A Well-Earned Rest – Bear-a-thought Illustration

This little teddy bear and myself have got something in common; we both deserve a well-earned rest. I’m having a day or two away from the drawing-board. Perhaps I’ll manage to tackle my jungle of a garden…(or not).A well earned rest (original scan)withladybirdforblog
This was my first-ever teddy bear illustration, which was completed on 9th July 1999. I began working on it when my friend, Cherry, came to stay with me for a couple of days in the summer of that year. I didn’t know it then, but it was to be the first of over a hundred teddy bears that I would draw over the next fourteen-years. It was a special illustration in many ways, as it incorporated the first-ever teddy bear that I was given by my grandparents, Georgina and Henry Lake on my first-ever Christmas Day. The teddy bear, originally and rather unimaginatively, named ‘Ted’ has weathered the years well and still has a very faint growl when he’s turned upside down (which is rather a cruel thing to do to a teddy bear). My grandparents were keen gardeners, so I included some gardening tools and plants in the picture: a wild geranium, a periwinkle and a sweet violet. I can see masses of my Grandmother’s pink Japanese anemones flowering in my garden, as I write this post.

‘Ted’ – who sits by my bedside – is particularly special to me at this point in time, as it brings back so many wonderful memories of special grandparents. Some people who come into our lives are completely irreplaceable and no one can fill that particular gap that they leave when they are gone. The important thing is to treasure these special people while we can…

Henry and Georgina Lake (original wedding photograph)
My grandparents, Henry and Georgina Lake in their wedding finery.
They were married on 5 September 1942.  This photograph was taken fourteen-days later, as gale-force winds had ruined the official wedding day photographs.

Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard – but always near,
So loved, so missed, so very dear.

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4 thoughts on “A Well-Earned Rest – Bear-a-thought Illustration

  1. It’s wonderful to see your first teddy bear illustration and your own very first Ted, Michael. I wonder why our childhood teddy bears only bring back good memories of people and places that were special to us….
    I bet Ted knows a lot of secrets about you, but he will never tell!

    • It’s very true Peter, these bears do know how to keep a secret, which is just as well. There is something timeless about teddy bears that we can all relate to. I hope you are sharing plenty of ideas and secrets with your bears too… Best wishes, Michael

  2. Michael, grandparents are the people who you cannot replace. I know I miss my grandma terribly. I love your illustration of Ted – very special in so many ways to you and such a wonderful way to remember your grandparents. Michael.

    • You are quite right Jeanette. I have been very lucky and blessed with my grandparents. My Grandmother, Georgina, is very much in my thoughts at this time. I have so many special memories of her that I can treasure, as well as memories of my other grandparents, Henry, Gladys and Jack. I am sure you have lots of wonderful memories of your Grandma too. Take care of yourself and thanks for sharing…x

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