Memories of Michael: Mike Hitting Himself (1992)

Mike would frequently hit his head and bite his hand. He was never violent to anyone else. One doc thought he had Tourette’s Syndrome and that these actions were not behaviors, but rather “complex motor tics”.

Feeling-Related Watercolors: Behavior or Complex Motor Tic? (2016)

I posted this watercolor back in 2016. I repost today as an example of expressing feelings in my paintings. My older brother Mike is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. He would hit himself and bite his hand, presumably when he was frustrated. One of the doctors who saw him in his group home diagnosed him […]

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 […]


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.

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 […]