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When I was in high school, my dad made an art portfolio for me to keep all the pieces I was bringing home from my art classes. I was already planning on majoring in art when I got to college and I took a lot of art electives during my years in high school and wasted a LOT of paper. I still have several of the callligraphy pieces I did, a woodcut, an etching, copies of the pen and ink drawings I sold at the base bazaar, ink renderings of Linda K. Powell animals (which are pretty good if I do say so myself, though they're not technically original).

My dad made the portfolio out of 2 large pieces of sturdy ply-cardboard, covered in strips of green duct tape to make it waterproof. Inside he created flaps of white plastic trash bags to hold the papers on either side, and then, after punching the appropriate holes in the edges, he affixed a metal folder closure-thingy.

Tonight, while looking through the portfolio, which is substantially battered but still serviceable, in search of something else, I came upon this drawing.

Click on the image for a larger version

The title, carefully lettered in the lower left corner is My bedroom. Corner A. I don't know where the drawings of the other 4 corners ended up, but I also don't remember them as being anywhere near as cluttered or interesting as this one. What makes me laugh about it now (apart from the obviously minimal grasp I had on perspective, especially when it came to rocking chairs) is the incredible DETAIL I packed into this letter-sized piece of paper.

This was my bedroom for 3 years, in a 4-bedroom apartment on the 12th (and top) floor of a military housing highrise in Landstuhl, Germany. (this is what it looked like a few years ago) We moved to Germany in the summer of 1979 and left in the summer of 1982, and I graduated from high school right before we left. I don't know for sure when this drawing was done in those 3 years, but I was somewhere between 15 and 17 years old, probably closer to 17 judging from some of the items I can identify in the drawing.

I can name and picture in my head nearly everything in that drawing. I know exactly what all those little figures are, even though most of them are long gone. There's the Trixie Belden paperbacks on the shelf that I wish I had kept. There are the 2 rows of Madame Alexander dolls that I received over the years from my parents, which my sister's daughter has now inherited since my own daughter has absolutely ZERO interest in dolls. There's the little white china bisque girl that I still have high on a bookshelf in the playroom. Looking at this drawing makes me super nostalgic for those days. The books on the desk were my very favorites, read and re-read until they fell apart in tatters: The Once and Future King, Dragonflight and Dragonquest, A Spell For Chameleon.

The yellow hippo-looking creature on a red background in the upper right corner is, in fact, a hippo, a small poster of a figurine from the Tutankhamen Treasures tour that came through Germany while we were there. I still have it, along with a gigantic poster of Tut's burial mask. Neither one is on display these days. I wish, too, that I still had the 2 posters of the maps of Middle Earth. My father gave them to me and I bet they'd be worth something today. I still have the one that is only indicated on the right side of the drawing. The caption at the bottom actually reads COME TO MIDDLE EARTH and it's a reproduction of the cover of the 1965 paperback cover art edition of The Fellowship of the Ring. It's tattered, ripped and torn, but I framed it years ago to help preserve it from further deterioration and it's still groovy as hell.

The painting of the tiger with the mouse on his head which is next to the door is hanging now in Karin's room. It was given to me by an oriental exchange student about whom I remember nothing else. What else I don't remember? What was actually listed on that My "Wanna Get" List below the lightswitch. I wonder if I got any of them. I wonder if I would want any of them now. :)
mood: nostalgic
music: Bob Mould—Compositions for the Young and Old


I find it interesting that you have created for yourself a similar (in some undefinable respect) corner in your bedroom today.

You are so right. I bought that corner desk for my art table partly based on my memories of that corner desk from my childhood. :) Although, Anders won't let me fill every square inch of wallspace with cool stuff to look at, more's the pity.

Anders won't let me

did you put that there for me to comment on? :-)
he could at least let you have a "honk if you love jesus" sign...

hahaha! I was in the middle of my Bible Youth Group/Church Youth Choir phase. :)


Wow you are quite an artist! How old were you when you made that? I think it's lovely, wrong perspective and all! That just adds to the charm of it. It would have been less interesting if it was all "perfect".

(Btw, did you get my e-mail? And btw again, I could use YOUR help now... with "mysig" in my blog entry about Melodifestivalen. How do you translate that about a song? Somehow "cosey" doesn't sound like it tells what I mean... ? Can a song be "cosey"? Sounds odd... I was in such a hurry when I wrote the entry, the show was starting as I wrote, so probably a lot of bad translations there! LOL. I will look at it more carefully tomorrow. But the "mysig" problem will remain... so any suggestions welcome.)


Somewhere around 17, I think. Mia, I DIDN'T get your email. :( Can you re-send it:

I'll look at your post and see if I can help. Mysig isn't an easy word to translate, no matter what you're using it with.


I am so impressed by the drawing. Do you have more examples to show us? I would love to see!

(I e-mailed you again now. Do you have a spam filter? Perhaps my e-mail was removed to a spam folder? I write from a yahoo-address... Anyway, my e-mail just confirms your own translation so... :) )




If you didn't get this e-mail either, and want my address, it's:



Not of that sort of thing. I have lots of other stuff, but going through it last night I realized there was very little I would share with the world at large. Some of it I was wondering why I kept actually. Probably time for a bit of a purging :P

the details!!

utterly totally fabulouly cool

and a whole new side of you revealed-- I never knew you planned to major in art . . .


Re: the details!!

I was an art major at MSU for 3 years. Until I realized that while I had talent, I didn't have the DRIVE to make a career out of it. So, I switched to English (it kept me from having to take math as well, which was a plus). It was a smart move, for me. :)

I think it's a great picture. I love the detail. And you were ahead of the trend with a wishlist ("Wanna Get" list) on your wall! I'd love to know what was on that list!

Me, too! I wonder if it was some of things I always wanted like "stained glass" and an "old-fashioned roll-top desk" or if it was more mundane and teenager-y. :)

can you recall what the purple dragon ~?~ on the yellow background, about middle of the picture, is saying?

"There is no one else like you in the world" :)

This is gorgeous Liz. I love the sound of the portfolio, what a cool dad :)

:) It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it was definitely made with love!

Wow, you seem like you were such a well-read and sweet girl. All I remember from my teenage bedroom is a lot of Seventeen magazines lying on the floor and clothes and shoes scattered everywhere. Oh, and my extension phone, of course.

I had Seventeen magazine too! No phone, though, since we lived in Germany. :)

Wow- thanks for sharing your rendering. My mom saved a folder of my stuff and gave it to me a year ago. I'm almost afraid to go through it.

I LOVE this!!! God woman, why do you not draw? Regularly! Often!

And also, what a relic to find. You must frame it of course. Such a lovely snapshot into what you were like then. I wish I'd taken pictures (or drawn) what my room looked like as a kid.

Mostly because I have no time. And lately, it seems less time than ever. I haven't even had time to blog since Saturday! Argh.

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