Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

You may know that in addition to my artwork I also write poetry (posted on my blog Claudia McGill Writes Poetry, Did You Know That?). For the next several months I will be posting here a combined art/poetry project, Large Artist Sketchbook 2020.

I fill up sketchbooks with all kinds of art. Some contain images only and some of them I use the images as inspiration for poetry. In these books the image is on one page of the spread and the poetry on the other. This book is set up in this manner.

I’ll show you the image and then add the poem that goes with it. See what you think.

Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

This house
It’s been our house for a very long time
decades generations we hope for centuries
Remodeled kitchen more than once
Bedrooms handed down and down
New sofa or reupholster the old one?
The bathroom floor all its original tiles. No cracks.

We are all always here in this house
None of us ever leave
and make it permanent.
Oh we go out in the world
but sooner or later we make our way back
don’t we? Come in and I’ll see who’s at home
Give me a moment to sift through the layers.

Who was it you wanted to see?
Flesh and blood
current occupants today –
or the less substantial –
so many to choose from?

I hear the vacuum running upstairs
Do you hear it? No?
Let me see if I can get her attention for you.

Large Artist Sketchbook 2020 image 12

10 thoughts on “Large Artist Sketchbook 2020: Our Whole Family Is in Residence Here

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I like vacuuming too, and also mowing the grass (they are related in my mind). It is repetitive, somewhat precise, and creates order. All things that appeal to me.

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I love the drawing. I really enjoyed having my eyes wander around your house like a visitor and explore all of those details. Both the art work and the poem communicate that idea of a house being a hub for family life, containing all of that energy, the many layers of individuals who have lived there, their histories, and what they contribute to the life of the house.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I have drawn a lot of this kind of picture all my life – they just seem to kind of happen, once I get started, and I like how it can become a story without any words (even though then I went and gave the picture words).

  2. JosieHolford

    Gosh! This is one poem I did not want to end. And the drawing(s) are perfect. You have created a whole world here, and populated it with “your” people and their lives. All of your “stuff” is good. But… Because I loved it so much, this seems exceptional!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, your comment makes my day. I have done lots of this kind of drawing over the years (I think of it as a dollhouse kind of thing) and I really enjoy it because it is drawing my favorite things, house, furniture, people!

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