Unrequited Pet

Group home

The gesture for today’s study also comes from a visit to Mike’s group home. For those of you just joining me, my older brother is autistic, very low functioning and nonverbal. Although he was home for the first 10 years of my life, that was decades ago, and yet having him as a brother affected me very much. I imagine that this is true for siblings today as well, even with the richness of resources as compared to those that existed in the 1950s. Mike is in his second group home now after a long period in a big institution.

Other residents

I got along very well with Mike’s housemates. I enjoyed talking with those who could communicate. They always asked if I was Mike’s brother, then they would say that we look exactly alike. They were generally very sweet. Some who were higher functioning had jobs that they went to, with supervision I’m sure.

One of Mike’s housemates was G___. I liked talking with her. She seemed to like Mike, as did many other people at the group home. I took a picture of her ‘making nice’ with Mike. It was a tender moment. Mike however, was listening to his own frequencies and didn’t seem to pay any attention one way or the other.

Today’s study

G's hand petting Mike; Mike's hand cupped around his ear

7″x10″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

The composition of this study is horizontal. The two strong points of interest are at each edge of the paper. That is where the interesting shade changes and forms are located. As compositions go, this isn’t a very good idea. However, I get a different emotional feeling depending on the hand at which I’m looking. G___’s hand, to the left seems interested and gentle; Mike’s hand is in a position not related to G___’s hand. There is a disconnect pictorially as well as visually. I get the feeling of unreachability, as if Mike’s hand would be in that position no matter what was happening.

2 thoughts on “Unrequited Pet

  1. One would think it is an unworkable composition. It holds together well. A lot of movement in the cohesion. There is something different here in your expression of icons. Nuance of brushwork(?). A new understanding becoming apparent, but not visible yet. — THGg


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