Reading Figures

My first 15-minute sketching session yielded the figure below. The position of the man’s hand on his head was unique among the readers gathered in the cafe. I concentrated on posture in my next sketch session, trying to establish relative positions of limbs as quickly as possible. I wasn’t always quick enough, as in the […]

Two Gestures

In this study I continue to use the thick outlines inspired by Joan Miró (see Hand in Hand) to combine two gestures frequently exhibited by my brother Mike*. Backstory I photographed Mike for many years and tried to capture his actions with the hope of understanding his expressions. Mike’s hand is often on the side […]

Bandaged Mike

Yesterday’s vintage photograph of my brother Mike* in bandages was rather dramatic.  He was in the midst of one of his stereotypical gestures (elbowing himself in the chest) as I snapped the picture. But, as with most photographs, that one did not tell the whole story about Mike in his bandages. I visited Mike in […]

Hands Abstracted

I’ve taken countless photographs of hands over the years. Many of them have been of my family. I caught some of my older brother Mike‘s* gestures on film; my younger brother Dave‘s hands on the piano; my father conducting imaginary orchestras and my mother holding Mike when he was young. These images are a treasure […]

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 […]

Abstract High Five

Inspiration: One of the blogs I follow, The Last Post by Pippa Rathborne, had a very interesting entry about Henry Siddons, who had a passion for acting but no talent. My impression is that he was quite similar to Antonio Salieri, as portrayed in the film, Amadeus. Salieri was tormented by the effortless genius of Mozart in […]

Looking for a Vein

Today was a day for doctor visits. In keeping with my interest in gestures I took my camera along with the idea of capturing images of hands at work.  In addition to routine blood tests, for which my poor wife had to endure three punctures, she had another procedure which involved three additional punctures before […]

Gone Fishing – Again

I really enjoy going fishing with my cousin and my brother-in-law. Today was another such outing. I didn’t have as much luck as I had last time, but it was fun anyway. Although my time thinking about hand gestures was limited, I decided to use the opportunity to photograph hands at work for my gesture […]

More about Gestures

Artistry of the Mentally Ill As I discussed yesterday, the first few pages of Artistry of the Mentally Ill, by Hans Prinzhorn set up the criteria for viewing pictorial artwork by those who had been institutionalized for mental illness. Dr. Prinzhorn was uniquely qualified to investigate this subject, having been an art historian before becoming […]

Hyporeality

Play I had a nice comment the other day about an approach to painting. Susie wrote that instead of “practice, practice, practice”, as I thought I should do, it would be better to “play, play, play”.  That is excellent advice. It seems to be in keeping with the efforts of some great artists who strove […]