41 x 31 cm | graphic pencil on paper | 2020
My mother passed away last April 19th. Exactly a month before her birthday on May 19. She would have become 86 years old. In the time between her death and the funeral I made this pencil drawing. The "commission" of my life. How do you “catch” someone so close to you and who you know like no other. It became this portrait, drawn in soft gray tones with graphite pencil.
It was made as a tribute to my mother and everything she stands for.
It is my way of "getting a grip on" and "holding on" and dealing with such a loss.
While working on the portrait of my mother, all kinds of memories surfaced. That she made sure there was always paper and a pencil for me when we were going somewhere. That I sat next to her in the church bench with a pile of paper: drawing and listening to my father preaching. That I had confiscated the kitchen table, full of paper, pencils, glue, tape, scissors and of course paint. My mother cooking. Music on the radio. Showing what I made. "Look Mommy!" And that I had to empty the table again, because we had to eat it now. Quickly bring all my stuff to my room and fast continue after dinner.
The portrait feels like a end point. Just like I'm a little boy and did my best to make a nice drawing, show it to my mother and say, "Look mom, I made it for you. Do you like it?"