The Lady With the Big Bottom


Jhoselin Narvaez, Staff Writer

COVID this, COVID that… At this point, we’re all probably tired of reading and listening about COVID-19. And, to be honest, I can’t blame any of you for feeling this way. However, while many of us were negatively affected by COVID, I would like to share something positive that came out of quarantine [2020].

During my freshman year, I had to take an art class due to my lack of musical ability. Although it wasn’t my favorite class, I enjoyed drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever it was we were doing that day; it was calming. Eventually, COVID hit, and we were all sent home on our merry way—little did we know what awaited us. Months passed, and the school year quickly came to an end. For our final art project, we had to recreate a work of art from a famous artist. 

I went in search of art that caught my eye. To my surprise, I was attracted to a particular drawing of an old peasant lady, a piece by Van Gogh. I didn’t think twice. I grabbed a piece of paper and my favorite pencil and went to work. As soon as I started, I realized drawing the old lady took more intricate work than expected. I spent days and nights trying to get the correct proportions, lines, and details. At times, all I wanted to do was curse the old lady and Van Gogh back to the days of the past, but I was determined to finish. 

Through the perilous [yes, perilous] fight, something changed. Rather than hating myself for choosing that drawing, I found joy in watching the shape of the woman come to life. I was amazed to feel I was one with the pencil and paper, no longer an outsider in their intimate relationship. Once I finished, a satisfaction like none other washed over me. In the most modest of ways, I felt proud. Moreover, I was in disbelief; I had no clue I was capable of maneuvering a pencil in such a way. And when I showed it to my family, it took them by surprise. Even they couldn’t believe I had drawn it.

My version of Van Gogh’s artwork is not perfect, but I have to admit: Without the extra time on my hands, perhaps I wouldn’t have discovered my secret passion for drawing. COVID, in a way, allowed me to connect with my inner artistic self, which I didn’t even know existed. My reason for sharing this piece is not to brag, but rather to reflect on the dark times we’ve all been through and try to bring light where there is overwhelming darkness. I know this may sound cheesy, but searching for the good in the bad can really change the way we view ourselves, and most importantly, the world. 

As my mom says, “no hay mal que por bien no venga.”