When I draw Lisa, my dexterity improves. I’ll continue as long as she lets me. It takes a while but, since I’m happy to study the subject, it’s easy to persevere. I spent four hours on the latest, too long for her to hold a pose. I had to rely on a photograph. When she saw the result, she was upset that she looked so upset. Next time, she decided, I would use her choice of a picture, instead.
Lisa also modeled for the cover of my second novel, The Sketchbook (in the story, it’s a different character than appears in the sketches themselves which predate our acquaintance). She patiently endured my amateur staging and awkward adjustments to her pose. The original mockup included her body on both the front and back of the book.
The publisher took the material and designed something slightly different. I liked how they made her right elbow wrap over the spine. Nevertheless, it crowded her rearward aspect out. I miss, in the final version, her amazing hips where they had rounded the sides of the synopsis.
During our decade together (we’re now halfway through our eleventh year), Lisa has endured a lot. She edited my first two literary projects, helped to write a third, never lost hope when none were successful and has weathered my Parkinson’s well. Now, as a model — which her modesty may not always allow — she has taught me that drawing is still a possibility.