One Night in the Hospital

hospital stay
click to view full picture

My relative Mamie (my father’s cousin) who with my grandmother, lived in an apartment 3 floors above us, so we were close.

When I was about 14 or 15, she was in the hospital for some reason and my mother suggested I draw something for her to cheer her up. She always encouraged me to draw.

I said OK, and sat down to create the masterpiece you see here. Feel free to click the picture and get a larger view to inspect. My mother had returned this to me years ago when she was cleaning out her house, it had been rolled up and then flattened in a box of stuff, hence the interesting background pattern. But it has survived for us to investigate, and we would be remiss in not doing so.

The medium is a Bristol 2 ply from a sketch pad I received. I used a Ticonderoga #2 hard yellow pencil, with slightly used eraser and green metallic rings below it.

I’m using the cutaway view here. I’ve used it before, as I always liked it. It allowed me to show simultaneous action, also I stunk at perspective, so I was trying to keep things head on.

Top view: We have an individual, probably insane, perhaps criminally, given he has extricated himself from a bed with chains, and a straitjacket. He is clearly stating his need to escape further. He has a toolbox in front of him, which we assume is where he got the saw he is holding. Before we question why he has a toolbox, yet decides to saw through the floor as opposed to taking off the door or hinges, let’s try to figure out how a toolbox got there in the first place.

Best not to analyze the mind of a left-handed doofus teenager armed with a pencil. Suspension of belief please.

Bottom view: Mamie is housed on this level. The main action here is the hideous nurse with a scary proboscis inquiring if Mamie wants some food. We see the food is currently being contaminated by the sawdust from the actions of our criminally insane upstairs neighbor.

How To Avoid Hospital Food

She replies “no I’m sick enough, thanks”, while she is reading a pamphlet entitled “How to Avoid Hospital Food”.

Let’s start on the left and move from there. We have a pretty normal room, a table with fruit and some flowers. OK, a baseball is coming through and breaking the window, kids…. Funny how the door has a grate but the window allows a cheap baseball to come flying through.

We see a picture of an Alfred E. Neuman-type administrator on the wall and the nail point is weak and cracked to indicate the conditions are less than optimal. Which is the least of your problems if AEN is in charge. We also see some other escaped occupant peeping through the door grate.

There’s an oxygen tank, and an ECG machine on the shelf, all good there, why is there a 1923 telephone with brass bell and candlestick receiver? I liked those, and the visual was easy to draw, it also let you know that the hospital was woefully behind the times.

Mamie got better quickly, and was home soon after that. I’m not saying my art has restorative powers, but you never know!

Also of note, this is one of the works I actually signed