Here’s the cute turtle I painted for sweet Miss B., a little girl with Cockayne Syndrome here in the USA. Her mom told me she likes pink and cheetah print, so I designed a little turtle just for her.
I always think of Knox when I see baby turtles. This is an example of where art truly is medicine. It was a joy to paint something for someone else, with happy memories in my heart.
I started off with a crisp white 6″ x 6″ wrapped canvas. I buy them at Michael’s, using my weekly email coupon. I loosely sketched the design onto the cavas with a pencil…
Then I began to paint the design using my favorite Golden acrylic paints. I buy these at Michael’s, too. Yep, with the coupons.
Even the palette looks pretty to me when I use these bright colors!
Then I added details with fine tip pens. I’m trying out this set from Faber-Castell. I usually use ZIG pens, but I wore my set out after extended use, and I had this other set on hand. I especially like the brush pen for lettering.
Adding in more color with paint…
Painting tiny cheetah print…
FInishing touches with the brush pen…
The cutest little turtle for one of the cutest little girls ever…
Love you Princess B., hugs and kisses from Texas!
Happy Birthday to my little son in Paradise. Knox would be 4 years old today.
I think the hardest part is not being able to say “I love you”; not being able to hold him.
He’s been gone 5 and a half months. I miss him terribly.
Giving gifts of love, in honor of Knox’s birthday, was the only way I could think of to say “I love you”.
First, I went to the store and picked out what I would’ve bought him if he was here. I associate baby turtles with Knoxy because of a painting I made for him that hung above his crib.
I’m sending these clothes to a precious little boy with severe CS here in the USA, and another identical set to a little boy with CS in England. I love you, Knox.
Then I painted a bright turtle for a little girl with CS, also here in America. I’ll include the process photos and finished piece in the next post. I hope she likes it!
Next, I made a new set of cards and listed them in Knox’s Etsy shop. I’ll continue to make and sell butterfly cards and other original art pieces online to support Amy and Friends CS Support in the UK. Please visit the shop and pass on the link. All proceeds are donated. I made a donation last week of $150 from card sales. Thank you to everyone who buys the butterfly cards!
I donated the recent proceeds from Knox’s shop to CS research through Amy and Friend’s “JustGiving” site. If you’d like to make a donation in honor of Knox’s 4th Birthday, please leave a note in the message box so I can thank you. <3
Finally, I made a donation of books to Dell Children’s Hospital. Knox loved books! It’s so nice to have good books to borrow while you’re in the hospital. I wish I was in the hospital reading a book to Knox now.
I have been given four gifts, as well. I received this gorgeous bracelet from another CS mom right here in Texas. I absolutely love it!
A young artist friend of mine presented me with an amazing graphite drawing of Knox. I loved it so much I posted it on my FB page. I know how difficult portraits are and how much time it takes to make an accurate likeness. Thank you so much Miss E. J.! See her wonderful drawing of Knox here. What a special gift!
Third, a friend sent me a poem he wrote about Knox. The day it was sent to me, I had been asking the very same question presented in the title:
Thank you for this gift, Elwood. The words are meaningful and I’m blessed.
And the fourth gift was a video. Knox’s grandmother sent me a video she found on her iPhone of Knox’s first few moments of life. I was struck to the heart with sorrow to see Knox as a newborn again and to hear his cry. I remember thinking how beautiful he was, and at the same time, there was a feeling of incongruity in the room that I remember, as well. It didn’t feel like there was anything specifically wrong with Knox in that moment, but something suddenly seemed wrong with life itself. I still don’t understand it. The video is hard to watch but it’s a gift I wouldn’t trade.
When people see this image they respond in different ways. Some have said it’s a photograph full of sadness, that it’s hard to look at. Some say it’s foreboding, an ill omen of days to come. Other are more pragmatic: The dove flew into the window and fell down dead. That’s it. It meant nothing.
My response is to turn it into art. I can’t say that I like the image, but I also can’t deny that it holds immense significance for me. That’s my baby. The diagnosis of his terminal illness came shortly after this dove flew into my window and died. It’s a profound moment in time if you think about it and I wonder at myself for having had the wherewithall to get my camera and capture it.
I tried scraping the color away with an x-acto knife to add texture. I liked the effect at first, but by the time I got to Knox’s face, I was crying a lot and I didn’t want to scrape any more. Any image of him, whether photographed or drawn, is precious to me.
I left it alone.
Grieving my baby boy is hard work. It’s exhausting. The rough days at the end of his life are still bothering me and I can’t stop thinking about what I might have done differently. Sometimes all I want is to do is to go to sleep and not feel the pain for a little while. But as soon as I open my eyes, there it is again. The empty crib, the silent room, the ache of another day without hearing his voice.