Quilted Sketches: Robert Clark’s Journey of Quilt Making

By Jakiya Dudley, Digital Media Specialist

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – From a simple pencil and paper to first place winner at the county fair, Robert Clark has always had a passion for art. Robert Clark, a Tuscaloosa Day Reporting Center participant enjoys expressing himself through the intricate strokes of a pencil. “Drawing has always been my first love since the day I was able to hold a pencil in my hand,” Clark said.

In high school, he looked forward to attending his art courses each day. The more he poured his imagination onto paper, the more he started to appreciate his own talents. Realizing his hand-drawn canvas of Mickey Mouse was remarkable, he entered it into the Tuscaloosa County Fair. He won first place in the contest. Not only did he win, but he also won a sense of achievement in that moment. “I was extremely proud of this accomplishment, and it honed my passion even more from then on,” Clark noted.

Susan Dockery, Robert’s mother, provided unwavering support and encouragement for Robert’s love of drawing since she, too, is an artist. Ms. Dockery’s art niche consisted of making quilts. She longed for her son to learn to sew as well, but he did not believe he could do it in the beginning. Ms. Dockery challenged his doubt with motivation by telling him, “Of course you can! All it takes is faith and determination.”

Clark’s creativity was brought to life on a whole new level as his passion for drawing was met with his mother’s love of quilt-making. Ms. Dockery suggested Robert start by sewing his silhouette drawing of renowned Coach Paul Bear Bryant onto a quilt, which he agreed on. “It took me a full day to make, but it exceeded my expectations when I was finally done,” Clark said.

While learning this new skill, he soaked up the moment of his artistry evolving while also regaining a positive bond with his mother. “Since Robert has been more in touch with his creative side, it has really brought us closer together,” Dockery said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.” He is currently in progress creating his second quilt which will be a beautiful tulip. Clark gives credit to the Lord for his love of art being the very thing that helped him transform his life.

Tuscaloosa Day Reporting Center participant Robert Clark and his mother Susan Dockery, pictured with the handmade quilt of Coach Paul Bear Bryant.

Tuscaloosa Day Reporting Center participant Robert Clark