Sketch Personal Memories Part One

In March/April 2022, I took an online sketching class at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA. I was looking for an opportunity to get myself back into drawing. My eye problems of summer and fall 2021 into early 2022 had shaken my confidence in my ability to see well enough to do pen and ink drawing, and I thought a regular schedule of sketching would be good to start me moving again.

The class was a lot of fun, the instructor was great, and my goal was met – I did a lot of drawing and I enjoyed myself. I’ll show you what I worked on in a series of posts.
Thanks to my instructor, Zoungy Kligge, and my classmates for a good experience.

In this session of class, our assignment was to sketch personal memories. In doing so, we record feelings in tangible form

Here are the results.


This picture is of the bank branch in Conshohocken, PA, where I spent six months working in 1980-81. Just out of college, I was a trainee in the commercial lending program at Philadelphia National Bank (after many mergers and acquisitions, now part of Wells-Fargo). I did a rotation here with the small business lenders based in this office.

I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment, I loved working in a branch and with small businesses, and I received wonderful training and friendship from my bosses and the staff in this division of the bank. In fact, I went on to become a small business lender, something I did for the next 13 years, because of this assignment. So, this place is very important to me.

This picture is a view of the post office in Conshohocken, PA, across the street from the branch. Back when I worked here, I wrote a lot of letters to my family and friends living at a distance from me – the phone was too expensive for a lot of long-distance calling back then. I mailed a lot of those letters from this place, and it symbolizes to me the importance of the US Postal Service in my life.

This picture includes various items related to my old sewing machine. I bought it at a local shop in 1997 and used it for 24 years, until it finally could go no longer. The tag is from a repair, and I kept it because it was filled out by one of the owners of the fabric shop I patronized most often. The two owners, mother and daughter, became friends to me, and this tag is a souvenir from that time.

As for the item on the lower right, it is the throat plate from my old machine. We took it apart (I thought I might use the parts for other projects!) and I kept this piece for sentimental reasons.

(You can read about this sewing machine, what it meant to me, some of the projects it did for me, and see the photo I used for this drawing if you click here. )

10 thoughts on “Sketch Personal Memories Part One

  1. memadtwo

    I especially love that last drawing. So much emotion in it.
    I remember all those letters I wrote. I kept a few my mother sent me–she wrote every week. The ones from my pen pals sadly got lost somewhere along the line. (K)

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I feel lucky to have had so many moments in my life that are maybe pretty ordinary but to me, full of life and color and vigor, and good emotions. Thank you for asking about my eyes. The one with the most recent problems will not go back to what it was, but it has healed well so that in general I am getting along fine, just problems with being able to focus on small things (print in some books, etc.) or details. I also have some depth perception issues. But…I am able to do the ordinary things such as drive and so on and I’ve begun to adapt and don’t think about what has changed much anymore as I did at first.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I’m grateful for good medical care and I’m going to mention my own persistence in tracking down the cause because it took some doing with all the doctors. I guess we all have some wear and tear on us as time goes on! Thank you for your good wishes.

  2. KMS

    I love this post, I have one of a watch that hung on my grandmothers wall. That was my inheritance. She lived on Argonne Rd by The Reading Airport. If I wind the watch it still runs.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. By coincidence, I don’t know if you read my post today about more memory sketches, but it features a watch, too, that was important in my life, and…50+ years later, it still runs too. There is certainly something special about watches, since they mark time, obviously, but they also seem to outlast time, almost.

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