Like Harry, a small photo of Pearl was included in a newspaper story. It was about living in a retirement facility. The photo of Pearl served as a representation of a happy resident. Because I’d already drawn three elderly gentlemen, it was time to add a lady. Shortly after completing “Pearl” I contracted an acclaimed lithographic printer to create the limited-edition run of both Pearl and Harry.
A couple of years later I got a job working at a retirement facility. And you know what happens next. Pearl was a resident there. We became friends. I mentioned the article that included her picture, and that I had drawn it. Her response? “I hate that picture!” When I asked her why–assuming that she would, by extension, hate my drawing of that photo–she exclaimed, “I hadn’t even done my hair yet!” Turns out that the photographer had asked Pearl, who was on her way to breakfast, if he could take her picture. She flatly refused. Then, the next day her picture was in the paper! No wonder Pearly was spitting mad about it. Timidly, I asked if she would like to see my drawing of that hated picture. “Of course!” The next day, when she held it in her hands, she liked it so much she asked to keep it. The last time I saw Pearl, my drawing was framed in her room. A lovely, spirited, petite woman…who wanted her hair under control.
The technique that I used to complete Harry’s beard worked very well for Pearl’s unruly hair. It also proved helpful with her trifocals.