I made a lot of still-life drawings and paintings in my many years in art school.
I don’t like making still-lifes, which is why I haven’t done a single one since I left school. Drawing and painting people was always what I cared about. But I am perfectly capable of doing still-life pictures, as long as I can have a little fun. Like the still life with raygun and Gumby above, probably from 1990 or 1991, when I was at MCAD. Charcoal on paper.
1985-ish, still life with raygun.
Plus a coffee cup and a pitcher stacked on top of something to make more shapes and values! Ink, probably a Pilot fine-point, on paper.
This is also from before I got sober, at Parsons in 1987.
It’s a picture of my cigarettes and my old glass heroin smoking pipe ( I had “graduated” to snorting). I was always crying out for help, really. Fine-point pen on paper.
This one is from February 1987.
It was painted in the bathroom of the Chelsea apartment I grew up in. My mom always made sure there were vegetables in the house; I cooked sporadically, having taught myself as a teenage vegetarian.
That was a song, if you remember. My beer can and cigarette still-life, probably 1988.
Here is a still life with a weird duck.
Probably 1987 to 89. Charcoal on paper.
And here is a still life with a normal duck.
Made in the same timeframe. Pencil on paper.
Color study of a shoe!
From the painting class I took through MCAD in Fall 1989, I think. Acrylic on paper.
Here is the bathroom of the apartment in St. Paul that I shared with Anita in winter 1990.
It was quite a dark bathroom! Pencil on paper.
My phone/answering machine. Remember those?
Graphite on paper, August 8 1990. The writing says, “Pretty fruitless but I still want that erase button for my life”.
Now here is where it gets wild.
I don’t know for sure when I did the watermelon sunglasses pictures.
I think it was at Parsons, where I had a class where we used a Windsor and Newton series 7 sable and Sumi ink.
But it could have been during Tom Garrett’s illustration class at MCAD.
So I am gonna say these were done between 1988 and 1991.
They look like the kind of thing you’d do in class, except those were my cat-eye sunglasses.
Still, I could have brought them to class.
I have a hazy, hazy memory of scattering the salt on the wash of ink.
It was the first time I used that technique.
That’s all I remember. They’re all 18″ by 24″, ink and salt on paper.
Seriously, if you had had to make fifteen drawings of a cut watermelon and a pair of black plastic sunglasses, using only ink, water, and salt, would you have stored it in your memories?
Most of these paintings and drawings had never been photographed; until now, no record of them existed – if we had a fire or flood they would just be gone forever.
I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to take time to document my art archives.
These are great. I love the vegetables in the bathroom. Was the phallic nature of how they are organized on purpose, or is that just my dirty mind at work?
I am 100% sure I arranged them that way! I hated still lifes so much, I always fucked around 🙂
i do that at the supermarket all the time! Just to amuse myself and get a good picture.