on my hand. A day later a heavy tray of lasagna fell onto my left hand while I was holding a glass for water. The glass crushed right into my hand and I had several gashes, some quite deep on every finger and hugely in the palm of my hand. Both hands were bandaged and it was literally difficult to do anything. My eyes welled up with defeat on several occasions and I struggled to push the fear away of failing to complete Ricky’s drawing.
It was then that I understood the deeper meaning of Ricky’s arrival. This special little boy who lived only inside of his mind and couldn’t speak to the rest of the world was traveling to me to guide me on this journey of capturing true life. Just after my double injury Ricky came to visit me again during sleep, sans his wheelchair. This time he was dressed in white and smiling at me. I talked to him telepathically and told him I couldn’t finish drawing him. He simply reached out his hand and held my left hand. My drawing hand. A surge of energy flooded my body and I woke quickly. I was moved by Ricky’s visit, but more profoundly by his healing energy. Within days my gashes no longer hurt and I was able to hold my pencil in order to finish my project on time.
Ricky never fully left me, even after I finished the job. I was blessed with photos of him from his loving mother along with a beautiful thank you letter that touched my soul. As I was frequenting the hospital myself, I continued to dream about and feel Ricky stopping in to give me strength. Ricky planted a garden of faith in my heart, deep seeding love and trust of the unknown.
Sadly, Ricky finally passed. I supposed he had touched as many lives as he was supposed to and taught us all he could. Of course, he lingers on in many, many hearts and minds, including mine. Never has a drawing given me so much feeling. Never has my artwork been so meaningful, and to this day I couldn’t be honored enough to be allowed to enter Ricky’s world. Even if we only met in dreamland.
I feel blessed to have been given the talent, passion, and patience that allowed me to capture Ricky in my drawing. But even more so, I am so grateful that I was trusted to capture the light and beauty of such an incredible soul. Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words. To me, this drawing is worth a special lifetime of them, spoken only telepathically of course .
RIP Ricky <3
3 Comments for this entry
RachaelJune 6th, 2011 on 11:18 pm
thank u so much, for soo many things, obviously the awesome artwork, always being here for us, sharing Ricky’s story & most off all for reminding me of all the lessons i learned from him! ♥
September 2nd, 2011 on 11:26 pm
Yo, that’s what’s up truthfluly.
September 3rd, 2011 on 10:38 am
This makes everything so comepletly painless.