In loving memory of
Ellen Ada O'Neal 1993-2001.
Glenwood Cemetery, Texas
The parents of Ellie struggled with ideas of what to put on her gravesite. They wanted something that would let people know who Ellie was. Ellie's artwork had been chosen by the Children's Art Project of MD Anderson Hospital. Originally it was thought that the artwork might be reproduced into a tombstone. When I met Ellie's parents I suggested a likeness of Ellie, and the sculpture evolved from there.
The sculpture project was a creative endeavor involving Ellie's family and myself. Her parents decided on the seated pose- legs out to the side, this was a typical pose for Ellie. We opted for putting her artwork on a sketchbook on her lap. With a sketch book created in bronze children who visit the sculpture can do a rubbing of the artwork with paper and crayon.
A computer-generated sketch was created for approval by the parents.
Ellie loved butterflies so we put a monarch on her finger. Real monarchs regularly visit the gravesite. Originally the sculpture was created on a metal plate, but further on in the design process we did away with the plate deciding to place her in the grass, so that she would look like she just decided to sit down and sketch.