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 […]

Portrait in Two Lines (Plus Eyelashes)

I look at a lot of Paul Klee‘s work. He was a Bauhaus Master, teacher and prolific artist. He likened drawing to “taking a pencil point for a walk”. I’ve taken this aphorism to heart in trying to reduce my sketches to their basic elements. Below is a simple portrait.

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 […]

Abstract Brain

I didn’t have any ideas in mind when I started today’s painting. My main impetus was to see how the pigments interacted. I know, for example, that cobalt blue and quinacridone nickel, when combined create a very pleasing range of colors. Another color that I use is called Moonglow (by Daniel Smith) displays a range […]


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 […]

Chalkboard Tryout

I decided to try painting on a black surface. My friend Nina of gave me the idea with her wonderful light-on-dark sketches. I have had this pad of black paper for ages. Once in a while I try a sketch or two, but for the most part, this black pad has been lying dormant. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Looking at the Son

Today’s watercolor is a bit different from those of the past few days, during which I concentrated on created an imaginary portrait of my brother Mike (Mike is my older brother, who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal.) (See Imaginary Brother – New Ideas, So Simple, and Yet…, Imaginary Hug, with Feeling, Tri-Clopean Portrait, and Self-Portrait with Imaginary Brother). […]