Sketching turns grief into treasured memories
By Daniela Vazquez
MT. PLEASANT—In the face of adversity, one Mt. Pleasant woman turned from her grief and now gives those who are struggling a priceless memento of a lost loved one.
Former Far West Bank employee Lucinda Brotherson worked for 15 years in the banking industry and believed such a dedicated effort would translate to a better position.
“Things didn’t go too hot,” she said about an unexpected change in her work environment. “They wanted me to process loans instead of [being] the loan officer.”
Her answer was “no,” but she never thought the response would land her on the path to being a type of public servant.
Contemplating what to do with her time off, she said she went on a business trip with husband, Terry Brotherson, owner of Terry R. Construction, and the idea to sketch portraits came to her while holed up in a hotel room.
“I pulled out my wallet and began drawing pictures of my grandkids—that’s what started it,” she said. “Then it just kind of happened and it wasn’t planned.”
Now, Lucinda Brotherson is known throughout the community as the woman who dedicates her time to give people who have lost a loved one something to cherish—a pencil-sketched portrait.
There is something in her portraits that captivates her audience. She has often been asked how she captures an individual’s character—a specific glow or twinkle in the eye—if she never met the person.
“I think it’s something God has helped me do,” she said. “I’m inspired through Him to help others in need.”
Not everyone has appreciated her genuine act of kindness.
Out of the almost hundred portraits she’s gifted, only one family turned the gift away. A flood of emotion washed over her, she said, sparking disappointment and sadness.
“It broke my heart to think the family didn’t care enough to want a picture,” she said, but quickly realized the family had deeper feelings which she didn’t understand at the time.
She didn’t let that discourage her.
Working quickly and meticulously, Brotherson now sketches 8×10 portraits in about an hour. She has completed 29 this year.
Compared to previous years, 29 is small, but she told the Messenger that several complications she experienced with a surgery have limited her ability to sketch.
As a mostly self-taught artist, she said she refuses to charge and just wants her sketches to be gifts in someone’s time of need.
“If you can show compassion and help make someone’s life better, that’s the pay,” she said.
One individual even said the gift was so meaningful they slept next to the drawing for months because it brought them so much comfort.
She said she reflected upon those words and told herself that if she could provide any comfort to anyone when they are hurting, then it makes her feel good to be of service.
Brotherson will continue drawing for as long as she can and said it’s more of a hobby than anything else.
“I love trying to help people and offer them something meaningful, something from the heart,” she said.