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Velveteen people


Old lady, by Harriet Stigner

This is a sketch of an old woman who was going to feature in a picture book that I’m working on. I’ve taken her out of the story but I like her face, so I hope I’ll be able to dust her off and use her again one day.

When I was drawing her hands I tried to capture my Grandmother’s soft, papery wrinkles. Her hands looked so rough but were actually the softest I’ve ever touched. That’s where the similarities between this old lady and my Grandma, Jill, end – she would never have been seen out in this scratchy looking Miss Marple ensemble.

Here’s a beautiful quote from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams whose story captures the unique beauty of elderly people and worn out cuddly toys –

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

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