Riding on…


‘There’s nothing quite like it…’ I heard the instructor say as she held up a small stick of graphite. ‘…You’ll love it by the end of class.’

I held the stick in my hand and sighed. Paper hung on the easel, blank. I gulped.

‘Now, close your eyes and think of your favorite thing. Then, with eyes still closed, start to draw. It doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. Just draw.’ The instructor encouraged.

Closed eyes, stick to paper, I drew… Bicycle…the escape vehicle of my youth.


A drawing done from a collection of random photos at a Lenten study.

The photo from the table really called straight to my heart. Maybe because it reminds me so much of my own childhood. I grew up in a less than ideal situation. My bicycle was my only means of transportation until I graduated from college. It was my mainstay, my escape. Art as well served as a way to escape and relax for a while. My Mom, when she wasn’t drunk or high was quite an artist herself. I learned first from her… shade here, stipple that. Coloring was serious business in our home. The more real it looked the happier I was. I lost this ability in a car accident in 1996, and have been “riding on” to regain the skill. This drawing of the little girl is the first that really comes even close to the realism I could once create. Dare I to say that I’m just a little proud of myself in the accomplishment.


53 thoughts on “Riding on…

  1. Dear Jelli,

    I’m sorry to hear about your automobile accident. You have a lot to be proud of. Your hard work is apparent as you generously share your progress. This little girl reaches my heart. Lovely story. Of course, as an artist, I related. Sometimes that big sheet of white taunts, doesn’t it? Keep up the good work. ❤



    Liked by 2 people

  2. My childhood was good, but I used my bicycle as an escape too – nothing like the freedom of the air through your hair (though now I wear a helmet 😉 ) I’m sorry to hear about the accident. I saw your drawing earlier and really like it. Art is in the mind, not the hand, and you have the mind of an artist. So keep at the drawing. And writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Drawing and cycling are two of the great things in life, writing is another. So sorry to hear about the challenges you have faced in life, l hope that you can become a stronger person from them. I really liked your drawing of the young girl, I would be very proud if I had been able to draw them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, so much rawness in both of your stories this week. I loved the drawing of the girl with the red ribbons. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you should see the over 600+ nasty emails I received about it…all because it was a random photo on the table that I cannot give the proper credit to the original photographer.. Really wish I could, because whoever it was, knows how to really capture the inner soul.


      1. I can’t believe there are so many people out there that would send a nasty email. What happened to politeness and understanding.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Gave me a way to get work further away from home. There aren’t many who understand that just because there are laws against child labor doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still happen. Some children just have to work just to survive.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re so right, bikes are a (relatively) cheap form of independence for many and have been since their invention. They gave women the same idependence while they were often still tied to house and home. So glad to see you’re rediscovering your art – so important as a form of expression, a way to happily lose yourself. Lovely story

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You must have so loved that bicycle of yours. You certainly have had a rough time of it, but just look at your God-given talent for art. Nobody can steal that from you. I love your story and your utterly sweet and characterful picture of that little girl. Keep up the good work. And thank you for the photo prompt this week. I really like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Trying times only make us stronger. I believe that your season of troubled moments has brought out the best in you. The picture of the little girl is delightful. I hope to see more of your artwork.

    Simple, albeit profound story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing drawing… i cant draw at all so i am in awe of your talent. Looks like you are well on the way back… it may not be what it was but thats the thing about art always changing, adapting, molding… i think that drawing is beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed reading your story. It can be heartbrekaing to lose something you love.
    I have been in the arts all of my life. Originally a dancer, now, bad knees, hips and
    osteopenia in my spine limit my dancing. My first love. Although, I carried on in other media.
    I can sympathize. Your drawing shows fortitude to carry on. Your photograph has broguth many to various emotions. A wonderful FF this week.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed it, Isadora. Had to retire from dancing this last year, myself. Between knees, hips, and heart they said it was time to watch the younger ones enjoy their dream.
      🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Jelli,
    What a wonderful piece of writing and artwork. They work together so well, too. You should be very proud of this accomplishment. It looks amazing to me. I always wish I could draw. The best I can do is stick figures! I’m sorry to hear about your accident. Oh, please keep going! Thanks for the photo too. Lots of great stories this week.

    Liked by 1 person

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