The Ring

11/19/2011 04:01:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 17 Comments »
I have a gold ring that looks like a wedding band.  The inside is inscribed, "To Mother from Will .. April 26th  1887".   I inherited this treasure from my mother-in-law,  Pinny, whom I loved very much.  The ring used to belong to her great grandmother, who was given it by her son when he got married.  His name was William B. Thompson, and eventually he became the Mayor of Detroit.  Before he became the mayor he was a butcher, and in our kitchen hangs one of his campaign posters framed in its original black wood frame.  It has a photograph of his face with a caricature body holding a butcher knife in one hand and a length of link sausages in the other.   I'm guessing our sons both covet that poster!

Anyhow, besides that photo, we have one more of him, along with a photo of his wife.  That's the photo I used to draw this picture.  It isn't a good likeness, so I will have to draw it again .... and again .... and again, in order to get it right.   I can see several places that aren't quite right, but for now it serves as the third drawing in my mini-series of five portraits.   Oh, by the way, I wear that ring often.  It has become a sort of talisman for me and I'm confident that it brings me good luck ..... I'm a tad strange that way.



17 comments:

Vicki Holdwick said...

Nancy,

I really like this one a lot. He looks like a real person.

You've really captured him,

xoxo

MaryO said...

A lovely story, Nancy, and a lovely gesture by that son. It's wonderful to have such treasured family heirlooms to hand down to your children.

Mari said...

Thats such a great story behind your drawing, and great drawing... Good way to keep the family history going.

Mari

Serena said...

What a wonderful heirloom! I enjoyed reading the history behind it. I think you did a lovely job of the portrait even if it isn't a good likeness. :)

Rita said...

Love the story...the ring, the poster, the mayor! And the sketch brought him to life for me. Wow! A lot of family history there. Awesome! :)

Shirley said...

Your drawing is lovely - I think we are too hard on ourselves as we try, but fail, to capture the real face.

Sandra said...

Oh drat! My grumpy computer did not post the picture. I just love modern technology.

whatidoisme said...

Nice portrait Nancy - especially the eyes. Very jealous - I can't draw portraits to save my life!
Sue

bettyfromtexas said...

What a special story . . . a delightful bit of your family history. And your portrait is just outstanding, Nancy!! Brava!

Dan Kent said...

This may not look like him, but it looks great - great expression in the eyes. A proud, refined look. I'm a little late to this portrait party, so I also want to comment on the cool long-haired dude you posted a few posts back - he has a lot of character. I like the eyes and the hair - especially the hair - and the mustache. It reminds me of one of the guys that Alice Neel painted. Great job on all!! (PS I can tell that sketching along with those old masters some time ago helped you alot - er, not that you were with the old masters, that you sketched the old masters' sketches years later - well - you know what I mean.)

Denice @ inkstitch said...

What a fantastic story and a great drawing! And the ring is an amazing memento. :)

raena said...

I'm not sure about his likeness, but you've certainly captured his era! Your drawing looks antique! Intriguing story!

Cathy Holtom said...

Fascinating story to go with your drawing, it looks good!

Tammy Vitale said...

Wonderful story - read down a bit. I think 5 is a good number. 100 stretches into the dim....I know it's a favorite of MFA teachers: make 100 drawings of..., make 100 pots this size...It's a great exercise in doing the same thing and finding the essence of it (I never did an MFA...my degrees are in Business and Story, but I know people who've done them). Much like you I tend to flit among interests but they are all tied together neatly these days in something called mixed media. Thanks for dropping by over my way!

rajns (carolyn) said...

That ring, those photos, and your drawing are such treasures. To know the story that goes back that far is inspiration beyond words for your wonderful sketch!

Kathleen Conard said...

Another amazing drawing and fun to hear the story about your ring!

Alex said...

beautifully drawn portrait Nancy =)