I am writing to thank you.
Several months ago my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Around the same time I discovered that he had, when he was younger, a passion for drawing. In particular, he liked to draw trees. I thought this could be a great way to connect with him, something that I had never fully been able to do until this point. The only problem was, I couldn’t draw. At all. Pictionary was not my friend. So I resolved to learn. Amazon was kind enough to direct me to your book, and buoyed by the positive comments from other students who also thought they were incapable, I invested in your book “You can Draw in 30 Days”, a pencil and I dug out an old notebook.
I powered through the first few chapters keen to get to the one about trees but not wanting to cheat (I have to confess I didn’t make a great effort on the flags lesson. Sorry.). I even then blasted past the trees and am now at drawing in two perspectives, forgetting why I started.
Recently my grandfather’s condition started to deteriorate rather rapidly. I really wanted to send him a picture of a tree to show him that he had passed his genes onto me and make him proud. But I was still not good enough. I could copy a tree ok, I even traced your super tree with the tentacle like roots. But I had never drawn a real still life tree and thought this had to be what I sent him.
Yesterday (with my wife looking after our 18 month old daughter) I had an hour, and was determined to go and draw a tree. Until this point I had never drawn in public and was always worried about people judging my efforts. I went and sat outside in a cafe, surrounded by trees in the Place de la Canourge in Montpellier, France (where I live at the moment).
I sat down and got out a book to read. Maybe I don’t need to draw, I can just relax. But something spurred me to get out my notebook and have a go. Soon the drawing started to take shape, tracing the outline and using shadow to give depth and shape. I noticed and elderly gentleman watching me draw with a sort of friendly curiosity. After an hour my drawing was complete. The man got up and paid, walked over, looked at my drawing and smiled. That made me think it was good enough to send to my grandfather. I took a picture of it on my phone and sent it to my dad who was staying with my grandfather. He said he was too out of it and unfortunately probably wouldn’t be able to see it.
Shortly afterwards, back at home, I got a message to say that my grandfather was awake, and my dad had shown him a print out of my drawing. According to my dad, he smiled and said I had his genes. Two hours later he passed away.
That was yesterday and I still am feeling rather emotional. I wanted to thank you so much for helping me to connect with him and I will now be spreading the word about your books and work as best I can.
Thank you Mark, I hope you see this, and if ever you are having a difficult day use it as a reminder that through your work you are able to impact people’s lives across the world !!
All the best for a very Happy Easter