Group 14: Old Experiments Not Yet Cataloged for Sale

Below is the fourteenth  group of watercolors that I painted for earlier posts in this blog. The paintings below explore the visual aspect of the barrier between my low functioning, autistic and nonverbal brother. Please see the original posts for the back story and inspiration of each painting. Originally posted on January 13, 2014 (Sketching): Originally […]


I decided to take a break from thinking about grief, drawing plants, ferns and fungi. Today’s watercolor experiment: I did not want to think.  I wanted to try my new watercolor paper. It is larger (12″x16″) than the paper I am used to (9″x12″). I pre-wet the paper with my 3” brush, which seemed much […]

Safe Abstract

Icky feelings I might be getting a cold. I felt crummy during the night and had some bad dreams. I don’t remember them exactly, just the not-so-good feelings that remain when the substance of a dream is gone.  However, my mood may be related to the painting I posted yesterday. I painted it at the […]

Photo of Barrier

I took the photo below at Mike’s group home. Along with my usual camera equipment, I brought a tripod and a cable release. I tried to get Mike involved in taking his own picture. However, immediate feedback in the form of a picture for him to see was not possible back then. All I had […]

Icons in Practice

Comment Before I begin today’s post, I would like to comment on my own post from yesterday. The icon pair that I chose for ‘frustration’ elicits the feeling of ‘stop’ instead of that of frustration. I copy yesterday’s final icon picture below, for convenience. I believe that the angle of the hand makes all the […]

Narrative or Portrayal of Feelings?

Blog mission revisited My original mission was to blog about my relationship with my older autistic brother as well as neuroscience, philosophy, medical ethics and mental health treatment history. During the first 11 months of this blog (starting in January 2013), I recapped my efforts to understand Mike over the years. After the visit to […]

Barrier Series with Gestures

I was reading my 1929 copy of Clive Bell’s book Since Cézanne. Since it is in the public domain, I have an electronic copy too. However, I don’t think I would have stumbled upon a gem of a quote without thumbing through my print copy. Art critics’ responsibilities In the introductory essay, Bell, an English art critic, […]

Gestures as Icons

I used the gesture study published yesterday, as a starting point for today’s post. I took my own advice and started thinking about what my brother’s hand positions represented to me instead of trying to divine what he meant by them. For those of you reading my blog for the first time, my older brother is autistic and profoundly […]

Expressive Hands

I’ve taken many photographs of my older brother who is autistic, profoundly retarded and has never spoken. Many of my earlier photographs of him seem to capture hands. Sometimes the hand belongs to him, sometimes my hand is in the picture. Conventional wisdom is that a portrait photograph is about the subject and the photographer. However, […]

Abstracting from a Photograph

Recent watercolors My watercolors have recently been about the distance between my autistic brother and me. Mike is profoundly retarded, autistic and has never spoken. In addition to the physical distance between us (I’m on the Wes Coast, he’s on the East Coast), there is a communication gap that I have never been able to […]

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