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 […]

Mike Portrait No. 5, June 2017

The fifth of this series of portraits of my brother Mike* is a bit different than the others. Mike would often display fits of rage, directed at himself. Some docs thought he was Tourettic, others thought it was a behavioral issue. The point is, Mike could be frightening. I weathered the storm and didn’t believe […]

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 […]

Under the Influence

Sometimes, when I can’t think of anything to paint, I thumb through pictures in the books I have.  Today my book was of the art of Willem de Kooning. His paintings have a lot of energy. One in particular, Woman I, is famous for its fierce and frightening look. According to the Museum of Modern Art website, […]

Motor Tic

My older brother Michael is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. My relationship with him has been the main focus of my blog when I began in 2013.  He is never too far from my conscious thought even though I haven’t seen him in quite a while. [My post,  The Visit , was the last time I saw Mike […]

Belly Laugh

Photographs Still pictures are wonderful. Even though they sometime portray something different than the reality of a situation, a photographer seeks to portray self-truth. A great photographer gives the viewer a window to how he or she sees the world. One such artist is Diane Arbus. When I first studied her work, my impression was […]


I wanted to write about vocalizations since these are the only sounds that my older brother has ever made. Mike has never spoken. He used to hum, but doesn’t do that too much any more, at least when I’m present. He sometimes sniffs rhythmically, and grunts. Who knows his motivations for doing this, if any? […]

Now and Then

When I was around my brother, I always tried to make contact. I never quite knew if I was successful, though. My older brother Mike has never spoken. He is autistic and very low functioning. I fault myself sometimes for perhaps requiring too much of a sign from him to indicate a connection. Mike had […]

In Combination

Below are two pictures of my brother. Together they make a strong statement. In addition to being autistic low functioning and nonverbal, doctors diagnosed my older brother Michael with Tourette Syndrome (TS). However, he doesn’t seem to have a bad case of it. I understand that, like autism spectrum disorders (ASD), TS manifests itself in […]