As a teenager I made several drawings of old-fashioned schoolgirls with fairies, around 1983. There was this naughty blonde, and a 1920s-styled bobbed brunette in a sailor dress, who was holding out her palm, gently cupping the fairy. I gave the brunette to my best friend Skenney, and he framed it and for years when he needed to cut cocaine he would take down the frame and use the glass.
This one was probably the earliest of the fairy drawings, 1982 or 1983.
Watercolors have always been the bane of my existence, probably because I started using them without knowing how.
This drawing from 1981 of my friend Jenny telling a dragon to fuck off was abandoned when trying to add color went wrong.
This drawing, titled “Hansel and Gretel take LSD”, is from the same spring of 1981 as the drawing of Jenny.
And was abandoned for the same reason, my frustration that I just didn’t have the skills to depict the scene the way I wanted, particularly when it came to color.
Reverse apple, 1981!
Abandoned for the same reason.
The Weeping Princess, version two.
In 1981 I made a drawing of a weeping princess that was one of those drawings where as an artist you feel like you’re making a leap forward, finally getting somewhere. I loved it, but I gave it to Robert, an extremely kind old hippy (ha, he was probably 35! but he meant no harm at all to my fourteen-year-old self) who lived across the street from Stuyvesant.
I took another pass at it a year later, but couldn’t finish it – I got frustrated by trying to manage the watercolors, again.
This is an Elfquest style drawing, made for Jenny I think, in 1983.
I did a series of drawings of kids with creatures, in the mid-80s, for my mom.
The one above wasn’t finished, because of the color handling issue.
The girl with a dragon shows a new approach to color, using only faint washes of color pencil. Color pencils were easier to control, but I did not like the way their waxy base obscured my careful Rapidograph linework.
I think this was drawn in 1984, shortly before I started reading comics, in the years when I read every damn Anne McCaffery book in the world, although damn some of them are problematic. I went back and re-read The Dragonriders of Pern last year and I was like, internalized misogyny much? And yet, Moreta stands up!
I gave it to my mom, and she took this photo of it in her house, where it has hung for decades, for my archiving project!
This drawing of a boy with an alien is actually a critique of American colonialism! The boy and the alien are each from a settlement on a new planet, and he has built a sand castle with a crude Earth flag.
He’s feeding the horse-like alien seductive sugar cubes! The alien has reservations, justifiably.
Below, the study I used to create the final drawing. The study has a note in the corner:
“My sentient being parental unit can beat up your sentient being parental unit!”
My mom took this picture of the drawing on her wall in Hartford for my archives.
Aravis and Lasaraleen in the palace, from The Horse and his Boy.
After Pauline Baynes. I loved that book as a kid, but now I am acutely conscious of the anti-Arab tone that permeates it. Aravis is such a marvelous character, though.
This drawing, with some problematic stereotypes, has a rough too. The rough has the note “Drunk teenage witch practicing her spells.”
The version above has notes all over, for the intended colors, but I never started coloring it.
Girl in a brass bra. From late 1985 or winter 1986 – after I had encountered Ghita of Alizarr, for sure!