Not yet her mother……..

Saturday 1487 – 28th January 2012

Hello all,

                  I’ve been following  Artboy68’s 100 Portraits Project for many weeks now. Scott Hamilton, the  extremely talented author of the blog, set himself the challenge of making 100 miniature portraits in pencil & coloured pencil in 20 weeks. With a few exceptions the portraits are mostly based on public profile pictures on blogs and he sends the original drawing to the subject if they want them ( and who wouldn’t as they’re lovely )

People who commented on his project early on were in… I was cheeky (surely not! ) and emailed him a couple of photos and he picked a B&W one of me taken when I was about 20 and yesterday I was his number 79. You can see the full post here

This is it –

For some reason when I saw Scott’s drawing of me at 20 I immediately thought of Owen Sheers beautiful poem “Not Yet My Mother” and thought I’d like to share it all with you  today so here it is below : –


Yesterday I found a photo
of you at seventeen,
holding a horse and smiling,
not yet my mother.

The tight riding hat hid your hair,
and your legs were still the long shins of a boy’s.
You held the horse by the halter,
your hand a fist under its huge jaw.

The blown trees were still in the background                                              
and the sky was grained by the old film stock,
but what caught me was your face,
which was mine.

And I thought, just for a second, that you were me.
But then I saw the woman’s jacket,
nipped at the waist, the ballooned jodhpurs,
and of course the date, scratched in the corner.

All of which told me again,
that this was you at seventeen, holding a horse
and smiling, not yet my mother,
although I was clearly already your child.


I love to listen to Owen Sheers reading this. Try listening to him by clicking this here  and then clicking on the recording. Such a lovely voice…..

This got me thinking of the passing down of genes and how my daughter Katy, if she hadn’t already seen it, might have looked at the original photo and thought “Oh she’s very familiar” before realising it was me  – not yet her mother. …..

People have always said she looks like me; particularly when she was younger..( and when I was younger !!)  but less so now.

I don’t know how alike we are,  what do you think?

One thing I do know is that we both appear to like sleeping !!

 . .


My photo was taken by my lovely friend Lisa of Puttyfoot – you can see some of Puttyfoot’s work  here
Saturday girl signing off and saying thanks again Artboy!

P.S – Here’s my other blog – Photomania


31 comments on “Not yet her mother……..

  1. […] have shared my deep love of the environment, poetry , books,  sculpture,  art  ( warning on that one) and most of all photography; there have been […]

  2. Recently my daughter had a passport style photo taken for her student union card. I was staggered as to how similar the image was to one I had taken at around the same age. Even down to the hair style. It is both scary and comforting to see ourselves reflected back from our children and parents.
    Another fab post….I look forward to Saturdays.

  3. Tilly Bud says:

    I love the drawing.

  4. ~mimo~ says:

    this is lovely Hellen! I can certainly see a similarity! The sketch and the photos are wonderful and soft!

  5. shobavish says:

    Another lovely post – the portrait, the poem, the pictures! Thanks for the introduction to Sheers, and yes, it was a treat to hear him read it.

  6. Axel Pliopas says:

    Some years ago I found a small photo of my father… black and white. He was 20 something, the photo was for some document… It was impossible not to remember this after reading your post and this beautiful poem… He was not yet my father, but I was already in that picture…. Thank you 😉

  7. munchow says:

    That was a really lovely post. Fun to read about Scott Hamilton and his project. Must have been fun, too, to get him to draw your portrait. As to the similarity between you and your daughter, I think it’s hard to say, mostly because you are not lined up – and because the glasses automatically makes the two of you different. But I would say that the nose and the mouth definitely looks the same. Thanks for sharing.

    • hellenjc says:

      Thank you for commenting Otto.. I do normally wear glasses too. I do have other photos of the 2 of us, of course, but as I had taken the photo of Katy only a few weeks before I wanted to use it so thought it would be fun to have us both sleeping ( or at least pretending to !)

  8. Caroline Warnes says:

    loved reading this:)

    • hellenjc says:

      Thank you Caroline.. I’m so looking forward to getting my little portrait.. Lovely of Scott to send them out to people… and it’s a wonderful poem isn’t it..did you listen to him read it?

  9. Lisa says:

    an enjoyable read Helen, I love the sketch of you, you are so beautiful x

  10. drawandshoot says:

    Still beautiful Helen, as is your daughter.
    And a lovely poem.

  11. artboy68 says:

    Lovely Helen! The poem made my hair raise! Well posted, thank you so much.

  12. mary says:

    yeah she is like you Helen good for her :]

  13. Wake up !!!! 😀
    Very nice drawing !!

  14. scillagrace says:

    Wow! Gorgeous, wistful, serene, dreamy…I love your expressions, even sleeping, and your daughter’s.

  15. Now and then, you’re beautiful! ❤

    Ah I wish Artboy would draw me. Maybe I'll email him some of my photos, too. The worst that could happen is for him to ignore me haha.

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