Sunday, March 20, 2016
Drawing - Offering to my Mother

Sharpie pen on 14x11 bristol board, some digital alterations
"A voice offering (of) a thousand bread and beer, a thousand ox and fowl, a thousand alabaster and linen for the ka of Gloria, the justified."
The book pile represents some of my mother's interests: cars, biographies, airplanes, history, and if she could have known about today's advances in DNA testing, I'm sure she'd be fascinated to know she and I are members of the "J2B1a" line!

Even though I am just now sharing the line drawing, I've been thinking about this piece all week. The theme is "Ahku". After having learned Meresankh's flower sniffing is something with which many people's ancestors were depicted in funerary stelae and on tombs, I got an idea.

I could do something similar for one of my Akhu. I first envisioned doing it for my paternal grandmother. I envisioned her wearing that yellow bow tie blouse and her "brownstone" long vest and skirt she wore so often. I then thought about what her favorite foods were, to put on the table. She drank either coffee or tea, so I envisioned a pot of tea and a tea cup. Her favorite food was baked potatoes. She loved a good baked potato, pinched just right to make it "mealy" and then adding the butter and sour cream.

And then I began envisioning what I'd do for my mother. She loved to read, so a stack of books is necessary. She was a coffee drinker, I never saw her drink tea. But what was her favorite food? I pondered which to do, my mother or my gramma? I said to myself, "Radio, be the divinatory tool for me!" As I thought about my mother's favorite food, I remembered she loved pie, cherry pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, she loved pie. Just as I finished that thought, the radio ad finished with a mention of eating all the apple pie! Okay, Radio Divination wasn't subtle! To further underline that, they played the "Gloria" song by Laura Branagan later. Okay, message received, LOUD and CLEAR! :)

So, I assembled my sketch model, based on a flip of Senenuka's scenes from his tomb. Working out a proper "offering formula" was the hardest part, but thanks to two hieroglyph books I have, I think I've got a reasonable facsimile. I added "a thousand" of a BIG water jug, too.

I hadn't intended to include myself in the scene, but I had quite a bit of empty space, and I didn't want to just leave it empty!

I noticed in many similar akhu depictions, tiny representations of relatives are included. Niankhwadjet has her daughter Djefaibi nearby, for example. So I drew me. What to do with my hands? I might as well be carrying some freshly boiled water for the coffee!

Here is where I confess to a bit of a digital fix. I had myself identified thusly:

But then I realized I was saying "daughter of Joan", instead of "her daughter, Joan". So I had to copy Mother's glyphs in to say "Daughter of Gloria, Joan" to fix this.

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