Tuesday 10 September 2013


Two related drawings here today for the 29 FACES challenge.

"I don't know you"
Graphite pencil drawing by Jez
Last year a dear friend of 55 years died of cancer, and sadly she had also suffered from Altzheimer's Disease for several years.  The drawing shown above was inspired by a photograph in the newspaper of a quite different lady suffering from the same terrible disease.  Drawing it helped me to understand, and to be patient when I sat with her some days while her husband had to go to hospital for his own health problems.

This was my first close encounter with Altzheimers, and I was very affected by it.  Annie (not her name, but I shall call her that) and I were next door neighbours for a few years, and though we had very little money we would find ways to have little trips and adventures with our babies and have fun.  The disease wipes out the past so cruelly, all the memories, all recognition of friends and family, and all ability to connect with others.

My vision of the encroaching effects of the disease
I hope I will be forgiven for including these two drawings that were made a few months ago, but this second drawing above is my way of trying to express what happens to the person, a process so difficult for them and for their families.

I've tried to symbolise the way it progresses - a few plant tendrils grow across the image of the person, then a few leaves, and then the foliage starts to cover the face, and eventually the person inside the well-known body is covered with so many leaves that the person we knew is not really there at all.

I hope I will be forgiven for including these two drawings that were made a few months ago, but I'm a bit stuck for time this week, with two separate days in hospital for cancer check-up procedures and then a day at least to recover.

Then back to normal tomorrow with the silly, cheerful faces I've managed to create in advance and pre-scheduled for the challenge.


  1. I love how you symbolized the progress of Alzheimers. It really is as if the person you once knew disappears a little bit every day. It's a horrible disease, right up there with cancer I think. Dear Jez, I really hope the cancer check-ups give you the result you're hoping for. Thinking of you .... ♥

  2. I think you've captured it perfectly. My Nan had it before we lost her and it was horrible. Some days you'd visit and she saw me as a child again and would ask how my Mum was (who we'd lost by this point) so I would just talk as if she was still here, some days you'd visit and it was lovely because it would be like she was a teenager or child so you'd get glimpses of the (naughty) child/teen she had once been - some days she just didn't know who you were or where she was and you could see the fear on her face. The image with the trailing leaves is perfect - it's such a cruel disease.

    I hope the hospital goes well today and that you can rest up afterwards. x x

  3. These drawings are devastating. I couldn't even read the rest of what you wrote, I was so moved by your second drawing here. My dad died of Alzheimer's and this is it, exactly. This person is so obscured by the disease. She is lost, and I feel it. It makes me want to cry--I think I need to go outside and walk the dog, or something.

    I've done a lot of drawings of old people (if you click on the "wrinkles" tag on my blog, you can see them). I find them fascinating. This is a really fascinating drawing (the top one here). She's had a long life and seen and felt a lot. I'm sorry for your loss.

  4. I am sorry that you lost your father to this terrible disease, and that I have caused you some distress. I knew these drawings would be upsetting for anyone who had lost family or friends to Alzheimers, but hope that through this post the disease may be highlighted and that people would understand it more. It certainly needs a great deal more research.

    1. No problem! Distress is good--it means that it was very effective!

  5. I love how you used your art to manage through this challenge. I feel the beauty in it … and in the image that you created. Art can be such amazing Medicine. Peace.

  6. These drawings are obviously done from the heart and are very powerful. Hope all goes well for you.

  7. there is no need to forgive you. share what you like on your blog and i am glad you have shared this. you have found such a creative way of expressing this process.

  8. Sorry about your loss. Through your drawings you've conveyed the devastation of the disease with eloquence and respect.

    1. Kelly I have looked at so much on your blog, and am awestruck at your wonderful talent. Unfortunately I was not able to comment on Google +. You did not have an email address on your blog, and not even on your website, otherwise I would be able to comment by email.
      I very much appreciate your comment, thank you. (Hope you see this).


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