topiary cats

topiary cats

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Virgin Mary Stole My Pencil

She really did.

Here's how it happened.

Yesterday I went to a drawing event at The Morgan Library with Drawing New York.
(fantastic group by the way)

There is a Memling room.
I LOVE Memling so I decided to hang out there and draw.

I decided to draw the Virgin Mary.
Here she is on the right. Isn't she stunning?

Hans Memling, oil on panel, 1400s

So I was drawing and out of nowhere, all of a sudden, my pencil just flew out of my hand.
It happened in a split second, it was so surreal.  I watched as it flew out of my hand, across the floor, and went under the pedestal which encases the Memling paintings.

Right under.
It went right under.


No way.

I tried to get it out but could not.

Now, This was in a small gallery room with a lot of traffic.
The gallery filled up again.
I resigned my nice charcoal pencil for lost, and I kept drawing.
This also made me paranoid for my other pencils, so I roll-proofed them with bits of kneaded eraser.

Roll-Proofed Pencils

But I could not get it out of my head.
So, when the gallery emptied out again, I used the flashlight in my phone to see the pencil in a tiny crack between the floor and pedestal.

It is a good thing I have no shame.

There it was. Out of reach.

Oh, Virgin Mary, you do not need my pencil!! I thought you were supposed to be NICE.
I thought about my pencil, never again to be sharpened, never again to be used, away from its friends, still there in the Morgan Library under a pedestal ten years from now.

So sad.

Then the gallery cleared out again and I started thinking---the pedestal really wasn't very large and paper fits under there.

I tried the museum booklet.  Nope.

Then...I got Extremely Clever.
I remembered that I had more paper and white artists' tape, because I never leave home without it.

So I taped three sheets of Strathmore Artagain paper together, slid it under the side of the pedestal, AND I GOT MY PENCIL BACK!!!

White Artists' Tape to the rescue!

Lessons Learned:
1. NEVER leave home without white artists' tape.
2. Watch out for the Virgin Mary; she steals pencils.

Oh, here is the drawing I did, about an hour and a half.
Charcoal pencils on some nice gray Strathmore paper.


  1. The drawing turned out great ... and wow, you don't give up, I like how you were inventive in getting the pencil back... that's cool.

  2. It is a wonder that you could continue to draw with the missing pencil on your mind. ha.
    I like your drawing.

  3. Sneaky little thing, that Virgin Mary! ;-)


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