… perhaps not as much as I do now, anyway. Had I been gifted with the talent to sketch with finesse, I would spend my free time re-creating the still life that surrounded me. Like this one, for example…
However, the genetic material responsible for making a person sketch so effortlessly has been passed over only to my younger sister, Sophia. And the genes that make one look good and younger than one’s actual age. And the genes that make one’s brain function like a calculator. I think that’s unfair, considering how I was the first born and all.
We didn’t have many toys when we were growing up and our mother has always encouraged us to be creative. During summer holidays, Sophia would—besides spending the afternoons in the garden digging up creepy bugs and insects—stay in a room and draw. She made it look so easy that I would peer over her work and wonder in awe. Then I’d thought to myself, “You can do this, self! If she can draw, well so can you!” Encouraged by my own self, filled with so much determination, I’d pick up a pencil and pour my entire creative being onto the canvas. Thirty minutes and a thousand frustrated sighs later, I’d look at the funny-looking, child-like sketch in front of me, and give up. It took me sometime to accept that the only thing I can draw with acute precision is an amoeba.
And I had to acknowledge that my baby sister had a special talent.
So I’m compensating for my lack of drawing skills with writing and photography; I find myself immensely enjoying both.
Take a look at this pencil sketch by Sophia, drawn about three years ago. What now appears like a broken, unkempt place was once a neat and well-maintained garage that belongs to an uncle. The place has remained unattended ever since his wife passed away.
Sophia was sitting in a small balcony right across that gate and sketched the scene in front of her. If you look closely you’ll notice several things: broken gate, half of the roof is gone, bicycle wheels hanging on the right, a water drum with “Annie” written on it (that’s the name of the aunt), a man standing on the other side of the gate, and a cat playing on the floor. Sophia did a brilliant job in re-creating this scene. MashaAllah.
Oh, and I’d also asked her to paint a desert scene for me to hang in my home. I’ll have it framed in a lovely wooden frame. She hasn’t started on the painting yet. So I’m signing off now to call her.