Early Music Exposure

I’ve mentioned before that both my parents loved music. Dad let my older brother Mike* play on the piano and I’m sure they played classical music records all the time when he was around. For a time Mike responded. I’m told he could hum entire movements from symphonies. By the time I came on the scene, Mike […]

Dad Playing the Violin for Mike

My brother Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. He was diagnosed shortly after autism was classified in 1952 DSM. Mike was at home until I was 10 years old. My parents then made the decision to send him to Willowbrook where they thought they would take care of him. We visited just about every […]

Eye and Body

I seem to be creeping back to the icons I developed whilst sorting out my relationship with my older brother Michael. Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. Eyes play an important part in attending to other people. I could never seem catch Mike’s eye. Here is a list of some of the posts in […]

Cartoonization

I took a photo many years ago, when I first started taking pictures of Mike, my older brother.*  I have never been able to make contact with Mike and pursued a long-term photography project in an attempt to understand him better. He was relaxing in his classroom when I came in. The bulletin board was a […]

Fifty Lashes

I love opening a new block of watercolor paper. When I opened one today I had a nice surprise. Usually, there is printing all over the black paper that protects the first sheet of paper in the block. Today’s sheet was completely black – no writing at all. It was perfect for my composition. A word […]

Deja Vu?

I thought my self portrait with Mike* icon from yesterday (Self Portrait with Icon #2) was a novel idea. However, quite a while ago I represented Mike in exactly the same way in a different medium: photography. The context was different. I was experimenting with assuming Mike’s likeness after reading about Jo Spence‘s and Rosy Martin‘s approach to […]

Self Portrait with Icon #2

Below is another self portrait with an icon I created after my last visit to see Mike*. I superimposed etched lines of the icon onto a light sketch of a self portrait. I painted my portrait and then introduced ink into the scratches. This doesn’t seem like a double portrait, as the icon blends almost seamlessly with the […]

Scratched Self Portrait

I have been thinking about applying my scratching process to other watercolor studies. Today, I developed an icon based on my brother Mike*. He used to hit himself and bite his hand. Here’s a photograph of Mike in the process of slapping and biting himself: I applied a light yellow/red glaze on my paper and, after […]

It’s Alive (?)

I follow up today on the arrangement of my iconography from yesterday (‘Mike icons’). See yesterday’s post (Study – Icon Maze) for details of about my development of a visual short hand to show aspects of my relationship with my older brother Mike. (For those of you just joining me, my brother Mike is autistic, low functioning and […]

Study – Icon Maze

I have been thinking for quite a while about how to assemble a set of visual ideas, thought out in previous posts, about my brother Michael. Much of my blog has been devoted to Mike, my older brother, who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal (see almost any of my posts from January to November […]