Memories of Michael: Frustration (1989)

Mike could be a handful. There was frustration all around. One can tell that Dave just wants to give up. When Mike couldn’t get what he wanted, he would sometimes bite his hand really hard. This is what he is doing here.

Feeling-Related Watercolor: Life-or-Death Communication (2016)

Communication is important. Mis-communication is common, but when its consequences can be deadly, and you perceive you are not being properly understood, agitation, frustration and anger are the result.

Layers of Frustration

Brush strokes are sometimes guided by intellect, for example to methodically carry out a preconceived plan; sometimes, the intellect comes to bear by deciding subsequent brush strokes based on previous ones.  Today’s experiment was not based on thinking. The marks I made came from emotions. The blue layer, the first one, resulted from the strongest […]


You should have seen the first wash of this study. Very subtle contours and graded grays. The second wash was a curtain of gray drips. I decided to add color to the mass of gray, and started with a primary blue gouache. I echoed the gray drips and added a primary red . The red […]

Abstracting an Abstract

Today’s watercolor experiment: Today I began by abstracting another painting of mine. This painting (Abstract 072415) was an abstract of one of my photos. This time I used colors that were complementary to the blocks of color in the original. I wanted clean boundaries, straight lines between different colors. I used masking tape to cover one […]


Vacations My older brother, Michael is very low functioning, autistic and nonverbal. Now and then, he would yell and bite his hand. I suppose he was frustrated about something when he did this. We never quite knew what frustrated him. When I was a kid, we used to go camping in the summer. Mom told […]

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