I was able to attend the February Urban Sketchers Group today at what I consider to be the most beautiful building in Memphis.

Also this week, my dear grandmother Bessie Lou Callender—”Namama”—as so many called her, passed away. Her rich life, many friends, and leaving of this world have been on my heart since Tuesday morning. I guess sub-consciously, I wanted to do a sketch that she would’ve liked. That lead me to the third floor of the Barret Library at Rhodes College.

The comfy third floor balcony faces north, and is encircled by the university’s trademark pastel stained glass windows. The ceiling is buttressed and is a painted a beautiful midnight sky blue.

As I got into my sketch, I realized that right in the middle of my composition sat an empty leather chair, much like Namama’s favorite chair. Then I realized how much she would have loved the colors around—the pinks, yellows and light green of the windows, and the bright red book on the side table. And she would’ve also been delighted by the heavenly gold stars on the ceiling. They are fantastic.

So, Namama, this one’s for you. You always loved my art. And encouraged me in it. Thank you. I love you and miss you so much.

Rhodes Celestial Ceiling