Grant Wood and the Axe in The Hall
This drawing falls a little short. Her eyes aren’t quite pale enough, they’re just shy of the exhaustion, the resignation, of the original. In the original that depth is bottomless. In her hands is his hat, gripping it while he drinks.
This is not how I imagine my own generations of Iowa grandmothers, staring through the earth, but it doesn’t feel any less true. Likely there were cousins, aunts whose experience was reflected in Wood’s grim rendering.
Was this just his model’s resting face? …
As my daughters get older and we stop going to playgrounds I draw fewer children . I always assumed it would be this way. But there are still plenty of people to note in passing. Especially those who, like this morning, demonstrate the measures sometimes required to get a child out of the house trauma-free. Often such measures don’t feel like trouble or inconvenience: if we grumble then it’s 95% facade, just enough to acknowledge their acknowledgment of the above and beyond they’re receiving this morning.