There was a terrible storm that night. I found him the next day, more dead than alive, and half-carried, half-dragged him home. It didn’t take long to nurse him back to health and we wound up as inseparable companions. After all these years I still recall every detail of the night he died. Nature provided only a slight, soothing drizzle that time. I was the one who supplied the deluge. I never wept so long or so hard. And it wasn’t really for him, I knew that even then, since he was now so old and diseased that each day was only a misery and, for him, death was a mercy. No, I cried my boyish tears only for myself, for I knew I would never, ever find another dog like old Shep.
So, a certain Mr. S.F. from out Indiana way said that I should try marketing my wares. Just as an experiment, I ambled down to the local copier shop and ordered some prints of “Player,” “Softly, Like a Shadow,” and the attempted Lincoln portrait. The prints didn’t turn out too bad. The paper sizes for the experiments are 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17 inches and the proprietor stated he could easily make card sizes. I now feel fairly comfortable about having prints made. Thus, if you see anything on this site you might like to hang on the wall or line your birdcage with, drop me a line at email@example.com, giving me the name of the piece and/or the date it was posted. If I still have the original, or, if the original is no longer at hand and you don’t mind waiting for me to try to make a replica, prices would be $5.00 for the 8.5 x 11 sheet and $7.50 for the larger size. By the way, those are the sizes of the sheets, not the images.
This is another attempt at doing an occasional sketch a day. It was originally going to be Medusa. I wanted her features to express not only that oppressive sorrow of knowing one is a monster, but also to at least hint at the self-horror engendered by such a fate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture that aspect. Even if I had, I still would have needed to peruse Sarah’s nature books to find reference images of our serpentine friends; thus the project would have taken more than a day which would have defeated the purpose. So I was left with only a partial and deliberately deformed face in the upper corner of the paper. Perhaps it would have been best to accept the failure and graciously let the inchoate image molder away to dust. Instead, this morning I disinterred it and allowed the pencil to finish the piece by going where it will with but little interference from me (drawings go so much faster that way). This, such as it is, is the result.
This is simply another attempt at doing a drawing a day. One nice thing about mythological characters is that one can get away with so much. Do the satyr’s arms seem freakishly long? Well, surely you know their arms keep growing all through their lives? Go out and find an old satyr and see for yourself. And also, the melancholy of unrealized dreams and the inevitable silencing of this mortal coil, when treated as abstraction, as unreal sorrows borne by unreal creatures, is an age-old device. Just ask any satyr you happen to see.
The Gospel of Mark is theoretically the oldest of the Gospels. It certainly contains the least amount of dialog and is the most “action-driven,” constantly employing the word “immediately” (about forty times in its sixteen chapters). Maybe that’s why I failed to notice until recently how many times it records Jesus calmly and quietly touching others: from the first chapter’s episode with Simon’s mother-in-law; curing lepers and epileptics; leading the blind by the hand; raising the dead by a touch to warmly holding children in His arms. This piece is just a fumbling attempt to record my sudden realization of the sweetness of that theme.
Titian. Van Gogh. Matisse. Wheeler Hall. Immortal and sublime colorists all. And now a new member joins this august company, our own Sarah Potter. This drawing is one in an informal series whereby I attempt a more-or-less complete drawing in two hours or less. Once the bell tolls the piece is dead and I do not touch it. All the mistakes and embarrassments, and there are many, are left undisturbed. I consider this a weak and vapid piece, not at all what I wanted, and was going to inter it away where it would never see the light of day. Then Sarah came by and said she liked it but that it needed butterfly wings and, if I added those, she would like to color it. And thus the piece was resuscitated from the very mouth of the grave. It was too heavily shaded to be colored on directly, so I made a quick outline tracing for Sarah. Her first bit of artistic license was to change the image’s gender, after which she plied her color pencils. Compare the before and after! Being an unbiased and disinterested viewer, I think her work is quite impressive. I’m sure you agree.
This was done in 2004. It’s one in a series of drawings based on Greek myths. I can’t be sure after all this time, but I suspect it is the final piece. If not, it has to be one of the last ones drawn since I can see in it that I was repeating themes. I happened to disinter it while looking for something else and felt absolute indifference toward it, as if I had merely stumbled upon a faded photograph of a stranger. Whatever thoughts or feelings inspired it had dissipated over the years and could not be summoned back. Then Sarah happened to walk by and said, “Oh! That one’s good.” So you know what? Now I like it.