The Singer of Pi – An Illustrated Short Story

The Singer of PI

She sang in the choir, always trying to understand the meaning of the songs. She felt they were a mystery far beyond her capacity to understand. But she also knew that, just like in her yoga class where if she kept doing that one pose she would master it, she would eventually get closer and closer to understanding the more she sang. And that turned out to be true. She never did completely understand, but over time she became better at hearing, interpreting, and understanding. She became a leader in the choir, helping the less experienced members learn these same mysteries. As a result she became beloved by all.

The End

The Knitters – Four Variations

I drew a group of knitters at ‘Shades of Brown’ coffee shop here in Tulsa last week. They call themselves the ‘Knit Wits’.  I spent a good hour plus drawing then showed it to them. They seemed to enjoy it, which is always a nice end to a drawing session.

This is the final result, colored and shaded.  Print and original available for purchase.

Here it is after the coloring but before the shading. Print available for purchase.

After I scanned it I decided to just play with a color design overlay, just to see what I could come up with. This is the result. Print available for purchase.

And here is the original drawing straight from the sketchbook. Print available for purchase.

I was going to write a story to go along with the drawing but I think the drawing tells a story all by itself.

Drawing © 2018 Marty Coleman |

The Woman with Only Two Thoughts – An Illustrated Short Story

The Woman with Only Two Thoughts – An Illustrated Short Story

The Large and The Small

The woman wasn’t able to think anything but these two thoughts. Everything was either too large or too small. Things were never just right. Well, that isn’t exactly true. Sometimes the large thing was just right, even though it was large. And sometimes the small thing was just right, even though it was small. But most of the time the thing that was small should have been larger and the thing that was large should have been smaller.

The Things

This was true of real things, like cheese or mufflers, but it was also true of unreal things, like Jesus or monsters. She thought cheese was usually too large for her mouth and that mufflers were too small for her cars. She thought Jesus was too large for her morals and that monsters were too small to kill her enemies. She thought her books were too large or too small. The non-fiction ones always seemed too large. When she was 3/4 of the way through she almost always wanted them to be over. And she thought fiction ones were too small. Most of the time, when she finished a novel she didn’t want it to end.

The Body

She felt this way about her body. Her apartment was too small, for example, and the reason for that was that she was too large. She wasn’t large sideways, just up and down. That meant she hit her head on the door jams a lot. It meant her shower was too small. The water never hit her head unless she bent over. She hated that. She thought her breasts were too large but she didn’t want to get them reduced because she was afraid they might be then be too small. She thought her eyes were too small, but only because she had so many friends who had their eyes enlarged that hers looked small in comparison. Her neck was too small, unless you measured it, then it was too large. Her knees were definitely too large and her fingernails were definitely too small. The worst part was that her bladder was too small and her heart was too large.

The Social

Her social life had the same problem. Her circle of friends was too large but her number of close friends was too small. As a matter of fact she really didn’t have any close friends so she wasn’t really sure she could even call it too small. Is zero of something too small? The amount of people she was in charge of at work was too large. The amount of people she could complain to about how large this group of people was was too small. Then there were all the people she had to commute with on the train. That number was too large and that meant the number of seats on the train was too small. As a matter of fact, not only were there not enough seats the individual seats were too small. She hated seats that were too small.

The Emotional

Now that she thought about it, her emotional life was that way too. Emotions, hers or others, were always too large or too small. That is why her boyfriends usually left her they said. They would hit her and she would get angry. They would say, “You are making this issue too large and it’s just not.” Or sometimes it would be the opposite. She would feel nothing and say nothing, trying not to upset them and they would get mad and hit her, saying, “You think you can just hide away and be small in the corner but you can’t. I know you are plotting something and I won’t let you get away with it.”

The Just Right

Because of this, life was too large a struggle and she sometimes thought of killing herself. But she knew she never would because her courage was too small to do something that would hurt her or those she loved.  And that thought always brought her back to what I mentioned at the start, that sometimes things weren’t too large or too small, but were just right. In spite of all her issues she always knew that the love her family had for her was that. It wasn’t too large so that it suffocated her and it wasn’t too small so she felt alone and abandoned. It was just right. The very large (but not too large) love her family had for her was the one thing that made all the other things small. And that was just right.

Oh, her shoe collection was just right too.

The End


Time in the Museum – An Illustrated Short Story

Chapter One

He lagged behind his wife because he was reading the catalog raisonne of the artist. He was trying to figure out how much time it took for her to paint the painting of the crying violinist. He didn’t notice what time it was but his wife did because she was hungry and wanted to go to lunch. She also didn’t like the exhibition and didn’t want to spend any more time there.  He liked the painting because of the mystery as to why the artist had titled it ‘Metronome’ when there was no metronome in the painting.

The End

Drawing and story © Marty Coleman |

The original image and/or a print are available for purchase.

The Sculpture of Love – An Illustrated Short Story

Chapter One 

The woman saw herself as flawed, always. She didn’t like how selfish she was, how greedy. She didn’t like her judgmental attitude towards so many people and things. She felt she wasn’t a very good wife or mother. She knew she was not as helpful as she could be to her co-workers and she was too snippy with her bosses. She didn’t make enough money but she spent too much and didn’t give enough away she thought. She didn’t call her sisters enough, or her mom and dad. She didn’t like her looks. Her face was too thin, her breasts too small and her butt too big is how she saw it. She thought her skin was too pale and her hair too straggly. The only thing she liked about her self was her tattoo. She died in a car wreck at age 30.

Chapter Two

After she died her community commissioned a famous sculptor to create monument to her because she was the best, most loving person anyone in the community had every come across. The sculpture said love all over it because that is what she was all about.

The End

How She Turned Into Herself – A Short Story

How She Turned Into Herself

She turned toward the radio tower, listening. She turned into someone else when she did. For a while she was happy being this new person. Then, when she didn’t recognize herself any longer she realized she wasn’t happy after all. She continued to turn but as she did she changed back to being who she was. But not really.

She turned into someone else many more times after that. As she did so she realized that that first time her unhappiness was really just fear. Later she wasn’t afraid of turning and it even became a goal of hers. She became courageous and strong and happy with her self. Not the self set in stone, but the self that was like a flowing river. The same but different at each turn.

She died when she was 92 years old. She had herself turned into compost and buried with the seed of a tree. The tree grew up and turned beautiful colors all throughout the year, never looking the same but always being the same.

The End

Drawing and Short Story © 2017 Marty Coleman |

The Woman Moving Forward – A Short Short Story

“The woman moving forward while the baggy pants guy waits for his boarding pass while I sit on the floor waiting for the flight to California and wait for Linda and Caitlin to return from getting food during fall break in Tulsa in October of 2004.”

An illustrated short story from my 2004 sketchbook that I came back to this year to color. I did a lot of drawing while I traveled in 2003-2004 and I often would write a description of what was happening in the drawing right on the drawing. I hadn’t drawn anything in the windows originally. the gangway and airplane were added as I colored it in 2017.

Drawing and story © Marty Coleman |

Joan the Baptist – I Draw in Church

Joan the Baptist – A Short Story

The woman inside her mind in the balcony alone wondering if she’s changed for the better by being a Baptist or not.  And all the people below her wondering who she is and what she is doing in the church dressed like that.

The End

Drawing and short story © 2017 Marty Coleman |

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