Memorial Day Parade, a pencil sketch

pencil sketch of parade
Memorial Day Parade, pencil, 2008 © B.E. Kazmarski

The good old traditional parade on the good old traditional Main Street, in my home town of Carnegie, PA. I am not a big fan of parades but my mother loved them, so every year until the year before she died I set us up on Main Street regardless of the weather and we cheered along the high school marching bands and local dignitaries and fire companies and reenactors marching in the parade. Going out for an ice cream sundae afterward capped it off.

Each year our community held an art exhibit called “Carnegie Painted” for 2-D art depicting images of Carnegie; this was one of my entries in 2008, sketched from photos I had taken of the parade. Instead of color I decided to render it in pencil, in a style reminiscent of World War II cartoons. Pencil is so expressive, and it really reduces lines down to just what they need to be to get the point across, and this illustration style is almost impressionistic in its quality of line and level of detail.

Also, my father was a veteran of WWII, and my mother graduated high school and began her life during the war years—she considered it “her time”. I always felt as if I’d lived then with all the stories and memories. As my mother was growing older and finding and reading through my father’s service papers I actually came to feel closer to that time. This drawing in this style was a memory of that parade, of my mother, my father and a lot of other things combined. It all connects to a story I’m writing.

I sold the original, but have prints and notecards of it in various sizes. Visit my website to read about this and other pieces in my “My Home Town” series.


    1. Dash Kitten, thanks so much. I know what your mom means, and for all the other media I use and all the styles, pencil is my first and favorite medium, the first one I visualized in and the one I always return to when I just want to express something visually.

  1. […] I’ve written a few other things about my family’s experience of WWII and my father’s service in “The Thanks of a Grateful Nation”, and also others about Memorial Day, “Soldier” and “Memorial Day Parade” […]

  2. You are sharing some wonderful stories.. I can feel both the pain and the love shared throughout your life….You are a sweet soul and I think sweet souls can do no less than find some beauty even in negative situations with which to share…my mother spent so much of her girlhood in Carnegie during the summer at her best girlfriends home there…..My relationship with my artist mom was precarious because of the drinking that went on in her side of our family…(her tirades then were directed at me) but she was a completely different person when not drinking and didn’t remember what had occurred…..she asked me to tell her after some of the more serious situations…following heart problems and subsequent heart surgeries (two open heart surgeries twelve years apart) she gave up smoking and drinking and concentrated on being the best grandma ever. It is painful to be made to feel “less than” by the one person who is suppose to cherish you as her child…My mother apologized to my sister and I many times before she died in 1995….and we tried to assure her we adored her and that she simply came to the table with what she had and that was simply herself…the affects of toxic parents and parents to whom an addiction becomes more important than the child…is devastating and I have spent many sessions with counselors and pastors trying to shake the stigma of a shame based existence.. at 74 (widowed twice) I have finally made peace with my insides while all the while, raising my family and pursuing my own writing and art…I too, am working on a memoir of my mother…I first became acquainted with you through Carolyn Anderson….when she introduced me to some of your marvelous artwork (kitty sketches then) and over the years have tried to keep up with your talent….so glad I found your writing and will continue to follow…bravo Bernadette!

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