Laura Mueller, Mom’s close friend and former model, has been a wealth of information for me on this journey. She’s the one who told me all about Wally’s where artists and models met for sketching, socializing and a lot of laughs. Laura emailed me a drawing of her done by a young artist, Sally Melnick, shown below on the right. Mom’s is on the left. Both were drawn at the same time in a session at Wally’s. She couldn’t recall if this was from a 5 minute or 20 minute sketch time, but she went into great detail about the clothing, remembering that the shirt was aqua blue organza with silk collar and sleeve edges. Yes, Laura has all her marbles at age 83.
This has always been one of my favorite drawings. It was the only one that was framed and hanging in our apartment. Talking to Laura about it, I learned some new facts. I always thought that she was holding a muff when, in fact, after all these years I found out that that was a chair back that she was leaning on. I didn’t realize that Mom did this drawing for fun at Wally’s. I had figured that it was for a client. Through this opportunity to see a more detailed version of the outfit in Ms. Melnick’s piece, I now realize that she wasn’t doing a literal interpretation of the clothing, but was more interested in understanding the shape of the body in this difficult 3/4 back view, the S curve of the pose. She simplified the shirt to enhance the shape of the hip. She changed the collar to give the neck a straight line. All this in maybe 5-20 minutes. Pretty awesome! Who knew?