Today’s watercolor experiment:

I am still working with the icons I developed for my brother Mike and me. Mike is my older autistic brother, for those of you reading my blog for the first time. Mike is very low functioning and nonverbal.

One of the themes I have used in previous watercolors is a triangle emanating from my eye, searching for something, anything recognizable in my brother Mike. Mike’s gaze was unpredictable (see Ways to Look at Old Family Snaps). In my photographic memoir, I describe it this way:

“When I showed things to Mike, I tried to be patient. No matter what I did, he would not learn. There he was in front of me. I would try to look into his eyes, but he was never still and would always shake his head this way and that and would try to get away.

He did this all the time. But in some of the old snapshots, it looked as if Mike was looking right at you. That was a lie, an accident of chance, like when the beam from a lighthouse flashes in your eyes. Only, with a lighthouse, you just had to wait around at the same place and a little time later, you would see the light again.”

Watercolor: Abstract - Double Portrait

9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

Today’s watercolor again shows me looking at my brother. Mike would often hold his hand to his face. His profile is hard to read in this composition, which is emblematic of my relationship with him.

4 thoughts on “Lighthouse

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