More Drawings I Found

I’m still working on my red and white quilt. There are parts covering my design wall. I’m paper piecing the triangle borders. It is a slow, fussy process, but in fact I don’t mind it at all. Would not want to work this way all the time, but it’s fine for now.

Since it is all “parts” and not much new to show, I thought I’d share other drawings I found while looking for newsprint.

One of the drawings is dated 2003, and the other two would have been from the same general time. Coincidentally, or not, I made my first quilt in late 2003 for the birth of a granddaughter. At the time I assumed — I said out loud, numerous times — that I’d never make another quilt. Instead, I didn’t draw anymore, and I did make another quilt in early 2005.


A young boy. Drawn from a photo of a painted portrait. The painting was likely from the early 1800s.

The next drawing is of Victor Weisskopf. He was a physicist with a wide-ranging and impressive career, including working on the Manhattan Project and chairing the physics department at MIT. The black-and-white photo I used to draw him was so striking, with beautiful lines and shadows of his strong features.

In these days when science and basic research are threatened, it’s worth noting this 1969 quote from Weisskopf: “The total cost of all basic research from Archimedes to the present is less than the value of ten days of the world’s present industrial production.”


Victor Weisskopf, physicist. Drawn from a photo of him found in a magazine.


Drawn from a magazine ad.

I’ve had fun looking back at these old pictures, and I might muster the ambition to draw again. But there are always so many things to do, aren’t there?

Are there any arts or crafts from your past that you’ve given up? Did you play an instrument or tat or needlepoint? How about intricate origami? Any of them you’d like to resurrect? 

26 thoughts on “More Drawings I Found

  1. KerryCan

    I, too, have drawings from the “olden days” and I liked doing portraits, as well. And haven’t done one in 1000000 years! I think I may have tried and given up more crafts than I have kept at . . . the silversmithing was a biggie. I still have all the equipment and tools but lost the mojo!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      As long as you’re doing something you love, there is no reason for regrets on what you’re not doing. As you say, in the future you may have more opportunities. Thank you.

  2. katechiconi

    You have a real talent, and if ever you feel the need to take a break from fabric, I think you should pick up your pencil again! There are dozens of crafts I’d love to have a go at, but I simply can’t resist the pull of quilts and embroidery….

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I know, I know! When I think of doing something else, even writing more seriously, I think, but I have so much to do on ** quilt!! And that pulls me back. 🙂

      Thanks much!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      All those color markers!! 🙂 Yes, perhaps while you’re in a lull from improv piecing, you could make a birthday card for someone and see if it tickles you right now.

  3. shoreacres

    You’ve clearly captured a different personality in each portrait. I’m impressed — truly. As for what I’ve left behind: needlepoint and the clarinet are two. I still have a nice stash of needlepoint supplies, but the clarinet is long gone. I had a good bit of fun with it, and began college as a music major. Then, I realized I didn’t have what it would take to be a concert musician, and I didn’t want to be a junior high band director, so I turned into a music appreciator.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I think a lot of musicians take that route. Both my father and son were musicians who became engineers. Dad started college as a music major, and Son had already decided he didn’t want to be a professional musician. (This is funny. One of the big reasons for that was because the crazy hours and other requirements of a jazz musician would make it hard to have a “normal” family life. So he joined the military instead…)

      If you still have the needlepoint supplies, you must still have some interest in it. Or not?

      Thank you.

      1. shoreacres

        I do still have interest. I always enjoyed it. But of course there’s writing, and photography that have come along, and I haven’t yet found a way to make the days longer. 🙂

  4. Cindi Lambert

    I played bluegrass banjo for many years but living in the Northeast, that is not a popular form of music here and there was never anyone to play for. Although I was good at it and fairly accomplished, I gave it up in 1985 and never played again. I sold the banjo in 2005 after it had sat idle for 20 years. I still make quilts though and I did that first so. . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Hi Cindi. I never thought much about the popularity of bluegrass being regional, but of course it would be. Everywhere I’ve lived, there’s always been a community of musicians around. Of course, I have ranged very far in my life…

      Yes, on making quilts! Keep doing that as long as you love it!

  5. zippyquilts

    I realized a long time ago that I have limited time and energy, and that my interests are far broader than I’ll the time I have to explore things. I’ve tried hard not to take on too many activities in the first place, with mixed success. However, there isn’t much I’ve permanently left behind.

  6. piecefulwendy

    I used to draw too, though not as well as you. I used to play clarinet, piano and guitar; don’t play any of them much anymore. I do like to doodle/zentangle. I have all of my grandmother’s tatting supplies, and would like to learn how to do that. I’ve given up knitting . . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Now music, either instrument or vocal, is not an area of talent for me. You’re fortunate to have that, even if it’s mostly in your past. My mom did tatting for a while. I don’t think I could do that fine work, either. We all have our own thing, don’t we? Thanks much.

  7. Nancy

    WOW your technique on the eyes is wonderful!
    Your sketches really draw the attention to the feeling in the eyes. If I had that talent I would never have stopped working with it. Love what you do with quilts to have so much talent in so many artistic areas just WOW!!!!!!


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