Under the Influence

Sometimes, when I can’t think of anything to paint, I thumb through pictures in the books I have.  Today my book was of the art of Willem de Kooning. His paintings have a lot of energy. One in particular, Woman I, is famous for its fierce and frightening look. According to the Museum of Modern Art website, “Combining voluptuousness and menace, Woman, I reflects the age–old cultural ambivalence between reverence for and fear of the power of the feminine.”

I painted the study below under the influence of de Kooning’s paintings.

Watercolor: Abstract - Inspired by de Kooning

Mike, Tic
8″x8″ 300# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

The subject of this watercolor sketch is my brother Mike. Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. His life has influenced mine for the past 6 decades. My experience includes menace and reverence for my brother; fear was not part of my conscious experience, though, nor voluptuousness, for that matter.

The photo below indicates the self-directed violence that Mike often exhibited. Some docs described this action as a Tourettic motor tic instead of a behavior.

Autistic Mike hitting himself

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