Quarantine Portrait Series: Self Portrait – Caught in Headlights

I was trying to capture my smile. Mind you, it wasn’t a Mona Lisa smile, but an in-your-face, definite bold smile.  I will cop to a few technical issues: 1) The pencils I used were too soft; 2) I did not keep them sharp; 3) I should have had a higher resolution photo from which […]

Frame #3

Something happened between frame 2 and 3 in the movie that my father took of my brother Mike. Mike is autistic, low functioning and has never spoken. He often would bite his hand and slap his head. I think he did this out of frustration, but that’s just a guess. Here is the third frame […]

Frame #2

Watercolor: Abstract Expressionist Portrait - Mike Frame #2

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post which was frame #1 in one of my dad’s 8mm of us kids back in the 1950s. I chose three frames of my brother Mike. Mike is autistic, low functioning and has never spoken. I was always difficult to get his attention, to say nothing of understanding what […]

Dark-Eyed Mike #1

Watercolor: Portrait of Mike from Frame 1 of 8mm Movie

I found a picture of my brother Mike, which reminded me of the photograph of myself that I have been working with for the past week or so.  In the low resolution photograph of me there was no detail in the region of my eyes, and yet as a whole it conveys complex emotion. Here […]

Other Eyes in My Life

In recent posts, I’ve explored the dark eyes in an old photograph of me. I worked with that photograph in the posts: ‘When are Portraits Self Portraits?‘, Dirty Blond, Negative Blond, Disorientation, Eye, Closer, and ‘Underworked?‘. I’m sure that I have squeezed much of the creative potential from that motif. Below is an array of photographs of eyes from my two […]


Mike is my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. Mike had several self injurious behaviors over the years. See post Complex Motor Tick for more information about what might have been behind Mike’s action below.

How Many Cakes?

William is my grandson. Today was his actual second birthday. We celebrated yesterday with a trip to Disneyland, but festivities actually began last month. The kids came up to San Jose with William and Sidra, my granddaughter, from Burbank in the middle of March. It was the only time they could all get away from work at […]

Cracking the Smile

Yesterday, I noted that an intense laugh sometimes has an amount of ambiguity. However, the ambiguity in yesterday’s post is, I fear, the fault of the artist. Expressions conveyed by the mouth are extremely difficult to capture. For example, if one looks at photographs of family members, a particular the line of the mouth represents an intimately familiar meaning. And […]

Laughing Portrait

Painting recognizable faces: There is something that is so satisfying when I paint a watercolor portrait actually resembles my subject. At first, I was satisfied to get the appropriate shape of the head. The next problem I addressed was the proportions of the features within the face. Even when they became more or less correct, in the long dimension, I […]

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