I left off last time with the amazing friend who let me read the manuscript out loud to her. It so happened that her then husband, Charles Curtis (or Chick, as we called him) was an artist who also read CHILD OF AWE, set on Loch Awe in Scotland. As he did, he sketched the characters. I was quite moved when I saw the sketches and realized they looked exactly like the characters in my mind.
One of my favorite of Charles Curtis’s paintings.
With his artist’s hands, he reached into those pages, lifted out my imagination, combined it with his, and put them both on paper. I still have those precious 30-year-old sketches. Thank you, Chick, for one of my favorite memories.
After writing this part of the story, Chick revealed some amazing things to me. I’m going to simply post our comment exchange so you can see how incredible it really was.
Charles Curtis I’m still mystified as to how this all has turned out. I can’t exactly explain how I came up with those drawings except to say I probably listened to you describe the characters and derived a sense of them from Jane’s reading the chapters out loud to me as well. What really touches me most is your wonderful reaction to what I did. I had no clue whatsoever how to draw back then. Something deep in my brain must have taken over my executive function and just moved my hands. May I see those sketches sometime? It pleases me no end that you still have such a good memory of this. As a matter of fact, I constantly wonder what possible good I could do in the world with my art for other people. This has to be tops on my list. Thank you for writing this Kathy.
Linda Prine That’s a lovely story in itself. Just goes to show you, creativity is part magic.
Kathryn Lynn Davis This isn’t the sort of thing I’d forget. I didn’t realize you weren’t even drawing then. That makes it all the more special. You did a very good thing for me; you let me know that somehow the truth of my characters was getting through. To a writer that’s a very precious gift. Of course you can see the sketches. As soon as I find them. We’ve moved twice since I last actually held them in my hands.
Charles Curtis I would also like to make a proposal. Nan would very much like to read the book. I attempted to describe it to her and she was immediately interested. After she reads it, I would like to read it again. Then perhaps paint one or two of the characters. If I did something like that, would it ruin the magic for you of what I did years ago?
Kathryn Lynn Davis I think that’s a lovely idea, Chick. It would only triple the magic.
We still haven’t managed to get together and make some more miracles, but I’m so thrilled that Chick had no thought of being an artist in those long ago days, and then became such an accomplished painter, that I’m posting several of his beautiful paintings throughout the blog.